Management consideration for puccinellia

1.     Establishment
Puccinellia is usually sown as part of a mixed pasture with legumes such as balansa clover, and sometimes with other saltland grasses.

Puccinellia has a small seed and therefore produces a small seedling, making weed control a major issue. Sea barleygrass (often the dominant species on saltland suited to puccinellia), if not well controlled, will overwhelm puccinellia. Weed control the previous spring to reduce the annual weed seed burden and then cultivation or direct drilling after the opening rains in autumn is recommended.

2.     Management and grazing
Puccinellia has growing points embedded in the base of the plant, which is compact and resistant to hard grazing.

Mature stands can be grazed after the opening rains (when they rapidly produce green feed) and/or more commonly as dry feed in late summer-autumn. Leaving the feed standing over summer shades the soil, reducing the evaporative concentration of salts at the surface soil. Though the puccinellia will be dead and dry over summer, it remains palatable and has reasonable nutritive value.

3.     Animal nutrition
Puccinellia is highly palatable at all stages of growth (including when it has dried off over summer). Importantly, there are no known detrimental grazing issues – puccinellia does not accumulate salt in the leaves in the way many other saltland pasture species do, and it has small and non-invasive seeds. 

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