Land Capability - Perennial Horticulture (DPIRD-033)
Land capability for perennial horticulture in the south west of Western Australia based on analysis and interpretation of the best available soil-landscape mapping dataset (DPIRD-027).
The assessment for perennial horticulture covers production of irrigated horticultural crops on plants with long life-cycles (typically trees, shrubs or woody vines). Included are orchard crops (e.g. apples, citrus, stone fruit, avocados, nuts, etc.) and vineyard crops (e.g. grapes and kiwifruit). Although the plants are perennial, crops are harvested annually.
The assumptions for the land use as assessed include:
• crops are grown for commercial production
• plants are deep-rooted with roots typically extending to depths of 100 cm or more
• plants are irrigated using drip, micro-jet or mini-sprinkler systems
• fertilisers and herbicides, fungicides and/or pesticides are broadcast at least annually
• mechanised cultivation occurs only during crop establishment
• weeds are controlled by mowing, slashing or sprays
• machinery access to the crop is required for spraying, pruning and/or harvesting
• considers physical requirements only and ignores socio-economic factors.
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.