Last updated: 20 November 2009
Related website links: www.nzffa.org.nz
This project will provide case studies from practicing farm foresters on why and how they planted trees in the first place and why they are continuing to plant them today. Each case study will examine the role of farm forestry in the context of an integrated land management strategy. Each study will focus on the specific issues faced by each land owner in terms of climate, topography, environmental issues, stock management & farming objectives along with the economic and environmental outcomes achieved. This information will be made widely available using the internet and interactive web site. The Association believes that by developing a simple clear message promoting the benefits of farm forestry, supported with well-researched good practical examples that are easy to access, it will succeed in promoting farm forestry to a wider audience.
The short term objective of this project is to raise awareness of farm forestry, the medium & long term objectives are to see an increase in sustainable land management through farm forestry. The Farm Forestry Model provides a simple way of getting more trees onto farmland. It will enable New Zealand's sustainable land-use and climate change polices to make some real progress towards reducing our 'carbon footprint' and contributing to New Zealand's Kyoto Protocol commitments.
New Zealand needs more trees for many reasons including to mitigate the impact of climate change, protect its soils, enhance water quality, protect indigenous biodiversity and provide shelter, shade or even emergency fodder for animal welfare. These trees need to be planted on farmland.
However there is currently no single source where landowners and farmers in particular can access practical information on why tree planting is important and how this should be approached. The NZFFA is the logical body to do this, linking farming and forestry as it already does and having the structure to communicate effectively with landowners at both national and local level. The Association believes that by developing a simple clear message promoting the benefits of farm forestry, supported with well-researched good practical examples that are easy to access, it will succeed in promoting farm forestry or tree planting to a wider audience.
Five case-studies will be undertaken by an experienced researcher. Data will be collected from members farming North and South Island hill country, more specifically Nick Seymour's property at Gisborne, Dougal McIntosh's property at Wanganui, John Prebbles property at Oamaru, Dugald Rutherford's property in North Canterbury and the Terry & Claire Gavins' property at Murchison. [All except the latter are past winners of Farm Forester of the Year awards while the Gavins' is an exceptional 60ha "lifestyle" property.] Data collected will include climate, soils, farming practices, species choice & the integration of forestry into the farming operation. This information will be assembled and published in the Tree Grower. It will also be used to populate the ‘The Farm forestry Model' on the Associations web site.
Farm forestry is synonymous with sustainable land management and over the years there have been some very notable practitioners such as Neil Barr, Joll Hosking & Jim Pottinger.
Today there is in excess of half a million hectares of land sustainably managed by farm foresters. The NZFFA has always recognised excellence in farm forestry with its annual farm forester and sustainability awards.
This project is documenting case studies from practicing farm foresters on why and how they planted trees in the first place and why they are continuing to plant them today. Five outstanding properties were identified for inclusion in this project. A comprehensive checklist was developed to ensure completeness of case studies. This was circulated to landowners prior to interviews to assist them in assembling information relevant to their property. Site visits, including photography and video, preliminary interviews and information gathering, were carried out during November-December 2008.
While all case studies are generally based on the overarching principle of integrated land management, the specific themes that have emerged for each property are as follows:
Tree planting for shade, shelter and forage, erosion control and catchment management, succession planning and protection of indigenous bush remnants. Radiata pine, poplars, willows.
Planting for erosion control, the impact of severe weather events, retiring land not suitable for pastoral farming, joint venture partnerships as a means of diversifying farm revenue and generating cash flow, the role of forestry in implementing a Whole Farm Plan, and working in partnership with the regional council (Horizons) to achieve win:win solutions in retiring erosion prone land. Predominantly radiata pine and redwoods.
Exploring the relative growth and performance of the cypresses, also redwoods, a pinus arboretum, poplars, radiata pine, oaks and maples.
The role of forestry in the South Island hill country in terms of spreading financial risk, as a more sustainable land use than grazing in places, and for retirement and inheritance planning. Includes discussion of the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan Chapter 5: Water Quantity and the implications of regulating forestry in the high country.
Woodlots to make best use of poorer land, also planting for shelter (wind and shade) and fodder, including discussion around use of poplars for forage (SFF project #04/089).