Native grasses save Western farmers

From The Land

IDEAL growing conditions during two wet summers have kicked along stands of native Mitchell grass re-established by landholders on the north-west plains.

A number of farmers in the Walgett and Coonamble areas have restored Mitchell grass pastures to their properties, reclaiming in particular old farming country and weed infested areas.

The once-vast plains of Mitchell grass quoted in the diaries of explorers and settlers have diminished over the decades, thinned by heavy grazing, cropping, weed competition, drought and flood inundation.

The grass is well adapted to the 200- to 250-millimetre rainfall zones and heavy cracking clay soils.

The north-west plains lie at the southern extremity of its habitat, which stretches in a discontinuous band through western Queensland and the Northern Territory to the Kimberley in Western Australia.

Coonamble farmer and general manager of Castlereagh Macquarie Weeds County Council, Ian Kelly, said several thousand hectares of Mitchell grass had been resown in the area by landowners in recent years.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.