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Newsletter 84, August 2015

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

Wellington 6143

Farm Forestry Newsletter

   August 2015  No. 84
In this issue

The effect of nursery management on early forest productivity

New Wood Council launched

New figures show foresters deserting tree-planting



Dean Satchell
-Far North
-Mid North

Newsletter editor
Dean Satchell

National Office
Association Manager Glenn Tims
Phone: 04 4720432



Past President
Ian Jackson
-South Canterbury
-North Otago

-Sthn High Country (north)

Angus Gordon
-Taupo & Districts
-Middle Districts
-Hawkes Bay

Neil Cullen
-Mid Otago
-South Otago
-Men of Trees
-Sthn High Country (south)

Hamish Levack
-Gisborne East Coast

Patrick Milne

-West Coast
-Central Canterbury
-North Canterbury

Peter Berg

-Lower North

-Bay of Plenty

Don Wallace



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Nominations to fill board vacancies open 1 - 18 September 2015.

For more information visit

Call for Nominations for Farm Forestry Awards
Nominations can be submitted to NZFFA National office at any time, but must be received by 1 November (to allow time for judging) to be eligible for presentation at the ensuing Conference (next = Hokitika in April 2016).  Nominations received after 1 November are held over for judging for a subsequent Conference.  Note that nominations are submitted by branches, and so if you know of a worthy recipient, contact your branch officers.  Nomination forms are available on the NZFFA website or may be requested from National Office.

Husqvarna Farm Forester of the Year North Island and South Island:  Our two prestigious awards for farm forestry achievement.  Prizes are a Husqvarna chainsaw and custody of the engraved plaque for a year.  Recipients must be present at Conference.  Judging criteria include personal effort in tree planting and results, service to community, depth and spread of knowledge, and service to NZFFA.

NZ Landcare Trust Award for Innovation in Sustainable Farm Forestry:  Awarded by NZ Landcare Trust for innovation as in the title.  Prize is $2,000.  Usually awarded to a recipient residing in the same island as the Conference is being held (to facilitate the recipient being able to attend to receive the prize).

Michael Hay Award:  Awarded by the Michael Hay Trust to a younger farm forester who is actively planting trees.  Prize is $5,000 to be spent on further plantings.  The award is judged by an independent panel and the initial assessment is on a desktop basis – hence the importance of descriptive documentation and photographs in support of the nomination.

Latest headlines

Forest biosecurity – New Zealand needs to act locally and globally
A review of the global state of forest biosecurity highlights the need for countries to co-operate more effectively to prevent the spread of dangerous pests and pathogens.
Scion scientist Eckehard Brockerhoff and colleagues... more>>

Managing weeds in planted forests
In a new Scion video, Dr Carol Rolando talks about recent research looking at managing weeds in planted forests... more>>

Making better use of forest soil microbes
Soil microbes can have a significant positive impact on forest performance, but we have few reliable options to enhance the benefits they can provide. A substantial new trial series has been established to address this gap... more>>

Minimising the environmental impact of weed management in New Zealand’s planted forests
Field trials of herbicides in forest weed management were undertaken in this Sustainable Farming Fund programme. To retain Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and other certification status, certified forests will need to continue to meet the criteria set by certification bodies. The work conducted has provided a comprehensive database reflecting the impact, efficacy and cost of available active ingredients for weed control... more>>

Forest Industry Safety Council Director appointed
The NZ Farm Forestry Association welcome Fiona Ewing to the forestry industry, after she was named to head up the Forest Industry Safety Council which was formed as a result of the Independent Forestry Safety Review report from 2014... more>>


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.

  • Waitomo branch field day, timber processing. Thursday 3 September, 1pm.
  • 2015 International Year of Soils Seminar Series, every week from Friday 11 September to 13 November 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm, Commerce Lecture Room 1, Lincoln University.
  • Gisborne branch field day, Dave Clarks, Waingake road, Wednesday 16th September, 2pm.
  • Productivity Enhancement Innovation Cluster meeting, Wednesday 22 September 2015, 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, Scion, 49 Sala St, Rotorua.
  • Soil Sampling in Planted Forests Workshop, Wednesday 23 September 2015, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (lunch provided), Scion, 49 Sala St, Rotorua.
  • Forest Growers Research Conference 2015, Conference on Wednesday 14 October 2015, Field Trip on Thursday, 15 October 2015
  • Waikato branch field day, October 17th. Field Day at 1291 Wharepuhunga Road Te Awamutu to discuss Innovation and Sustainable Farm Forestry at Graham & Tess Smiths property. Winners of this award at the National Conference 2015


Sustainable management or tropical rainforest destruction?
A New Zealand delegation made up of members of the NZ Imported Tropical Timber Group, representing buyers of tropical rainforest timber, recently visited the Solomon Islands to check out supplies of sawn timber. The visit was facilitated... more>>
Dean Satchell

Members can set up their own blogs on the NZFFA website. Contact Dean.

