NOTE: The information in this Agnote must be read in conjunction with Introduction to selecting and using pastures in NSW, which covers information on areas of adaptation, sources of variability, species mixtures, and important issues related to animal health and the conservation of native vegetation.
Pasture type and use Temperate perennial grass with growth in autumn, winter and spring; dormant in summer. Useful species in saline and waterlogged soils.
Area of adaptation All tablelands and slopes areas of NSW, Riverina, Central West Plains and irrigated areas.
Min. average annual rainfall 400 mm (southern NSW) to 500 mm (northern NSW).
  • Tolerates saline soils better than tall wheatgrass.
  • Useful species to establish on badly scalded saline land, where ECe > 20 dS/m.
  • Early growth is slow.
  • Low-producing species.
  • Sensitive to heavy grazing.
  • Less vigorous than tall wheatgrass.
Soil requirements Will grow well in very saline and waterlogged soils.
Varieties Menemen
Sowing rate — in mixtures Normally sown in mixtures at a rate of 1–3 kg/ha.
Sowing time Dryland: Autumn
Irrigated: Late winter to early spring.
Companion species Sow generally in mixtures with tall wheatgrass and Palestine strawberry clover, except in very saline soils where it is best sown as a single species.
Inoculation N/A
Major nutrient deficiencies Superphosphate (or equivalent) at sowing is beneficial. Responsive to nitrogen once established.
Main insect pests No significant problems.
Main diseases No significant problems.
Management Do not apply heavy grazing pressure, particularly when young. It is sensitive to set stocking. Grazing in the establishment year is not recommended. It is very slow to establish, particularly in tableland environments.
Livestock disorders of particular note No problems reported.
Further information

Saltland pastures in Australia — A practical guide, EG Barrett-Lennard & CV Malcolm, WA Department of Agriculture, 1995.


Advice on livestock health disorders was provided by Dr Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist, NSW Agriculture, Orange. His contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

Photo: Warren McDonald, Former Technical Specialist (Pastures), NSW Agriculture, Tamworth