Possible benefits from saltland legumes

1.         Production
Legumes are included in saltland pasture mixtures for purely production reasons. On non-saline sites, legumes provide excellent nutrition for grazing animals – the same nutritional excellence can be expected from legumes growing on land affected by low salinity as on non-saline land because legumes do not accumulate salt.

2.         Conservation and amenity
Legumes are not sown as pure swards in saltland pastures, and because of their relatively low salinity tolerances, and unreliability on saltland, they are companions species to the main game – the salt tolerant grasses or shrubs.  In this role, the legumes do not add any additional conservation or amenity value.

3.         $$’s
Legumes have only low to moderate tolerance to salinity, so there are unlikely to be situations where legumes alone are sown on saltland.  The major potential for a financial return is if the legumes can become a significant component of the overall pasture mixture.  Unfortunately, few saltland pastures are able to maintain a high enough legume content to significantly boost the returns from the pasture.

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