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Newsletter 119, March 2019

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New Zealand Farm Forestry Association
P.O. Box 10349
The Terrace
Wellington 6143

Farm Forestry Members Newsletter

   Newsletter 119, March 2019
In this issue

NZ $29.3m wood harvesting programme launched

Looking for research trial sites for winter 2019

Scion connections, Issue 31, March 2019

Guidance for contractors working around powerlines

Pest Impact Calculator


Neil Cullen
-North Otago
-Mid Otago
-South Otago
-Sthn High Country (south)

Immediate Past President & Newsletter editor
Dean Satchell
-Far North
-Mid North

National Office
Phone: 04 4720432

Angus Gordon
-Taupo & Districts
-Middle Districts
-Hawkes Bay
-Gisborne East Coast

Michael Orchard
-West Coast

Hamish Levack

Patrick Milne
-North Canterbury
-Central Canterbury
-South Canterbury

Peter Berg
-Lower North
-Bay of Plenty

Don Wallace
-At large



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Conference 2019

The early bird discount registration fee closes on Sunday 7th April. Until then you can still receive the conference discount of $50.

“Fast Forward” 15-20 May 2019, Rotorua

The Bay of Plenty Branch welcomes you to the 63rd Annual Conference that will be based in Rotorua with field-trips across the Bay of Plenty.

This Conference and Expo will bring together: technical and economic information, land owners and investors, service providers, new technologies and policies, new ideas and fresh perspectives, along with plenty of time to catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances.

Organised by the BOP Branch of the NZ Farm Forestry Association, this is an Annual Conference at a water-shed moment in forestry. Key issues for farm foresters at this time include:

  1. Land-use and the One Billion Tree initiative
  2. National Policy Statement on water quality
  3. Launch of the NES-FP and proposed changes to the ETS
  4. Productivity Commission’s Low-Emissions economy report
  5. The vote for continuance of the Forest Grower Levy

Download registration form »

Register online »


For more information on these events, they are posted on the NZFFA website >>
Branch secretaries, please make sure you notify head office of any branch or action group events.

  • Hawkes Bay branch AGM  When: 13 April Where: The Alexander property, Puketapu. Springvale and Bridgewater Heather Holdsworth 06 879 7962
  • Forest Phenotyping Workshop  Presenting the proof of concept and modelling approach. How can industry take it up? Two identical workshops will be held: Friday 3rd May 2019, Christchurch (at Scion, 10 Kyle St)…
  • Hawkes Bay branch field day and AGM  When: Saturday 13 April from 10.00am Where: The entrance to Bridgewater is on the right hand side of Puketapu Road, just before Puketapu Village. Look out for the HBFFA banner In an…
  • Oceania Ecosystem Services Forum 2019  Creating healthy communities and ecosystems for a resilient future. Christchurch, 2-6 September 2019. Hosted by SCION, the 2nd Oceania Ecosystem Services Forum (OESF) will build on the success of the first in…


  • Christchurch hospital will soon be using biomass fuel Brian Cox's Blog, March, 2019.  The decision by the Canterbury District Health Board and the Government to install two biomass fuelled boilers at Christchurch hospital to replace the existing coal fuelled boilers demonstrates the increasing…

NZFFA members can set up their own blogs on the NZFFA website. Email Dean.

Reports (Members Area)


Market Report

  • Market Report- February 2019
    Record high log export prices with stable markets
    All-in-all we can say the log market is in very good shape. Domestic prices are holding tight at current levels and no one is talking up volume changes or prices.…

President's Report

  • February 2019, Neil Cullen
    The One Billion Tree Programme, which was officially launched at a function in the Canterbury foothills on 30 November, provides many opportunities for our members and our association. For our individual members there are the four categories of planting grants…


NZ $29.3m wood harvesting programme launched

Boosting forest productivity, technology, safety and skills and reducing environmental impacts are at the heart of a new programme announced yesterday. Te Mahi Ngahere I te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age is a new NZ$29.3 million, 7-year collaboration between Forest Growers Research Ltd (FGR), a consortium of forest owners and forestry machinery manufacturers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

It has its sights on developing a new in-forest harvesting and log sorting system specific to New Zealand’s forests, using automation and robotics – a first for New Zealand. “Technology is increasingly important in improving safety, skills and productivity, and protecting the environment,” says FGR Chief Executive Russell Dale.

“Our industry relies on people, but labour shortages and rising costs in harvesting forests and transporting logs are holding the industry back and reducing our ability to grow. Our new programme with MPI aims to automate the tasks after felling that have traditionally required substantial labour. These include log branding, log sorting and scaling. We also want boost the efficiency of forestry operations, take people away from hazardous harvesting roles, and give them the skills they need for the future.”

MPI’s Director Investment Programmes Steve Penno says at the heart of the new programme is creating sustainable benefits for New Zealand, by delivering economic, environmental and social outcomes. “This new programme brings key industry players together to tackle common challenges facing our forestry industry, and will deliver solutions that keep people safe, and boost their skills and capability,” says Mr Penno. “It’ll also help to bridge the gap between demand for our logs and the shortfall in labour. All of these are essential for a thriving forestry industry.

FGR’s Harvesting Programme Manager Keith Raymond says as harvesting shifts to forests planted in the 90s and onto steeper land in smaller, more isolated holdings, the industry faces the challenge of reducing costs and improving efficiency to maintain our international competitiveness.

