Sustaining Mallee Productivity

Future Farm industries CRC’s project on sustaining mallee productivity has sought to fully understand how to best integrate belts of mallee trees into wheatbelt cropping systems.

Researchers have investigated the best configurations of mallees, in terms of belt width and row spacing, to maximise biomass production and to minimise adverse effects on inter-row crops or pastures. Planting mallee belts on the contour and incorporating water-holding bunds in the belt design can increase water available to the trees.

To understand the performance and competition effects of the integrated trees, the project also studied in detail the impact of water and nutrient availability. Increasing the supply of water and nutrients increased mallee productivity far more than researchers had expected. Research also showed that improving nutrient supply could ensure mallees used water more efficiently.

The Future Farm Industries CRC project on mallee productivity was supported by the Australian Government’s Second Generation Research and development Program. The research is conducted by the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife and CSIRO.


Daniel Mendham, CSIRO


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This site will remain live until 30 June 2017 but is no longer being updated or reviewed.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