Some farmers CAN see the forest ...

Wednesday 16 Sep 2020

... for the trees ... where "A balanced approach = farming + forestry"

Opinion: Can’t see the wood for the trees?

- Imagine if every sheep and beef farmer used their farm environment plan, identified 10% of their farm that was steeper, a riparian area, or useful as providing shade and shelter, and planted this with the right tree. There’s 8.5 million hectares of sheep and beef land in New Zealand - at 10% that’s 850,000ha. This would quickly chew up the One Billion Trees funding, won’t greatly upset the farm’s red meat output or profitability, nor lose industry critical mass.

Instead of monocultures, our landscapes would look like intensive lowlands, with a decreasing gradient of intensity as we move up into hill country, matched up with bush blocks, woodlots, and riparian zones - all giving and supporting the opportunity for biodiversity and more.

Thriving rural communities are beneficial for all of New Zealand and New Zealanders. The way to achieve this is by creating a mosaic of different land uses, where the end result is greater than the sum of its parts. This would be a great story for our sector, and our products.

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Source: Country-Wide (Dani Darke is a King Country farmer and Country-Wide columnist).

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