Outcome F (5G+6H)
Based on your decisions above the suggested action that you could take is displayed below.
diverse shrub plantings, with or without inter-row pasture
Establishing and managing diverse shrub-pasture and forage shrub plantings in the Mallee
The nutritional needs of grazing livestock vary significantly overtime, both between years and within the year. Providing livestock with a forage mix comprised of different plants, each with their own unique combination of nutrients and minerals, increases the chance of fulfilling the requirements of animals during many differing scenarios and potentially reduces the need for supplements. Total feed intake usually increases with additional plant species on offer — when an animal consumes its limit of one species, it may still consume another species with a different balance of nutrients.
Historically few forage shrub species have been grown on a commercial scale in Australia besides old man saltbush. However, recent research from the Enrich project has revealed a number of species which, when used together, can be productive and persistent in the low-rainfall zones of southern Australia.
Selecting companion pasture species and cultivars for use in a shrub-based system varies little from when growing a stand-alone pasture. Suitability to soil type and rainfall are critical factors.
Correct selection of shrub species depends primarily on soil factors such as salinity, waterlogging and texture. The species making up the mix do not necessarily need to be evenly proportioned. When considering the proportion of each species in a mixed planting, there is no single correct method. The benefits of including a mix will more likely to be found when all species are significantly represented (at least 10% of biomass).