Farm

Farm mission and purpose

To demonstrate sustainable agricultural management and dryland farming systems, which support training and workforce development.

Location
We are located approximately 10 km southwest of Northam, on the eastern fringe of the Darling Range and the western fringe of the central Wheatbelt. Muresk Institute Farm is in the middle of the zone of rejuvenated drainage and the relatively fertile soils of the Avon Valley. The Avon River flows through the western part of the farm.


Download the Muresk Institute Farm flyer (PDF)

Pastures from Space® Plus
Muresk Institute is the Pastures from Space Plus demo farm.

Pastures from Space Plus is an online tool providing pasture growth rates, feed on offer, total dry matter and greenness imagery.

Originally developed in partnership with CSIRO and the Department of Agriculture and Food this tool uses satellite technology, historical data and built-in calculators.

View the Muresk Institute farm on the Pastures from Space website.


 


 

         

climate

Average annual rainfall is 437 mm. Growing season rainfall (May–Oct) is 347 mm. The area experiences mild winters and hot summers. Winds are predominantly from the east and north-west. Frosts can occur on average 5–6 times per year.

Area
The farm is 898 ha in total, divided into 30 paddocks, of which 20 can be cropped successfully. Around 805 ha (90%) of the total area is grazable, and around 506 ha (56%) is arable.

Landscape, topography and soil

Jam and York Gum are the main natural vegetation. The countryside is dominated by granite outcrops and intersected by dolerite dykes. Management is made more difficult by the steep slopes found over much of the farm.

The farm comprises four main landscape units:

  • Avon Flats (256AfAV);
  • Jelcobine York (256JcYO);
  • Hamersley (256JcHM); and
  • Steep Rocky Hills (256JcR2).
         
        

crops

The main crops grown are wheat, canola, lupins and oats for grazing. The rotation of crops helps manage disease, pest and chemical resistance. Barley, export oaten hay and field peas have also been grown successfully.

Our farming system is based on a no-till, no-burn with a strong emphasis on soil health and rotation crops.

Livestock and pastures

The property breeds high performance genetic index Merinos for wool and meat, joining approximately 650 mature ewes and 200 maiden ewes each year. The ewes are used in a Sire Evaluation Program with the WA Stud Merino Breeders and are joined to 12 merino rams.

The property also carries 500 Dohne ewes, 200 of which were donated by the WA Dohne Breeders Association.

Pasture types include grazing oats, clover, serradella, lucerne and native bush.

        
                  

buildings

We are a specialised agricultural facility for training, scientific research and professional development.

Our contemporary learning spaces are supported by farm infrastructure including:

  • machinery workshops;
  • working sheep and cattle yards;
  • a six-stand shearing shed;
  • wet and dry labs;
  • controlled environment animal houses;
  • autopsy laboratory;
  • shade and glass houses;
  • extensive equine facilities; and
  • a working piggery.