Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Sandy soils, Marginal land, Land capability, Land development, Cropping systems, Western Australia

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IN a recently published economic survey of the Australian wheat growing industry, it was reported that nearly two-thirds of the farms surveyed in Western Australia were located on lateritic "sand plain."

As a random selection was made of the eighty farms that were visited it is reasonable to conclude that a similar proportion of all the State's wheat producing farms are on that type of country.

This constitutes a remarkable change from the earlier days of wheat belt settlement when the sand plain soils were regarded as virtually useless and by-passed for development.

It is the purpose of this article to give a brief account of the agricultural development of those soils in the south-western part of Western Australia and to consider the factors which have been responsible for the change.