Management consideration for temperate perennial grasses

1.     Establishment
The most common sowing time for both phalaris and tall fescue on non-saline sites is autumn/early winter, after the opening rains. In higher rainfall, higher altitude areas, spring sowing can also be successful if there is significant rainfall during spring and summer.

Establishment on saline sites should aim for similar times of sowing, but this is complicated by the fact that saline sites often become untrafficable soon after the opening rains, greatly reducing the time available for pasture establishment. Similarly, with spring sowing, the site may not dry off sufficiently to sow a pasture until late in spring, giving the grasses insufficient time to establish a substantial root system to allow them to survive the first summer.

2.     Management and grazing
With a little adjustment to account for the more fragile nature of saline sites, the extensive body of grazing management information for these grasses in non-saline conditions should apply well to saltland – that is rotational grazing, but with stock removed before the saline areas are grazed too heavily.

3.     Animal nutrition
In most regions where phalaris and tall fescue are viable options for mildly saline land, they will already be the basis for any other improved pastures on the farm. No special animal nutritional issues need to be considered for these grasses as they have been extensively selected for grazing livestock.

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