Growing profit from the ground up

Forage shrubs fill the summer gap and keep soils under wraps

Farmer: Don Nairn
Location: East Binnu, Western Australia
Property size: 2476ha
Average annual rainfall: 320mm
Soil types: Red loam and yellow sand plain
Enterprise mix: Cropping (cereals and legumes), Merino sheep, forage plantations

A passion for running sheep, improving land sustainability and boosting biodiversity has seen Western Australian mixed farmer Don Nairn trial different forage options. While the forage shrub challenge is in its infancy, Don has been able to increase stocking rates and reduce or negate any soil erosion problems.

The introduction of forage shrubs has provided a summer grazing option for Don Nairn (above) that allows high stocking rates while still protecting fragile soils from wind erosion. (Photos: Greg Lawrence)

The introduction of forage shrubs has provided a summer grazing option for Don Nairn (above) that allows high stocking rates while still protecting fragile soils from wind erosion. (Photos: Greg Lawrence)

Key points

  • Increased stocking rates require a change in grazing management from set stocking to strip (intensive) grazing.
  • High stocking rates can¬†increase livestock profitability.
  • Forage shrubs provide a grazing solution during summer.

Click here to download the Nairn case study

Note: This case study was developed as part of the Enrich project under the former Future Farm Industries CRC.