Dryland salinity affects many pasture growers across Australia. Presently, 5.7 million ha is classified as being at high risk of salinity, with this area expected to increase threefold over the next 50 years. The productivity of salt-land pastures in these areas is limited by the lack of a suitable legume. After more than a decade of research funded by the Future Farm Industries CRC, a new legume with unprecedented levels of salt and waterlogging tolerance has been identified and progressed to the point of commercialisation. Messina (Melilotus siculus) is an annual legume new to Australian agriculture that provides an opportunity for growers and for the pasture seeds industry.
This report describes work funded by AgriFutures Australia, aimed at addressing key information gaps on the adaptation, establishment and management of messina, to support its commercial release in 2017 and its ongoing adoption. The information will help to build the confidence of the pasture seeds industry in adopting this promising but unfamiliar new plant.