Michael Moodie, MSF
Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) is well adapted to the Mallee environment and for this reason many farmers have integrated saltbush into their mixed farming systems. While there are many benefits of establishing saltbush plantations there are also some limitations of using it as a livestock feed source. These factors need to be well understood by farmers who have adopted or are looking to develop saltbush plantations on their mixed farms. Exploiting the benefits and managing the constraints of saltbush is critical to achieve profitable returns from the considerable investment required to establish saltbush plantations.
In this article, we report the scientific knowledge of the benefits and disadvantages of using saltbush as a livestock feed source. Furthermore, we also outline the results from a recent scientific study into the potential profitability of integrating old man saltbush into mixed farming systems in the Victorian and South Australian Mallee.