Growing trees – data now online
Farmers looking for information about any aspect of planting and managing trees in the working landscape will soon be able to access a new free online database listing the most useful and credible information available.
This database will range from practical aspects of growing and harvesting trees for timber through to establishing riparian planting, and management information such as budgeting and forest ownership options.
The project is being funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund, the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association and Scion Research with support from Rural Women New Zealand and the New Zealand Institute of Forestry.
‘‘Since the 1950s, there have been many initiatives aimed at encouraging farmers to plant more trees, and manage existing plantations and native bush for all sorts of reasons – timber, shade, shelter, or fodder, control of soil erosion, conservation, carbon storage, or amenity benefits,’’ project manager Harriet Palmer said.
‘‘At the same time there has been a large amount of research centred on small-scale forestry, resulting in a plethora of information resources and tech-transfer activity.
‘‘Much of the experience and information generated over the years is very high calibre and still relevant but the resources are scattered and sometimes hard to find,’’ she said.
Farmers already involved in or considering tree ventures and organisations whose role includes advising farmers on integrated land management strategies, will benefit from the planned database. All listings will be assessed by leading farm foresters, forestry consultants and researchers to ensure they reflect present knowledge and best practice.
As well as unlocking existing resources and research to wider access, the project will help identify information gaps.
It will also provide information on how farmers prefer to learn about planting and managing trees.
As a vital first step, project organisers are asking farmers and land owners to participate in an online survey to ascertain their specific information and training needs related to trees on farms, and also their preferred methods for receiving new information – formally and informally. – lmer
To participate in the survey go to: https:/ /www.surveymonkey.com/s/Trees_on_Farms. All surveys completed before December 31, 2012 will go into the draw for $100 fuel vouchers, a copy of by John Wardle, or Rural Women New Zealand’s cookbooks and
AWHOLE LOT EASIER: Farmers can now look online for agricultural information.