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


Drainage, Waterlogging, Western Australia

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Department of Agriculture trials of seepage interceptor drains from 1972 to 1983 primarily assessed the effects of such drains on salt encroachment. Although these trials showed that the drains had little influence on salt storage within the topsoil, they did reduce waterlogging downslope.

To investigate this drainage effect further, the Department's Narrogin office surveyed 35 drains on 14 properties in the winter of 1981, followed by detailed crop measurements in December that year. Provided the drains were properly designed, surveyed and constructed, and well maintained, they could be expected to increase crop yields during a waterlogging year by about 1 000 kilograms per hectare (range 265 to 2 072 kg/ha) on an average of 50 metres (range 30 to 120 m) downslope of the drain.