In this project we aim to consider present options for maximising water use efficiency and to explore options that may provide opportunities for future increases. The project is designed to covered different levels within the farming system: the crop, the cropping system and issues at the whole farm level that impinge on crop management decisions.

Collaboration between CSIRO, Planfarm Ltd and three grower groups in the northern agricultural zone of WA (the Liebe Group, Mingenew Irwin Group and North-East Farming Futures group) will allow us to cover a substantial portion of a region in which water productivity is a key constraint.

Incorporating a balance of short and long term research questions, this project will improve grower understanding of WUE and the range of management decisions that can alter WUE and potentially productivity in this environment. A long term water use efficiency trial has been established at the Liebe Group Long Term Research Site. This trial is detailed below.

Long Term Practice for Profit – Liebe Group

Aim: To determine the most profitable and sustainable approach to cropping on sandplain in the north eastern Wheatbelt.

Background: This trial looks at high and low risk approaches to cropping including rotational and soil management considerations. This will be a long term trial with the hope of having the trial run for 6 years.

1. Low Risk Volunteer pasture / Wheat rotation No ripping
2. High Risk Lupin / Wheat rotation Deep ripped
3. High Risk Canola / Wheat rotation Deep ripped
4. Control Lupin / Wheat rotation No ripping

For more information about this project, please contact Chris O’Callaghan on (08) 9661 0570 or


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