The effect of nursery management on early forest productivity

How much of the initial performance of seedlings is determined by their state when leaving the nursery gate? Scion has established a new trial series to explore this issue, and needs your help to expand further.

In recent years, the Scion seedling nursery research programme has examined the impacts of chemical use and beneficial mycorrhizal fungi in the nursery on the early performance of newly planted stands. The results of this initial work have led to the establishment of five new trials around New Zealand, focusing on options to reduce fungicide and fertiliser use in the nursery while maintaining good field performance through the use of soil microbes. The long term goal of this work is establishing the importance of forest site conditions to nursery management – basically, developing the ability to raise seedlings to best suit the area they will be planted in. To achieve this, the next phase of the nursery research programme will involve the establishment of small trials, each containing around 180 seedlings, at many sites across New Zealand in 2016. This work will focus on assessing the importance of site properties on the health and growth of seedlings that have experienced different treatments in the nursery, and identifying which nursery treatments provide the best results in different circumstances.
If you are interested in hosting one of these trials, or simply wish to know more about this work, please contact

New Wood Council launched

The Southern North Island Wood Council was recently launched by the Minister of Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy. Based on the MPI Wood Supply region, the area covered stretches from Taranaki to Wellington on the western side and Southern Hawkes Bay to Cape Palliser in the east. It incorporates the territories of 3 Regional Councils and 17 Local Authorities.

The forest estate in this region totals 165,800 ha or about 9.6% of the national total. Of this, 31,000 ha are in corporate ownership; about 11,000 ha are in syndicated forests, and about 13,000 ha of forests are owned by overseas investment funds. A large area (about 110,000 ha) is in the form of small-scale forests and farm wood lots.

The region is notable for the large number of small owners, with 22% of the national total of forest owners holding between 40 and 99 hectares. Harvesting this resource represents a significant challenge to the sector in terms of the planning and organising for the harvest, harvest crew availability and logistics. Regional coordination is required for such a disparate resource and geographically spread sector.

A dedicated and specific Wood Council was seen as an opportunity to address this, and the Southern North Island Wood Council was formally established in April 2014. It is a membership-based Incorporated Society. It has a Board and a CEO.

The SNI Wood Council has chosen to present itself as a broad-based organisation that represents the whole sector. It aims to collectively advocate for its members on key issues, allow members to congregate in a non-competitive environment, and also to lead the drive towards best practise in all aspects of forestry operations, particularly Health & Safety. It will also coordinate support for industry advocacy in District and Regional planning matters, as well as for NES-related issues, thus avoiding costly duplication of effort.

Through Wood Council membership, members will be able to access to industry networks and gather information through specific events, meetings and field days. The inaugural Chairperson for the grouping is Dave Hilliard, Juken New Zealand and CEO, Geoff Cameron.
NZFFA will be represented by Hamish levack.

Source: Friday offcuts

New figures show foresters deserting tree-planting

More of New Zealand’s post-1989 plantation forests are outside the Emissions Trading Scheme than are in it. The scheme is supposed to encourage the planting of carbon-sequestering forests, but latest Government figures show the impact of forest owners bailing out of the scheme over the past two years.

In 2012, a third of post-1989 plantation forest, or 182,000 hectares, was outside the scheme. But by last year, the amount of forest outside the scheme had more than doubled to 382,000 hectares, or 58 per cent of the total amount of post-1989 forest.

The Emissions Trading Scheme, which came into force in 2008, allows the owners of forest planted since the Kyoto Protocol baseline year of 1990 to annually claim for carbon credits equal to the amount of carbon stored in their trees that year.

Initially, forest owners embraced the scheme, but changes in Government policy, coupled with record-low carbon prices, saw them leaving the scheme in droves. But the extent of the exodus has surprised even Forest Owners’ Association chief executive David Rhodes.

“If you’d asked me whether more post-89 forest is in the scheme or out, I would have said it’s probably about even,” he told Carbon News. Carbon prices fell steeply in 2012, with spot NZUs hitting a low of $1.50 in February 2013, making carbon trading unattractive to foresters, who say they need prices around $17 a tonne to encourage planting.

But Rhodes says the real blow came in last year’s Budget, when the Government moved without warning to close what it saw as an “arbitrage loophole” being exploited by foresters using cheap international credits to meet their carbon obligations.

“The arbitrage thing was a nail in the coffin of the ETS for many,” he said. Recent rises in prices, to around $7 a tonne, have drawn foresters’ attention, he says, but they are not yet high enough to bring them back into the ETS.

“We are watching what happens in (international climate negotiations) in Paris later this year, and waiting to see what the Government will do in its review of the ETS,” he said.

Source: Carbon News 2015


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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