Management consideration for dense saltbush plantings

1.     Establishment
Establishment of saltbush from seed is less reliable than using nursery-raised seedlings. Direct seeding is cheaper (around $100–150 per hectare) than planting of nursery-raised seedlings (around $450 per hectare). However there is a strong soil type influence, with direct seeding much more likely to succeed if there is a ‘sandy’ surface soil. Direct seeding is therefore not recommended on heavy-textured soils.

2.     Management and grazing
Annual hard grazing (back to the sticks!) in autumn when feed supplies are lowest in the rainfall zone suited to saltbush is the most common grazing practice and saltbush will persist well under this regime.
If saltbush plantings are not grazed at least annually, the plants will grow out of the reach of grazing sheep. Grazing cattle can assist in bringing the stand back to sheep grazing height.

Mustering sheep in dense saltbush plantings can be a major management challenge.

3.     Animal nutrition
It is now well accepted that saltbush alone cannot provide a maintenance ration for dry sheep.

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