By Dominic Geiger
An information seminar discussing the principles of incorporating perennial forage shrubs in grazing systems was held at the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station last Wednesday.
The forum discussed research gathered from studying 100 native shrubs and showed how they could be used to improve soil quality and provide benefits for livestock and be incorporated into livestock enterprises.
Speaker Dr Dean Revell said the seminar was focussed on showing how these shrubs interacted with pastures and livestock across southern Australia.
“We’re focussing on managing animals when they have a diverse diet,” he said.
“The underlying premise in this is diversity of diet and managing landscapes and the environment with native plants.”
Richard Maccallum, from NSW DPI, said the work he’d been focussing on with the shrub known as ‘Old Man Saltbush’ had helped provide a good source of green feed for livestock all year round.
“We’ve been using alley farming with Old Man Saltbush so we’ve been able to put strips of it in conventional paddocks and grow pasture and crops in the rest of the paddock,” he said.
“It’s a sustainable production system that can also produce very high quality meat.
“This is because Vitamin E is present in saltbush and it allows the meat to hold a red colour longer.”
Dr Revell said many of the plants being discussed at the seminar have proved to help digestion in stock and help fight against infections.
“Some of these plants have natural compounds that beneficially affect the micro-organisms within the guts of livestock,” he said.
“If you get a better gut reaction you can reduce the burden of worms.”
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