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Sat, 23 September 2023

"Drumathol" In brief..

Boree creek
Rafe Strong
Area (in hectares)
1384 ha
Rainfall (mm/pa)
425 mm
Oldman Saltbush area (hecatares)
75 ha
year of first Planting

Q & A: an interview with Rafe Strong

Why OMSB planted?  

To try and generate more feed from my heavier, wetter country that was less productive.

What grazing and pasture benefits have been observed? 

The first block I grazed caused some concern from a grazing point. I have heard about & read the negative views and research on saltbush and can now see why people have such an opinion. After my six years experience of grazing and watching the bush it is clear that grazing management is critical. My first grazing experience with the bush was not so good. The sheep grazed everything else first and did badly. My view of the grazing value of the bush changed dramatically in the second year when the omsb had very dense balansa clover between the rows. The lambs I had on it did much better with the omsb and clover than what they would have done on the straight clover. I now use the omsb blocks with other pastures and stubble paddocks.

What financial benefits have been observed? 

I have increased my breading stock numbers and do very little hand feeding. It provides valuable green feed during our mostly dry autumns that can be very long.

Biggest OMSB impact?  

It has improved dramatically the grazing performance of the country where I have planted it and makes much better use of our stubble country for grazing.

Any problems with OMSB?  Just the initial performance of the stock on the bush. I can see now that this problem was caused by the stock having no prior experience with the omsb. Since this I have used the omsb blocks with adjacent stubble paddocks to balance the high protein content of the saltbush to help digest the low protein stubble straw. This practice has worked very well with the sheep, with them doing much better than on straight stubble and also getting an introduction to the omsb slowly and so building the correct digestive enzymes.

Do you / if you had a salinity problem, do you think OMSB would help with controlling deep drainage and/or lowering the water table? Yes

Would you like to increase your area sown to OMSB? I plant some bush each year.

What limits your planting of a larger area?  Fitting it in with the rest of my property development.








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