Slow start to season in much of WA wheatbelt
30 June 2011
There's been a slow start to the growing season in large parts of the Western Australian Agricultural region according to Landgate's satellite data.
Despite drought breaking rains in much of the southern half of the State, Landgate's Satellite Remote Sensing Services' Plant Vigour Indicator (PVI) shows low or very low levels of plant growth in most of the central and eastern wheatbelt, though the northern wheatbelt is faring better.
The PVI rates the greenness and health of vegetation by gauging the amount of chlorophyll which is essential to plant life.
The most recent PVI shows the lingering effects of the severe drought of 2010 are still having an impact in the central and eastern growing areas, with the current outlook for growth the same as the equivalent time in the 2010 season.
The latest satellite data reveals the northern wheatbelt has begun to green following recent rains and the coastal regions Harvey to Margaret River and Albany to Esperance are showing good plant growth, benefiting from rains that started in April.
However, the PVI paints a grim picture for potential crop yields in much of the central and eastern areas of the wheatbelt unless there is widespread rain in the near future.
Farmers use the PVI to gauge potential crop yield compared to previous seasons and for the management of crops and pastures.
Regional information on the PVI, which is updated each week, is available for free on the Landgate website at www.landgate.wa.gov.au/farmchannel under the AgImage folder.
Landgate is Western Australia's primary source of land information and geographic data, providing the accuracy government, business and individuals rely on.
Phone: +61 (0)8 9273 7066