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Sat, 23 September 2023

What Oldman Saltbush has done for us

David & Jacqueline Strudwick "Curlew" Coonamble NSW

  • 1997-2000 - we planted 1800 acres of OMSB.
  • 2002 - 350 acres.
  • In 2002, we planted into country that had been fallowed for 12 months and after an isolated fall of 60 pts in May. Despite only receiving 3 inches since this time and some loses, these plants have continued to grow and are now approximately 40 cms high, which is amazing considering the terrible growing conditions.
  • The OMSB has been a tremendous saviour for us during this drought. It has meant we have been able to continue holding our sheep numbers and de-stock our native perennial grass country. As we have been able to preserve our grass butts and maintain ground cover there has been minimal soil loss. When the drought does finally break this country will be well rested and able to respond quickly.
  • During this drought our sheep have maintained a strong condition with minimal losses. The wether (3years old & on OMSB continually) portion of our flock were shorn in late January with a pleasing average of 5 ½ kgs, 18.7-17.9 micron, a VM 2.2, a yield of 58% (SCH) and a strength of 42 - 50 NKT. This wool has not yet been sold.
  • We believe since our sheep have been grazing on OMSB they have dropped approximately 2 micron and maintained or improved it's strength.
  • Since July 2002 - Feb 2003 we have been running 3,500 dry sheep (40kgs) on 950 acres of OMSB which is approximately 2 dse per acre for this grazing. These animals have been only fed 2kg / head per week of Barley 50%, Wheat Hay 35%, Molafos {830 feedlot concentrate} 15%, at a cost of 26c / head per week. This has cost us $6,500 for the last eight months.
  • To feed the same number of sheep, without OMSB over the same period of time, using nuts (OLEO Nuts) at 1 ½ % of their body weight per day, to maintain their body weight, would cost $ 1.54 per week per head, with a total cost of $151,000. This is equivalent to $140 /acre. Comparing this to the cost of planting saltbush at $260/ acre, in this drought we will have paid for the planting of 950 acres of saltbush fully by grazing 3 times in 2 years. In an average year we have been able to increase our stocking rates on the OMSB and been able to achieve between 4 - 6 Dse's per acre.

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