NyPa proves salt remedy

The West Australian

West Moora farmer Jim Hamilton last week had some 8000 stems of NyPa forage grass planted over 10ha on his property around Cudoralcarra Lake.

The plantings aim to stabilise the degraded soil around the lake and provide stock feed if required.

NyPa Forage is a perennial salt-loving native American forage grass that has been selectively bred over the past 20 years.

The NyPa plants have an exceptional capacity to move salt out of the water it takes up through respiration.

The project is being run by Moore Catchment Council, in partnership with the Hamilton family, NyPa Australia and the Moora-Miling Pasture Improvement Group, using funding from the Northern Agricultural Catchment Council's Federally funded Sustainable Agriculture demonstration sites program.

Moora-Miling Pasture Improvement Group natural resource management officer Rachel Walmsley said NyPa Forage had also been used in a remediation project at Gillingarra and had demonstrated a considerable ability to stabilise a bare, salt-affected paddock.

NyPa Australia director John Leake and Wickepin NyPa grower Raymond Matthews delivered the seedlings and instructed the planting crew on how to plant into pre-prepared rip lines.

Ms Walmsley said Mr Hamilton also wanted to try planting using a tractor and tree planter to see if that was an effective planting method.

Unfortunately, however, this was not as efficient as the hand planters because of the grassy features of the plants.

Hand-held tree planters also didn't work because the plants are bare rooted and have no weight.

The planting team, contracted from Moora Citrus, planted all 8000 seedlings in less than three hours.

The demonstration site was split into three densities of 1m, 2m and 4m as an experiment.

A follow-up field day in autumn, 2016 will show off the project site and also be an opportunity for local farmers to investigate NyPa for their own properties.

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