Enrich Perennial Forage Shrubs

Future Farm Industries CRC is developing profitable shrub-based systems for the low-medium rainfall (250-500 mm) mixed-farming region of southern Australia.

Research focuses on multiple benefits including:

  • sustainable livestock systems that have potential to meet emerging consumer and market demands - such as a reduced carbon footprint, increased biodiversity, improved land management (e.g. reduced erosion risk), and improved animal welfare and meat quality
  • improved animal productivity or health - through altering rumen fermentation to lower methane production, improve the efficiency of nitrogen use, or reduce intestinal parasites
  • increased resilience of grazing systems to a drier, more variable climate.

The Enrich project seeks to quantify variation in nutritive value and plant bioactive properties over time and space, between stages of plant maturity, and within and between plant species. It has also begun to quantify livestock performance when grazing in diverse shrub-based systems. Regional groups across southern Australia have been involved in the research to explore the potential for alternative forage shrubs in their local regions to complement the existing feedbase.

The Enrich project is the first large scale systematic investigation of Australian shrubs with over 87 species evaluated for their potential to contribute to agricultural systems. Several Australian species previously ignored in agriculture have been identified as having potential as forages across different soil types and environments.

Enrich produced a guide to perennial forage shrubs which sumarised the early findings of the research. A companion booklet - Perennial forage shrubs - from principles to practice for Australian farms provides further details on specific shrub species and how to establish shrub plantings. Bot booklets are also available in hard copy. A video about Enrich is available on YouTube.


Enrich Project Leader: Dr Jason Emms


Further Information


Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) ceased trading on 30 June 2014.

This website contains information about the CRC’s research into perennial plant based farming systems.

This site will remain live until 30 June 2017 but is no longer being updated or reviewed.

Further information about CRC research projects can be obtained by following links from relevant project pages or by viewing the research transfer page.

The CRC was funded for seven years (2007-2014) under the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre program.