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


Maireana brevifolia, Atriplex, Arthrocnemum, Halophytes, Nutritive value

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areas of bare saltland on farms need not be unproductive etesores. Many Western Australian farmers are now successfully growing salt-tolerant or halophytic shrubs such as bluebush (Maireana brevifolia), saltbushes (Atriplex spp.) and samphires (Halosarcia spp.) on these areas.

Department of agriculture trials and farmers' experience indicate that if saltland is planted with recommended shrubs, it can provide two months' valuable grazing for sheep during autumn and early winter, a time when paddock feed is scarce. Research by the Department has also identified a range of salt-tolerant shrubs suited to the various types of saltland.

Grazing trials to determine the value of salt-tolerant shrub pasture for sheep started at Wickepin and Kondut in the 1970s and the early results were reported in this Journal in 1982 (Clarke, 1982). The Kondut trial has been continued and the results from six years' grazing are discussed here. This article also contains additional information from the large grazed plots on farms and from farmers experienced in management and use osd saltland shrub pastures.