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The South-Eastern Agricultural Region is particularly diverse and extends from Jerramungup in the west, to Condingup in the east, and Salmon Gums in the north east. Much of the farming land in the area was not cleared until well after World War II.
The higher rainfall areas close to the coast between Hopetoun and Esperance allow farmers to graze cattle on permanent pasture. The rapid decline in rainfall over short distances as distance from the coast increases mean cereal cropping begins to dominate, particularly north of the South Coast Highway and towards Grass Patch and Salmon Gums.
Sandy soils dominate the coastal areas, many of which suffer waterlogging resulting from relatively shallow clay layers (duplexes). In addition, water repellency is an inherent problem associated with the sandy soils, and those areas also tend to suffer from compaction issues. Soils further from the coast tend to be heavier in nature, have much better water and nutrient retention characteristic and alkaline at depth. Unfortunately many of these “salmon gum” soils tend to suffer boron toxicity lower in the profile.
Annual rainfall in the area ranges from approximately 620 mm close to Esperance, to 460 mm at Jacup and 350 mm at Salmon Gums.