Trees for trac­tors

En­cour­ag­ing tree plant­ing via trac­tor buy­ing

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

It was an idea sourced from close to home for Pak­en­ham­based YTO Trac­tors, as the lo­cal trac­tor man­u­fac­tur­ers con­sid­ered what they could do to help farm­ers after drought and other poor weather con­di­tions caught many off guard. Since Septem­ber, the com­pany has given away 50 tree seedlings for ev­ery new trac­tor sold – ei­ther gift­ing them to the buyer or ar­rang­ing to plant them them­selves.

YTO mar­ket­ing man­ager Sher­ryn Clarke says the com­pany had been in­spired in part by the ex­am­ple of her mother Kim, who had of­ten taken her sib­lings and her on Land­care ex­cur­sions as chil­dren – fol­low­ing a con­ser­va­tion ef­fort by plant­ing trees.

“We de­cided we ac­tu­ally wanted to help the land we all use for farm­ing in­stead of just sell­ing trac­tors,” she says.

“It is some­thing that I grew up with and ev­ery­one in our of­fice is from the same sort of area.”

Kim Clarke ex­plains that YTO goes out of its way to con­tact plant nurs­eries in the re­gion where the trac­tor buyer is from when de­cid­ing which trees to give away.

“We are plant­ing what­ever is indige­nous to the area, so they get some­thing that is go­ing to grow in their area with as lit­tle up­keep as they can,” she says.

By so do­ing, the trees can help keep re­duce salin­ity and hold soil in place as well as pro­vid­ing shel­ter for cat­tle, Kim says.

“Keep­ing the wa­ter ta­ble down, abil­ity [to help prevent] ero­sion, [with­stand­ing] low rain­fall… they are prob­a­bly your three ma­jor things,” she says.

Sher­ryn Clarke says the com­pany’s best re­sponse so far was from at­ten­dees at the El­more & Dis­trict Ma­chin­ery Field Day, held in Vic­to­ria last month.

“They were su­per ex­cited by it,” she says.

“It’s a lot of what they are do­ing, and they are plant­ing thou­sands of trees on each of their prop­er­ties at the mo­ment and they are build­ing shel­ter belts and re­ally turn­ing it around and mak­ing it their own wa­ter ta­ble and things again which is great, so that was re­ally heart­en­ing to see.”

As for the fu­ture, Sher­ryn says the com­pany plans on keep­ing the cam­paign up for as long as pos­si­ble – mak­ing a long-term con­tri­bu­tion to the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Un­til we don’t have any peo­ple who want trees we are go­ing to keep go­ing,” she says.

“They’re log­ging and lots of forests are drop­ping ev­ery­where else, so we would rather build them up where we can.”

We ac­tu­ally wanted to help the land we all use for farm­ing in­stead of just sell­ing trac­tors.

Left: YTO Trac­tors says farm­ers have re­sponded pos­i­tively to the treeplant­ing cam­paign

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