Unit
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Unit 1 - What's in it for me?
Unit 2 - Saltland Basics
Unit 3 - Can I trust the technology?
Unit 4 - Plant and animal performance
Unit 5 - Sheep, cattle and conservation
Unit 6 - Do the $$$'s stack up?
Unit 7 - The saltland toolbox
Site Assessment
Solution 1: Exclude grazing
Solution 2: Volunteer pasture
Solution 3: Saltbush
Solution 4: Saltbush & Understorey
Solution 5: Tall Wheatgrass
Solution 6: Puccinellia
Solution 7: Vegetative grasses
Solution 8: Temperate perennials
Solution 9: Sub-tropicals
Solution 10: Legumes
Solution 11: Revegetation
Solution 12: Messina
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UNIT 1

What’s in it for me?

 

1.1  An expansion of saltland knowledge

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A major surge in Saltland Information

After a decade of minimal activity, the first few years of the 21st Century saw a major surge in research and development associated with the management and rehabilitation of saltland. This was stimulated by 4 key factors:

  1. National Dryland Salinity Program - An external review of the NDSP indicated that insufficient attention in that program had been directed to managing saltland

  2. National Land & Water Resources Audit - In 2000 the NLWRA reported that there will continue to be significant saline areas in every state and that every state’s salinity strategy should address the issue of ‘living with salinity’

  3. CRC for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity – In 2001 The Salinity CRC was established with a primary research focus on reducing recharge, but with a significant mandate to boost R&D into saltland management

  4. Land, Water & Wool – From 2002-2007, the wool industry through Australian Wool Innovation Ltd, established and funded Land, Water & Wool, a five year NRM program managed by Land & Water Australia. The program, with state and national partners, invested several million dollars into saltland management via SGSL (the Sustainable Grazing on Saline Lands) initiative. This website and information contained in it is the culmination of that program.

This combination of factors and investments led to a major surge in the amount and the quality of information available to assist farmers, farm advisers, catchment managers and researchers/students who are interested in better managing saltland for productive, amenity and environmental benefits. With major research sites in every southern state and over 120 farmer-managed research sites, a huge number of potential options have been trialled in different locations.

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The creation of Saltland Genie

The process of synthesising all of the R&D that was carried out by SGSL and the CRC Salinity during the period 2001 to 2007 culminated with the creation of this Saltland Genie web site. It brings together all the latest findings and conclusions about saltland management, to provide the most reliable recommendations that are available.

This website is the ‘supermarket’ for anyone shopping for saltland knowledge. It has been designed specifically to take advantage of the power of web delivery, with everything the ‘shopper’ might need, including a ‘shop assistant’ – the Genie – to direct you down the right ‘aisle’ and link you up the most appropriate information.

Though useful for a wide range of audiences, the Saltland Genie website has been designed with 4 particular audiences in mind – information seeking farmers, farm advisors, catchment managers and researchers/students. Our market research ensures that we understand the specific needs of these groups:

  • Information seeking farmers. Market research shows that this group typically seeks information on options for saltland from other farmers (90%) and state departments (80%). The information most frequently sought focuses on saltland pastures and saltland revegetation, often including the specific costs and benefits from the different options. The strongest message from the market research is that farmers require information that is practical, relevant and tailored to their local conditions. Approximately 60% of information seeking farmers with saltland had broadband (DSL or satellite) access in mid 2007; this figure is increasing rapidly. The majority of farmers (75%) report using the internet for business information at least weekly, and the most important feature they require is the ability to quickly find, download and print specific information.

  • Farm Advisers and Catchment Managers. Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and state agencies are the traditional source of salinity information for farm advisers and catchment managers. This group uses publications and newsletters extensively, and 75% claim the internet as a significant information source. As with farmers, the cost:benefit analysis of various options is seen as most valuable information, followed by environmental opportunities for saltland, and saltland pasture options and management. Over 80% of advisors and catchment managers have broadband access, with only 11% on dial-up systems. Local relevance and ease of access to information are the most critical factors for farm advisers and catchment managers.

  • Researchers and Students. Students and researchers involved in saltland R&D are the group most familiar with accessing information directly from the web and need little assistance. The primary value for researchers and students is that the synthesis of information behind this web site contains not only the high level conclusions about dryland salinity and all the saltland management options, but also direct links to the supporting research reports

The Saltland Genie website has been designed to meet these specific requirements.

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