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Native grass seed harvester

Native grass seed harvester

A stiff brush removes the grass seeds from native grass tussocks.
A stiff brush removes the grass seeds from native grass tussocks. Photo: Naomi Zouwer.

Mat Crosbie designed and built this mechanical device to harvest kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra), wallaby grass (Danthonia spp.) and weeping grass (Microleana stipoides) seed. Mat sells the harvested native grass seed to farmers attempting to reverse salinity problems, golf course managers seeking to reduce watering and landscape gardeners.

Most native grasses hold and consume water more efficiently than introduced crop and pasture species. Adapted to a variable climate, native grass species respond quickly to rainfall events, consuming moisture that would otherwise enter watertables and promote salinisation.

In late spring of each year, Mat harvests native grass seeds on his property near Tarcutta. In the months leading up to the harvest he intensively grazes the grassy areas to control weed species and to induce a heavier seed harvest.

Related Pass the Salt stories: Mat Crosbie

Mat Crosbie checks the fuel in the native grass seed harvester's engine.
The native grass seed harvester. Some of the harvested seeds have been sold to farmers planting native grasses to counter dryland salinisation. Photo: Dragi Markovic.
Mat Crosbie and harvested seeds
Mat bagging up harvested seeds.
Photo: Dragi Markovic.