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Trees on Farms Workshop - Dairy Farmers

14 June 2012

Trees on Farms Workshop - Dairy Farmers: Achieving capital value & cash flow from riparian & sideling plantings
29 June 2012

Dairy farmers are increasingly recognising the benefits of tree planting as part of an integrated land management strategy that not only helps address problem spots on-farm but adds value and cash flow in the process.

The latest Trees on Farms workshop has been specifically designed for Waikato dairy farmers, looking at trees as an on-farm investment opportunity on less productive areas. The workshop will particularly look at how sideling and riparian planting can provide cost effective, sustainable long term land use solutions.

As part of the workshop an afternoon field trip will visit the Putaruru dairy farm of Gray and Marilyn Baldwin. The Baldwins, with their sharemilkers Hamish and Jane Putt, were the 2009 Ballance Farm Environment Awards Supreme Winners for Waikato. They farm around 410 dairy cows, with around 40 ha in plantation forest – not only radiata pine, but also including a diversity of species such as redwoods, cypresses, kauri (for timber production), larches and taxodiums, as well as significant plantings of tree crops (mainly chestnuts, hazelnuts, and feijoas). The Baldwins have a visionary yet very pragmatic approach to tree planting, based around the economic, land management, animal welfare and environmental benefits that trees provide. They are looking to these timber species for future earnings, optimal land use and weed control.

“The first and most fundamental reason we plant trees is economic,” says Gray Baldwin. “On certain classes of land - our steeper sidlings and river banks - the most profitable land use option is planting trees. People get hung up on liquidity, believing that if you plant trees you don’t make any money for 30 years, but a decent spreadsheet from a merchant bank will reveal the true picture. By applying a discount rate and a time value of money, it becomes obvious that you make inferior returns running heifers or sheep on steeper land. Do the analysis on a tree crop, however, be it radiata or one of the more specialist varieties, and you find that it is extremely profitable to plant trees on those classes of land that are not suitable for livestock.”

This unique workshop will provide an opportunity for dairy farmers and other land owners to discuss tree planting options with other dairy farmers, experienced tree-planting farmers and regional council staff. Specifically designed by knowledgeable, experienced tree-planting farmers and Agfirst consultants to meet local needs, the workshop looks at trees as an integral component of your agribusiness:

Trees in the farm business: How integrated land use strategies spread risk - and cash flow – and deliver both short-term and inter-generational benefits.
Trees as a land management strategy: Wise land use and fit for purpose planting - erosion control, meeting clean streams obligations, weed control, managing trouble spots and erosion, and protecting valuable soils.
Trees for animal welfare: Trees for shelter and fodder, managing waterways.
Biodiversity: Saving remnants of native bush and creating new areas of native plantings is easy!

The workshop is free, and lunch will be provided ($10 per person). Please register by 25 June for catering and to reserve your free information package. (A free copy of proceedings and DVD of tree information is available to workshop participants who register.) To register contact: John Simmons at For more information about Trees on Farms workshops contact Ian Nicholas at

Friday 29th June
St Johns Hall, Overdale Road, Putaruru

9.30-9.55: Registration, coffee and mingle
10.00: Welcome
• Funding marginal land options
• Videos of local farm foresters - Baldwin and Orlando- Reep
• Species options: native, eucalypt, cypress, redwood, pine
• Panel discussion
12.35: Lunch - then to Baldwin property - 85 Dukeson Road, Putaruru
1.15: Discussion in field
• Regional council activities
• Land use discussion
• Sideling Tree Planting options
• Riparian Planting options
• Tree Planting options

3.30pm: Finish


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