Possible benefits from puccinellia

1.     Production
Pasture production from relatively non-productive land is the primary benefit from establishing puccinellia based pastures. In the right situations, they can be highly productive and profitable - with appropriate management and fertilizer application, dry matter yields can be high (~10 t/ha) and stocking rates of 6-8 DSE/ha can be supported.

2.     Conservation and amenity
Puccinellia pastures do provide a significant visual improvement for saline land and because they protect the soil surface over summer, they can significantly slow the build up of salts in the surface soil. However, the primary motivation for establishing puccinellia based pastures is their grazing value.

There will be conservation gains associated with the improved groundcover – reduced erosion, reduced surface soil evaporation, and increased opportunities for biodiversity gains.

3.     $$’s
The SGSL initiative collected some economic information about puccinellia based pastures. In one example (from Kangaroo Island) salt-affected flats that in their undeveloped state, would support a stocking rate of only 1.5 DSE/ha/yr were sown to puccinellia. Stocking rates increased to 5-9 DSE/ha/yr and assuming a gross margin of $25/DSE and a stocking rate of 7 DSE/ha the pasture needed to last 4 years to break even. If the pasture were to last 15 years, the total profit, discounted to 2007 dollars is worth around $350/ha.

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