It was claimed today that the Snowy and Murray Rivers can be saved from salinity and have healthy water flows returned simply by abandoning water wasteful crops such as rice and using the land to grow high quality fodder for animal feed instead
FodderFacts No. 4
Fodder the potential saviour of the Snowy and Murray River systems
It was claimed today that the Snowy and Murray Rivers can be saved from salinity and have healthy water flows returned simply by abandoning water wasteful crops such as rice and using the land to grow high quality fodder for animal feed instead.
This fodder would then further reduce water wastage when fed to animals kept in feed lots as an alternative to open grazing which is also very water wasteful with half of the available pasture ruined by animal waste and trampling.
Modern efficient farming and fodder harvesting techniques developed and patented by Fodder King allow water usage per hectare to be halved when fodder such as lucerne is grown in place of rice.
Less water is consequently drawn from already depleted river systems, strengthening water flow and preventing water tables from rising, thus protecting the environment from the ravages of salinity.
Paul McCardell, director of operations for fodder specialist Fodder King Limited, said today that if just 13% of marginal rice land (20,000 hectares) was used instead to grow
lucerne using Fodder King technology, then 140,000 mega litres would be returned to the Snowy River annually, thus meeting the politically determined target.
"As water becomes recognised as a more and more valuable asset, farmers will have to choose crops that produce the best return for the water that is used.
This means going back to basics and analysing the profitability per mega litre of each alternative land-use.
"One solution for the owners of these problem farms is to switch from growing rice for the Rice Growers Co-op to growing lucerne for Fodder King.
"Such action could increase the efficiency of Australia's agricultural industry while simultaneously protecting some of Australia's most sacred river systems", Paul said.
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