with Peter Harington
Woodmetrics Regional Manager
The Woodmetrics team will be at Mystery Creek in June, as we are every year, catching up with old clients and talking to people about their forest harvesting needs.
The Mystery Creek Fieldays are a great opportunity to see a lot of farmers in one place at one time.
This year will we again host the Farm Forestry Association on our site. We are happy to do this because they are a dedicated bunch of volunteers committed to the furthering of tree planting in the agricultural context. The passion of farm foresters about all matters to do with appropriate land use is always infectious.
Unfortunately farm forestry is going through a low ebb at the moment and this is reflected in membership of the association. I see a couple of reasons for this. One is the changing face of land use and ownership. There certainly seems to be less enthusiasm for tree planting on corporate owned large dairy farms which are run more on a financial return model then the traditional family farm. The other reason is that forestry performance has not been impressive in recent years prior to the recent upturn in log markets.
Let's hope the current upturn, and the opportunities presented by the ETS will encourage more planting of trees on our landscape. I can attest personally from sales Woodmetrics have made, especially in the last year, that forestry can still be an incredibly good investment, especially for the steep unproductive areas which most farms have.
When agriculture eventually joins the ETS, which is inevitable, farmers with young to mid age trees will be in a perfect position to offset their carbon deficit with their own tree plantings. Some are already spotting this opportunity and moving already.
My personal hope is that membership of the NZFFA grows, reflecting a new-found enthusiasm for planting trees for both aesthetics, environmental and economic reasons. As a passionate tree man myself who has lucky enough to travel all over the central North Island, I would like nothing better than to see more trees enhancing our landscape and stabilising our catchments.
And the best place to start is with membership to the NZFFA who are a source of a wealth of information from a passionate membership.