“Current technology and processes mean logs are handled between eight and twelve times before they’re loaded for export. This adds time and cost. Unless we make a fundamental shift in our forest harvesting operations, New Zealand may have difficulty meeting demand and remaining competitive. We believe our programme can deliver this shift. It will also help to maintain good momentum in forestry innovations and keep New Zealand at the forefront.”

MPI and the industry partners are finalising the contract for the programme, which is expected to deliver operational cost savings across industry of NZ$27.5 million per annum by 2025, increasing to NZ$76.8 million per annum by 2031. 

Source: MPI


Looking for research trial sites for winter 2019

The Speciality Wood Products Partnership has raised 2 trials for establishment this year as below

For Winter 2019 we are looking for sites for 2  types of trial

Trial 1 site species mapping- large plots (81 or 100 trees) of 12 commercially released Cypress hybrids from the program, two Farm forestry selections (M1 and 2/20), plus E. fastigata and C. macrocarpa as below. Looking to develop a network of these trials so performance can be monitored through the installation of PSP’s in the future

Trial 2 C. macrocarpa canker tolerance testing- In 2010 roughly 100 Macrocarpa selections showing little or no canker infection were made in the Gwavas 1984 progeny trial, which was heavily infected with canker at the time, grafted and sent to Proseed who set up an orchard.  We now  have open pollinated seed from these selections, as well as control pollinated and cuttings of the selections ready for testing.  This material should contain tolerant geneotypes and the trial will identify tolerant families and crosses for future Macrocarpa planting

I am waiting for stock counts, but my expectation is that this trial will require 5 to 6ha of land- ideally 1 in the North Island and 1  the South- preferably Southland/Otago if available

General requirements

For trial purposes we are looking for uniform sites with minimal changes in aspect and slope etc.  Ex farmland or cutover will be suitable.

SWP/Scion will supply the trees, and the technical assistance to install the trial.

SWP/Scion will require access to the trial until felled for the purpose of taking measurements, health assessments, wood samples etc.

SWP/Scion will own the germplasm- generally covers collection of seeds or cuttings or grafting material- the Landowner cannot “Breed from” or “Propagate From” trial material.

The Landowner

Will supply a planting crew (minimum 6) to plant the trial at their cost- trials usually take 2 to 3x longer to plant per unit of area even with experienced planters.

Complete any pre plant spraying(if required) and enough post plant weed control to get trees established- at their cost.

Secure the trial from stock(if required) generally no grazing in the trial- their cost.

Generally no silviculture before the trial has had its first major growth/form  (~mean top height around 10m) and health assessment- then by agreement.

Will own the logs at harvest.


If you are interested in the first instance can you reply via email (reply not reply all) with a location, general information on aspect, previous use, likely future weeds, a google earth image  and whatever else you think might be relevant

I am happy to answer any questions via email if more information is required

Thanks in advance

Toby Stovold


Scion connections, Issue 31, March 2019

Fire danger
The lead up to the Pigeon Valley fire that burned in the Nelson/Tasman region saw some of the highest fire danger levels ever recorded for the region. As these kinds of large, extreme fires are likely to increase with climate change, here’s what you can expect.
Read More

Moving to the new economy
New Zealand’s economy will undergo enormous change in the next few years as we move from an oil-based to a ‘new’ plant-based economy. Scion is supporting the transition by creating solutions to the new challenges we face along the way.
Read More

What good is wood in streams? 
New research shows that dams formed by woody debris can form ideal habitat for fish and invertebrates in a stream. What are the implications for forestry management?
Read More

New biocontrol for Eucalyptus pest approved by EPA
The release of the parasitoid wasp Eadya daenerys to control Eucalyptus tortoise beetle has been approved by New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority.
Read More

Ligate adhesive family is growing
Commercial trials are proving the value of Ligate adhesive technology in a growing range of engineered wood products.
Read More


Guidance for contractors working around powerlines

A set of guidelines for forestry work around power lines has been put together by representatives from FICA, FISC, Transpower and other power companies.  While the guidelines are intended primarily for contractors, much of the material is equally applicable for the small-scale forester with power lines across their property.

Staying safe around powerlines >>


Pest Impact Calculator

The Scion-developed and part-industry funded Pest Incursion Economic Impact Calculator has been completed and is available by request from me now.
What is the tool?
The goal of the model is to provide a generic economic impact calculator that can be used, with limited data, to assess the likely economic impact. The calculator supports strategic and budgeting decisions relating to the pest incursions and diseases that could affect the forestry sector. This tool will allow public or private entities to make rapid choices regarding prevention, control, eradication, and the scale of response required. It is simple, user-friendly, and transparent system so that it can be used without detailed input data or specific modelling skills. First release February 2019.
How can I access the tool?
Venise Comfort at FOA will email you the tool and the user manual on request. It can be forwarded to other parties, but it would be useful for FOA to keep a central record of who has downloaded the spreadsheet so that updates and bug fixes can be sent to users. All requests for the tool should therefore come to FOA directly.
Support from Scion
Support is available from the developers at Scion, contact details will be provided when requests are received.

Please feel free to circulate this email to interested parties who can contact me directly.

Venise Comfort
FOA Advisor
Desk (04) 473 4769 (option 5) Cell 027 530 4443


Disclaimer: Personal views expressed in this newsletter are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the NZ Farm Forestry Association.



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