Salt­bush to re­lieve feed pres­sure

Countryman - - NEWS - Cally Dupe

Sum­mer graz­ing for live­stock at the WA Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture — Cun­derdin will be bol­stered by the re­cent plant­ing of 10,000 Anameka salt­bush seedlings by stu­dents.

The salt­bush will sup­port the al­ready es­tab­lished Anameka plant­ings at the col­lege, on slightly sa­line land which is un­suit­able for crop­ping.

As­sis­tant farm man­ager Leanne Grant-Wil­liams hoped the ex­tra plant­ings would pro­vide a valu­able feed re­source between Jan­uary to April when feed sup­plies were usu­ally tight.

“We rou­tinely graze the salt­bush with both cat­tle and sheep in sep­a­rate mobs and this graz­ing has re­duced the pres­sure on our ex­ist­ing dry feed,” Ms Gran­tWil­liams said.

“The col­lege has cho­sen to plant Anameka salt­bush due to its su­pe­rior di­gestibil­ity, higher or­ganic mat­ter and lower lev­els of salt.

“Anameka pro­duces eight times more biomass than other va­ri­eties of salt­bush, and sheep have a high pref­er­ence for graz­ing Anameka than other salt­bush va­ri­eties found across the Wheat­belt.”

As part of their Year 12 cur­ricu­lum, the stu­dents have been learn­ing about the ben­e­fits of Anameka salt­bush.

This in­cluded a visit from Chat­field’s Nurs­ery own­ers Dustin and Lisa McCreery.

The stu­dents helped to se­lect the plant­ing site, which borders the Mort­lock River sys­tem.

Pic­ture: Cally Dupe

Year 12 stu­dent Lach­lan Sims with the planted salt­bush.

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