Latest UpdateUpdated: 05 February 2008
Booklet: Forestry to Farming
The project is about developing guidelines and BMPs for farmers who are converting forests to pasture.
Large areas of exotic forest in many regions of NZ are being logged and converted into farms. This brings with it environmental concerns and sustainability issues. This projects aims to monitor changes and use farmer experience to develop acceptable practises.
Large scale changes of land use, particularly in sensitive catchments could have major implications for the environment. At the same time, these changes must be sustainable and economic for the landowner.
A long term research trial measures soil related changes after conversion to pasture. This project also monitors water quality, pasture, soil fertility and soil fauna surveys to measure changes from this landuse conversion.
Interviews with farmers with experience of conversions will form the basis of the guidelines. Field days and farming press articles will inform farmers and interested people of progress with the project.
Considerable work is being done on the Guidelines booklet.
Farm monitoring is on schedule & final soil samples have been taken.
An abstract for a paper presentation at NZ Grasslands Conference, 2007 has been submitted.
Results from Massey University Sensing project were presented at the Fertiliser & Lime Research Centre Workshop (Designing Sustainable Farms) in February
Indigenous Forest Establishment workshops continue to be held; in this period at Rotorua and Otorohanga. The programme for remaining workshops in this funding period is now complete. TheTrust would be pleased to hear from any organizations interested in workshops after the 30th June. Please contact Ian Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org ; 09 239 2049 or writing to PO Box 1169, Pukekohe.
Free copies of the Proceedings of the 2003 seminars on the taxation and Resource Management Act impacts on planted indigenous forests are still available by contacting Ian Barton at email@example.com ; 09 239 2049 or writing to PO Box 1169, Pukekohe.
Work on the Continuous Cover Forestry manual is continues and the opportunity was taken during a private visit to UK to look at CCF forests and talk to CCF researchers there. Some interesting new information has been obtained.
We welcomed Allan Campbell (EW) as a substitute for Ross Abercrombie for this meeting. The meeting discussed several items: finances, field day report, Lincoln/Selwyn PB field day report, guideline plan and objectives for 2006/07.
The Massey University team visited our monitor farms in May and undertook several measurements. These are being calibrated, evaluated and the equipment modified as required. They plan a further visit in October. Soil fauna sampling was conducted in May and the results suggest this is a good indicator of soil health and fauna changes after conversion.
A successful field day was held on April 27th at the Bergs property, Atiamuri. Approx. 100 people attended. The draft guideline booklet was available. Major topics were the successful conversion on the property, financial issues and environmental considerations. The day was organized by Dexcel field officers in our group.
The guideline booklet was a huge effort by group members, particularly Mike Wheadon. It was well received at the field day and the format of the completed document is being considered.
There was a good turn out of group members and we welcomed Amy Taylor (EBOP representative ) and Mark Julian (Rotorua Dexcel officer) to our group. The meeting concentrated on the BMP guideline booklet, field day planning and results from farm monitoring.
Pasture results from slopes are providing good comparative data.
EBOP visited the water quality sampling sites with me at Manawahe in March and they are very supportive of this programme. Interestingly, this data set has been used to allay concerns of a downstream farmer over the effects of logging on water quality
Soil samples were collected from the monitor paddocks at the February visit
Survey results and contributions from group members are being collated for a draft guideline booklet, to be handed out at our April field-day. Mike Wheadon has taken on the task of collating this information.
There was a full turn out of group members and we welcomed Ross Abercrombie of EW to our group. This period has been a busy one with progress on several fronts.
A good data set is being gathered and the information is being sought by
third parties this suggests that forest to farm conversions are being analysed
and decisions made regarding conversions on different land classes.
As a results of concerns with the economics of converting steep slopes to pasture, exclusion cages have now been positioned in two locations on slopes >25°.
While there has been a disappointing response to our questionnaire, there were sufficient replies for draft guidelines to be made and with contacts through our group, other information is now available. A draft guideline booklet is being prepared at present for distribution at our autumn field day.
The main items were to review the Field Day and plan for the 2005/06 year. The project is going well with good feedback from farmers.
Pasture cuts and water samples were taken in August and September. Logging has taken place adjacent to the stream monitoring sites at Tokoroa and Manawahe, so all three locations have areas in the conversion phase.
Massey University was unsuccessful in their application for funding a development project. However, they are continuing with the development of techniques that hopefully will be field tested on our monitor farms later this summer.
The group has been busy editing the questionnaire. It has been sent to the field day participants and completed forms are tricking in. Mike Wheadon is collating the responses.
EW has nominated Ross Abercrombie to represent them on our group. We look forward to his active participation.
Milestones 1 & 2 for year two have been met. Milestone 3 (Economic analysis) is being discussed at present and milestone 4 has been delayed until December. The questionnaire is in addition to the original milestones.
A very successful field day was held on Kevin Goodmans conversion on May
19th. About 130 people (80% farmers) attended and by all accounts, the day was
well received. The publicity by way of farming press articles and interviews was
very satisfying. A follow up newsletter has not progressed at this stage.
A participants attendance list was completed by about 70 people. This will form the basis of communication for our survey and any newsletters.
There was an excellent response from our group members to the FD organization.
We appreciated the financial assistance from BNZ and Hodder & Taylor Ltd and the marquee from Ballance Agri-nutrients Ltd.
Pasture cuts and water samples were taken in mid-April and early June. The years results will be summarized over the next few weeks.
The third monitor farm was completed in April and the report is due to be received.