SUMMER grazing for livestock at the WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, will be bolstered by the recent planting of 10,000 Anameka saltbush seedlings by students.
The saltbush will support the already established Anameka plantings at the college, on slightly saline land which is unsuitable for cropping.
College assistant farm manager Leanne Grant-Williams hoped the extra plantings would provide a valuable feed resource over the dry period between January to April, when feed supplies were tight.
“We routinely graze the salt bush with both cattle and sheep in separate mobs and this grazing has reduced the pressure on our existing dry feed,” Ms Grant-Williams said.
“The college has chosen to plant Anameka saltbush due to its superior digestibility, higher organic matter and lower levels of salt.
“Anameka produces eight times more biomass than other varieties of saltbush and sheep have a high preference grazing Anameka than other salt bush varieties found across the Wheatbelt.”
As part of their year 12 curriculum, the students have been learning about the benefits of Anameka saltbush, including a visit from Chatfield’s Nursery, Tammin, owners Dustin and Lisa McCreery.
The students helped to select the planting site, which borders on the Mortlock River system.
“Students were enthusiastic to be involved with the planting and learnt valuable skills including utilising guidance technology in the college John Deere tractor and planting skills,” she said.
The college hopes to continue to increase plantings in future years, utilising the big area of non-cropping land throughout the college farm.