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Trees on Farms Workshop - Reporoa

14 March 2014


For immediate use

Trees on Farms Workshop

Dairy Farmers: Riparian plantings

27 March 2013


The first Trees on Farms workshop for 2013 focuses on riparian plantings, a hot topic for the country’s dairy farmers.

The Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord is set to be in place for the start of the dairy season in August, and will cover all of the country's 12,000 dairy farmers, not just Fonterra suppliers. Every Fonterra farmer’s annual Farm Dairy and Environmental assessment and the company’s conditions of supply require all Accord-type waterways to be fenced by the end of this year. But fencing off waterways is only part of the sustainable dairying equation - dairy farmers also need to get their heads around how to plant and manage their riparian areas.

This straight talking workshop has been specifically designed for dairy farmers, by dairy farmers, all locals and all experienced tree planters, and will particularly look at how riparian planting can provide cost effective, sustainable long term land use solutions.

The good news is that planting trees as part of an integrated land management strategy not only helps address problem spots on-farm but can add value and cash flow as well.

The morning session at the Reporoa Rugby Club (on SH5, just south of the dairy factory, starts at 11am to give participants time to finish feeding out due to the drought. As well as presentations on the practical aspects of riparian planting, and the role of trees in the wider farm environment, it will also feature video case studies of dairy farmers Kyle Brennan and Benjamin Lee, and deer farmer Vic Clark, who have all integrated trees into their successful farm operations.

In the afternoon the workshop will visit the nearby 90 ha dairy farm of Madelein and Kyle Brennan. [Subs: correct – no ‘e’ on Madelein] Madelein and Kyle won the Central Plateau Sharemilker of the Year Competition in 2006, and are members of the Taupo and Districts Branch of the NZFFA. Their farm is rolling pumice country with the odd steeper sideling.

“The trees on our farm are there to do a number of different jobs. We believe if the right tree is put in the right place, milk production need not be compromised,” says Kyle Brennan.

“Obviously, we run a business and wish to derive as much profit out of the farm as possible, but having plenty of trees around the place and making money need not be mutually exclusive and the farm is simply a nicer place to be.

“On a dairy farm there are three locations we feel are suitable to establish trees with minimal effect on grass production - boggy gully bottoms, short steep sidelings and areas adjacent to fence lines. Our focus on riparian areas is to fill them up with natives. Although a little effort is needed to get them up and clear of long grass, once established they will provide years of trouble free re-vegetation.”

All are welcome to attend this free workshop, which is being run by the Taupo branch of the NZ Farm Forestry Association (FFA) and funded by MAF’s Sustainable Farming Fund, the NZFFA, Tane’s Tree Trust, and Agfirst. Workshop participants who register receive a free copy of proceedings and a DVD featuring interviews with local farm foresters, and electronic handbooks.

Lunch will be provided. Please register by 25 March for catering and to reserve your free information package. To register contact: Kyle Brennan, phone 07 333 8664, email: For more information about Trees on Farms workshops contact Angus Gordon, phone 06 388 1571, email:


11.00am, Wednesday 27 March 2013

Reporoa Rugby Club, SH5, Reporoa

10.30-10.55: Registration, coffee and mingle

11.00: Welcome

Videos of local farm foresters – Brennan, Lee and Clark

Sustainable dairying

The economics of tree planting in the farm landscape

Establishing & maintaining riparian plantings

Species options:

Using natives

Options for exotics

Panel discussion

Lunch: Lunch at Brennan property, followed by discussion in field

Regional council activities

Land use discussion

Riparian planting options

Tree planting options

3.00pm Finish


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