RESEARCH UPDATE Countering salinity and building cupboards

Fibreboard production could become the newest income carner for WA wheat fanners who plant trees to com hat dryland salinity. Rescarchers from WAs Department of Conservatioll and Land Management (CALM) and CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products found they could produce gencrally acceptable medium-density fibrehoard using chips cut from the stems or mallee oil cucalypt and acacia species used ill wheatabelt plantings. The hoard is used in kitchen and bathroom cabinet making, mouldings and furniture. Growing enough trees to make a dent in the salinity problem is an expensive business. Most farmers can't afford the effort without a return from the trees. Mallee ucalypts grown under the oil Mallee Project - described in an earlier issue of Ground Cover already- produce returns from activated carbon, electricity and eucalyptus oil.