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Profit and environmental rewards from trees on the farm

A workshop aimed at encouraging and helping farmers to put trees in, and in the right place, is taking place on 17 February 2021 in Te Kuiti

The workshop is part of a move by Waikato Regional Council to support farmers interested.

Waikato Regional Council sustainable ag advisors say there’s a huge opportunity for a fresh approach to integrating trees and forests into the farm business to maintain and support current farm operations. This can help meet new environmental requirements while generating additional farm income, and there’s access to funding support for this approach.

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“It’s far from being a new idea,” says Waikato Regional Council’s technical sustainable ag advisor Bala Tikkisetty, “but to get the ball rolling again, the region’s farmers will try their hand at putting trees in the right places in the workshop.”

The first workshop took place in November and the second is scheduled for 17 February 2021 in Te Kuiti. The workshop will involve a presentation on the relevant regulations and economic factors, followed by participants collaborating on real-life case study farms working out which areas are best suited to food production and how to make sure water quality requirements are met or exceeded in the process.

The funding incentives around carbon sequestration will be explored and clarified as well, leaving participants with a full view of the potential wins to be had by moving proactively into an integrated land management model.

The benefits that can be gained in terms of soil and water protection, income diversification, biodiversity, and overall environmental performance will be addressed in the context of working farms. Details covered will range from fencing and access placement, riparian planting options to local and national regulations and how to approach funding applications.

“Concerns over increasing environmental compliance costs are top of the list in farm discussions. At the same time, there’s growing apprehension as forestry seems to be rolling across the farm landscape and displacing farm communities,” says Bala.

“What is missed in this discussion is that farms and forestry are not mutually exclusive.This is an opportunity for farmers and environme​​ntally concerned people alike to grab the bull by the horns and focus on the positive options in a field that can be polarised.

“There are resources and incentives available, and this workshop is an opportunity to find out how to make them work for you.”

Places are limited to 25 people and registration is required. To sign up or for more information, call Bala Tikkisetty on 0800 800 401 or e-mail bala.tikkisetty@waikatoregion.govt.nz.​

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