Best crop choice: Trees or bees?

Wednesday 24 Oct 2018

Trees or bees? That was one of the questions hashed out a recent Bay of Plenty Farm Forestry field day.

The event, held at Neil Mossop's coastal hill country property at Pikowai, drew more than 40 participants keen to hear why commercial forestry had been chosen in preference to manuka honey or livestock grazing.

Mossop had recently harvested his first crop of radiata pine and although a significant manuka honey producer, he chose to replant his site in genetically improved radiata which were now just over three years old and growing like rockets.

The previous crop had netted an average of around $50k/ha for him after only 22 years, with one block exceeding $60k/ha.

The field day addressed several topics including:
• Trees or bees?
• What species?
• To prune or not to prune?
• What is the future for Carbon Forestry?
• What alternative investment structures are there?
• Why should I attend FFA's 2019 conference at Rotorua?

An experienced and diverse lineup of speakers addressed these topics.

Consultant Jeff Tombleson and Graeme Young from Tenon addressed the vexed question of whether Mossup should prune his second crop of trees. While costs have gone up and many corporate forest owners do not now prune, many felt it was still a good strategic investment for smaller forests. A demonstration of pruning tools and techniques followed with some first time foresters trying their had at pruning.

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Source: NZHerald

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