High quality agricultural land in Western Australia – a new decision tool for planning
The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, has worked closely with state and local planners and agricultural practitioners over the last four years to develop a new way to identify high quality agricultural land (HQAL). This methodology combines land capability for horticulture and dry land cropping and grazing with irrigation supplies, rainfall and yield information. It then ranks large tracts of “similar” land according to its versatility for a range of agricultural land uses. This information, developed in a pilot project in the Mid West region of WA, has been designed to suit formal land use planning. The HQAL methodology is being extended to other parts of WA and has value for local planning. More work is required to establish the importance of HQAL in WA and nationally.