Land capability for cropping in the south west of Western Australia based on analysis and interpretation of the best available soil-landscape mapping dataset (DPIRD-027).
This assessment covers the production of rain-fed (non-irrigated) field crops under a cropping system that incorporates minimal tillage practices and stubble retention.
This is a general assessment for common dryland crops grown over extensive areas (i.e. hundreds of hectares). It is best suited to the 350-600 mm rainfall zone where most extensive crops are grown (i.e. the wheatbelt), though may be extended to include some slightly higher rainfall areas. Crops included in this general assessment are wheat, barley, oats, narrow-leafed lupins, field peas, canola, chickpea and faba beans.
Land capability refers to the ability of land to support a type of land use without causing damage. See DAFWA Resource Management Technical Report 298 for a description of the qualities assessed and the methodology involved.
Capability ratings do not take into account factors such as the availability and quality of water supplies for irrigation or climatic risks such as frost or heat stress. Such factors need to be considered as a separate layer of information.