Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Atriplex, Maireana, Salt tolerance, Saline soils, Revegetation plants, Nutritive value

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Many Western Australian/armers have obtained useful grazing from their salt/and in the past, both from natural stands of salt tolerant plants and from areas planted to a variety of introduced salt tolerant plants. The benefits provided by such grazing have been hard to assess because no quantitative figures were available. However, grazing trials now in progress are showing that salt tolerant shrubs can carry similar stocking rates to clover-based pastures in the same districts. About 500,000 hectares of Western Australian wheatbelt land has always been saline, and has supported various useful native salt-tolerant plants. Other land that has become saline can be developed to provide useful forage. One special value of salt-tolerant shrubs is that they are available-and perhaps best used-at a time when farmers are most in need of feed, for example in the autumn and early winter. If a farmer has enough edible shrub area available, he can keep his stock off his conventional annual pastures until these have become well established after the break of the season. This helps him gain higher productivity from such annual clover-based pastures.