Weather eye for farms

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian

The State Government will spend $23 million on three Doppler radars in the Wheatbelt in a major boost for farmers and emergency services working in fickle weather.

The radars will give farmers their best weather data yet and potentially deliver more than $100 million in productivity gains over the next two decades.

Agriculture Minister Ken Baston said the Doppler radars, which offer far greater detail than standard weather radars, would transform the way WA farmers did business.

"Information on wind flows and soil moisture will provide critical data to assist decision-making around sowing, fertiliser and chemical applications," Mr Baston said.

The Weather Bureau will install and maintain Royalties for Regions-funded radars at Wubin, Merredin and Lake Grace.

Each radar will cover farms in a 200km radius.

A Department of Agriculture and Food WA study found the data would save farmers millions of dollars a year by limiting chemical overspray and yield losses.

Miling grain grower Ken Seymour said the move was exciting.

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