The salt of the earth, producing cattle feed and cropland

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

As worries of food scarcity grow, it’s comforting to know that agriculture researchers are leaving no field of inquiry fallow.

At Brigham Young University, a research team has confronted one problem that’s confounded those trying to extend our nation’s “bread basket” and which plagues the unique landscape surrounding Salt Lake City – that of salty soil in which growing anything green can be a monumental task.

Aiming to turn these arid lands into useable crop fields, they searched the globe for plants that can grow in salty conditions. They landed on a salt-tolerant plant called Panicum turgidum that – surprise – thrived in many coastal areas. After measuring its protein contain, they agreed it could be a suitable alternative to corn feed grain for cattle, according to a Newswise news release about the findings.