Fieldays Forestry Hub to demonstrate that forestry is a solution
A range of solutions to farmers’ current problems will be on display in the Fieldays Forestry Hub near Hamilton between 30 November and 3 December, says Farm Forestry Association president, Graham West.
“The Association offers several solutions to many problems farmers currently face. It diversifies income, requires minimal labour, addresses environmental issues, and assists with farm succession.”
Graham West says the farm forestry section of the hub will have a team of practical experts on hand that can provide expert advice on how to use a range of tree species.
“We will also be demonstrating a new tree crop planning web-tool called Treefarmer. Drop in and see us for a chat.”
Forest Owners Association president Grant Dodson adds that forestry is an excellent land use opportunity for farmers.
“The hub is all about sharing information, so that forestry is better understood and those farmers that want to can be better informed before investing.
“We see integrated land use, with trees on farms, as a real opportunity to increase overall long-term returns for farming, while improving environmental outcomes, especially around climate change.”
Another exhibitor in the hub, forest investment manager Forest Enterprises, has close ties with farmers who are among its 6,500 mainly New Zealand investors.
Bert Hughes, CEO and Forestry Director of Forest Enterprises, says farmers understand land-based investment and what’s required to manage land well, enabling sustainability and profitability from one generation to the next.
“Forest Enterprises’ investments include land as well as tree crops. Farmers can invest in forestry off-farm, without using their own land which may be better suited to other productive uses.
“The land is being maintained in New Zealand ownership and the returns also stay in the New Zealand economy.”
Forest Enterprises manages plantations in Wairarapa, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne. Almost all of its harvesting forests are FSC® certified, meaning they meet high international standards for responsible forest management.
Bert Hughes says people invest in forestry for future income such as for retirement or for younger family members.
“As a land-based, responsible and resilient asset, forestry can help diversify and lower the risk in an investment portfolio.
“Returns come from selling harvested timber once the trees are mature and sometimes from selling carbon credits. The underlying land held by the investors also generally rises in value over the duration of the investment.
“Production forestry supports regional economies through silviculture and crop management plus harvesting and replanting.”
The Fieldays Forestry Hub is a collaboration between Fieldays and an advisory group comprising Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service, Forest Growers Levy Trust, Scion, NZ Forest Owners Association, Red Stag, NZ Farm Forestry Association and Future Foresters.
Thirty-five exhibitors are taking part providing engaging experiences in forestry growing, climate change, wood products, timber construction, biosecurity and biodiversity.