Saltbush thrives under short–sharp grazing regime
Farmer: Grumpy Schmaal
Location: Peake, South Australia
Property size: 1800ha
Average annual rainfall: 305mm
Soil types: Non-wetting sands
Enterprise mix: Dohne and Merino sheep and some cropping
When Grumpy Schmaal and his family purchased a property in Peake, South Australia, they inherited a 20–25 ha block of old man saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) that had grown so high sheep could only graze the bottom of the bushes. Trial work on an 8 ha block of the saltbush has reinforced the need to manage the shrub carefully to maintain production and height.
- When infrequently grazed, saltbush can become tall and unwieldy, with much of the new growth at a height inaccessible to sheep.
- Mechanical pruning to cut shrubs as low as 15 cm can bring saltbush back to a grazable height without affecting plant recovery and growth.
- Regular grazing and recovery is the key to keeping saltbush both manageable and productive.
Click here to download the Schmaal case study (PDF 746KB)
Note: This case study was developed as part of the Enrich project under the former Future Farm Industries CRC.