WA case studies reveal break crop gross margins

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 29 Mar 2017

Soil type is an important factor in determining break crop selection, with field peas suited to the more medium to heavy country. Photo by GRDC.

Western Australian grain growers have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others so they can assess the risks and rewards of trying different break crops and rotations on their own properties.

Break Crops and Rotations of Western Australia outlines some of the rotation options adopted by growers from the Geraldton port zone and eastern part of the Kwinana port zone, to maintain profitability and diversity in their farming systems.

GRDC Western Regional Grower Services manager Roger States said the publication was an initiative of the Geraldton and Kwinana East Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) groups.

“These groups have identified that finding profitable rotations and break crops or pastures is an important issue affecting profitability in their regions,” he said.

“Members of the groups wanted a financial and risk analysis of break crop options and rotations used by growers in their regions.

“The case study project revolved around finding a range of rotations that growers are using successfully in their farming operations and presenting them in a booklet.

“It includes gross margins based on data obtained from the growers and are on a farm rather than paddock scale.”

Mr States said all growers featured in the publication agreed it was important that break crops cover growing costs at a minimum and ideally were a profitable proposition.

“For some growers, with improvements in management and varietal choices, their break crops/pastures are often very competitive with wheat gross margins,” he said.

Mr States said wheat – described by many case study growers as their ‘hardiest crop’ - remained much more widely grown than break crops or pastures.

“Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA) production figures show that in the Geraldton port zone, there was on average nearly seven times more wheat produced than any other crop over the last five years, and in the Kwinana zone there was nearly four times more wheat produced than any other crop,” he said.

Break Crops and Rotations of Western Australia, which includes links to other useful resources, is available now and by visiting RCSN Publications

Contact Details

For Interviews

Roger States, GRDC
0427 565 780

Julianne Hill, GRDC RCSN initiative
0447 261 607


Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
0427 189 827

GRDC Project Code CMP00001-A

Region West