KAI farms in the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) north of Kununurra in Western Australia. Kununurra is in the tropical region of Northern Australia and has distinct “wet” and “dry” seasons. The wet season generally runs from October to March and the dry from April to September. The conditions during these periods dictate the cropping activities that can be conducted during the year, with some crops suiting wet season production while others perform better during the dry. The below chart shows the average temperatures and rainfall for Kununurra over the year.
Figure 1. Kununurra Climate
Irrigation water for farming is supplied via a network of channels connected to Lake Kununurra and Lake Argyle. The Ord River dam at Lake Argyle has a capacity of 10,700 GL, covering an area of 980 Square Kilometers. Once water is supplied to the farm, internal channels and drains recycle excess water to reuse and maximize use of this resource.
KAI has focused its farming capabilities on crops suited to the climate of Kununurra and those which allow sustainable economic return. The main crops currently produced are: