According to recent official forecasts, salinity and soil degradation will cost Australia $2 billion annually and will grow to $6 billion by 2020
FodderFacts No. 2
Salinity is expensive
According to recent official forecasts, salinity and soil degradation will cost Australia $2 billion annually and will grow to $6 billion by 2020.
To contain this problem will require a capital investment of $60 billion with annual maintenance of $0.5 billion according to a recent study issued by the National Farmers Federation, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Land and Water Resources Research & Development Corporation.
There is a profitable and faster alternative to trees.
Just planting trees is not the answer. The Murray-Darling Basin Commission and the CSIRO recognises that lucerne, a deep-rooted legume, is key to lowering the water table and reducing salinity. It takes effect more quickly than trees, and is profitable to grow.
New technology enables Australian company Fodder King to mass produce high quality fodder from extensive plantations of lucerne (600 hectares minimum) to supply local and export livestock markets.
Previously lucerne was grown at a cottage industry scale (20 hectares on average). Vast areas can be reclaimed to supply growing export and domestic demand for high quality fodder which exceeds $600 million per annum.
Lucerne - the Company's raw material - has stood the test of time for 5,000 years. And richly deserves the name it has had for centuries - the King of Fodders - being the best performing and most nutritious feed of its kind.
That's not all. Not only is it profitable to grow, this amazing plant rejuvenates soil by fixing nitrogen thus boosting the yield and nutrient value of other crops.
At the same time, its numerous roots, up to 100 per square metre and each as thick as one's thumb - probing to depths of 15 metres - act like straws to draw the salt-laden water away from where it does awful damage.
Underpinning all this is Fodder King's break-through technology which has changed the base level of haymaking for ever, enabling it to achieve a 20 fold increase in productivity. In the field of haymaking, getting aboard with Fodder King is like transferring from a tiger moth to a jumbo jet.
Thus Fodder King is building itself on foundations that will endure and is converting a massive environmental problem into a profitable enterprise.
How to profitably reduce salinity and restore environmental flows in our rivers
Growing lucerne - for hay made the Fodder King way - offers a better return on investment than rice, which is a crop that is associated with rising water tables in Australia's major irrigation districts.
And rice consumes about twice the water (about 16 mega litres or more per hectare on average) that lucerne does.
In any one year, rice occupies about 150,000 hectares of irrigation land in southern NSW and Victoria, and because rice has to be rotated and can only be grown on 30% of the rice suitable land, the rice industry commands about 450,000 hectares of irrigation land.
Converting just 20,000 hectares of rice to irrigated lucerne would free up about 140,000 mega litres of irrigation water per annum - which is the volume of water that environmental groups want to reallocate back to the Snowy River each year for environmental flows.
Fodder King is currently raising funds to expand its operation, and its new prospectus, registered with the ASIC, can be obtained from the company's office.
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