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Unit 1 - What's in it for me?
Unit 2 - Saltland Basics
Unit 3 - Can I trust the technology?
Unit 4 - Plant and animal performance
Unit 5 - Sheep, cattle and conservation
Unit 6 - Do the $$$'s stack up?
Unit 7 - The saltland toolbox
Site Assessment
Solution 1: Exclude grazing
Solution 2: Volunteer pasture
Solution 3: Saltbush
Solution 4: Saltbush & Understorey
Solution 5: Tall Wheatgrass
Solution 6: Puccinellia
Solution 7: Vegetative grasses
Solution 8: Temperate perennials
Solution 9: Sub-tropicals
Solution 10: Legumes
Solution 11: Revegetation
Solution 12: Messina
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UNIT 6

Do the $$$'s stack up?

 

Unit 6 deals with the dollars.  No matter what is motivating a farmer to establish a saltland pasture, the dollars are important.  If an improvement in visual amenity is the primary motivation, then the establishment costs will be the primary area for exploration.  If saltland pasture production is the primary aim, then a more comprehensive economic analysis is needed to determine the likely profitability of the investment.


In Unit 6 there are 4 ‘sections’:

 

6.1

What are the possible production benefits from saltland pastures?

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There is direct benefit to an enterprise from the additional pasture from salt affected land. There are further potential benefits, some confirmed by research, such as out of season feed, more efficient wool production, better animal health, seed free pastures, and improved meat quality.

 
6.2

What are the likely costs and returns from saltland pastures?

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The SGSL initiative examined costs and returns from saltland pastures across southern Australia.  The conclusion was that the establishment of saltland pastures is at least of the same order as the cost of establishing pasture on non saline land, but that it is very difficult to generalise.  Five economic case studies give an indication of the on-farm outcomes.

 
6.3

The low cost or management only option.

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This was the surprise package from the SGSL initiative!  Saltland across southern Australia that was fenced off and grazed conservatively produced (on average) about 60% of the production achieved by a sown saltland pasture, but without any of the establishment costs or risks.  This is an option everyone should explore as a first step in saltland management.

 
6.4

Factors affecting the profitability of saltland pastures.

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Assessing the profitability of saltland pastures is more complex than for other pastures because there can be many ‘associated’ benefits to take into account. In general, the higher the saltland capability, the higher the profitability, but infrastructure and establishment costs can have a major impact.