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Salinity Solutions - Fodder

Problem

Rising water tables are becoming a major issue across the Wheatbelt of WA. Once the watertable breaks the surface the land is unsuitable for profitable cereal cropping. This usually occurs in the valley floors where drainage is poor.
 
Solution

Although the client had over 20,000 acres and cropped some 15,000 acres per annum he was increasingly aware of the rising water tables across his valley floors. These valley floors were no longer profitable for traditional cropping and we undertook an intense saltbush planting program.

His objective was to establish fodder reserves throughout his farm which would feed sheep in late summer and/or early winter months when feed quality and quantity was low. This took the pressure off his pastures and enabled him to confidently keep high sheep flocks throughout these months. Densly planted saltbush will also help lower the watertable over time.

With sheep prices rising he is now able to increase his sheep numbers and hold onto stock in dry years when other farmers are destocking.
 
Advantages of Saltbush

  • Grows on a wide range of soil types
  • Can be grazed in 12-months
  • Needs little ongoing management, unlike Tagasate, which requires cutting regularly
  • Is high in protein and carbohydrates
  • Palatable to both sheep and cattle
  • Grows back vigorously after grazing
  • Cheap to establish
 
Nine Month Saltbush

Photo: Nine month old saltbush. Planted on marginal cropping country.
Bencubbin WA - 300mm rainfall pa.
 
3 year old saltbush

Photo: Densly planted saltbush (3 years old) provides a supplement feed/fodder for stock and helps reduce rising watertables.
Narembeen - 350mm rainfall pa.
 
 
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