Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals

The potential for developing fodder plants for the salt-affected areas of southern and eastern Australia: an overview

M. E. Rogers A B N , A. D. Craig A C , R. E. Munns A D , T. D. Colmer A E , P. G. H. Nichols A F , C. V. Malcolm G , E. G. Barrett-Lennard A F , A. J. Brown A H , W. S. Semple I , P. M. Evans A J , K. Cowley D , S. J. Hughes A K , R. Snowball A F , S. J. Bennett A , G. C. Sweeney A L , B. S. Dear A M and M. A. Ewing A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Cooperative Research Centre for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia.

B Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Tatura, Vic. 3616, Australia.

C South Australian Research and Development Institute, Struan Agricultural Centre, Naracoorte SA 5271, Australia.

D CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

E University of Western Australia, Perth, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

F Department of Agriculture Western Australia, Perth, WA 6983, Australia.

G 11 Price Street, Denmark, WA 6333, Australia.

H Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Werribee, Vic. 3030, Australia.

I Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, PO Box 53, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia.

J Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Hamilton, Vic. 3300, Australia.

K South Australian Research and Development Institute, Waite Institute, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.

L South Australian Research and Development Institute, Flaxley, SA 5153, Australia.

M NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.

N Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 45(4) 301-329
Submitted: 29 April 2004  Accepted: 15 December 2004   Published: 23 May 2005


This paper reviews the major issues that impact upon the development of improved fodder species for saline environments across temperate Australia. It describes past and present research that has been, or is being, undertaken towards improvements in salt tolerance in forage species within Australia in relation to the principal regions where salinity occurs. It includes a discussion on the mechanisms of salt tolerance in plants. An extensive list of known or potential salt-tolerant fodder species is provided and the key opportunities for advancement within each of the 4 major forage groups: grasses, legumes, herbs and shrubs are discussed. Constraints to developing new salt and waterlogging tolerant fodder species are identified. A number of recommendations are made for research that should ensure that Australian producers have access to a new array of productive fodder species suited to saline environments.


We thank the CRC for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity for providing the resources and opportunity to prepare this review and the various State and Federal Agencies for their support. We also appreciate the valuable comments made by Drs A. Ridley, R. Oram and 2 anonymous referees.


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Appendix 1.  Grass species with known or potential salt tolerance and known or potential waterlogging tolerance
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Appendix 2.  Legume species with known or potential relative salt tolerance and known or potential relative waterlogging tolerance
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Appendix 3.  Non-leguminous forage shrubs and herbs with known or potential salt tolerance and known or potential waterlogging tolerance
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