Tree Alliance video series
In this series of short videos, we share the experiences of Tasmanian farmers using trees to help them achieve socio-economic and environmental goals.
Planting trees in the right place on farms with the intention of harvesting and replanting is a win-win for the environment, society and landowners. Trees can deliver increased primary production productivity while simultaneously growing high-value timber products, delivering biofuel, improving water quality and efficiency, and improving the carbon balance. Trees also protect the land for future generations while growing high-value products. Trees and farmers will grow the future. There has never been a better time to plant trees.
The Integrated Farm Forestry Demonstration Sites program is a co-investment grant program administered by Private Forests Tasmania via funds made available from the state government and the federal government's Smart Farming Grant program.
In 2019, seven demonstration sites benefited from funding to help establish and integrate commercial trees into their properties which has resulted in more than 210,000 seedlings planted in the form of shelterbelts and woodlots.
Here, our grant recipients speak of their learnings, progress to date, and the benefits of trees to their farming enterprises.
John Taylor farms a 3,300 hectare sheep, cattle and cropping enterprise in the Northern Midlands of Tasmania where he has planted commercial tree species around centre pivot irrigators for crop and livestock shelter as well as biodiversity benefits and water evaporation.
The Clarks are sheep, cattle and brassica seed crop farmers who have diversified their farming enterprise using their land to suit its capabilities. By strategically reviewing their property, the Clarks created a property plan identify areas where pasture belongs and areas better suited to commercial trees. It’s not just about growing trees for potential harvest but also about shelter for direct livestock benefits and for future generations.
Trees have been integrated into this prime lambing enterprise at Evandale for the past 70 years and the impacts shelterbelts are having on lamb survivability is noticeable. Paddock
s sheltered by strategically planted commercial trees are warmer and have increased lamb survival rates by 5-10%.
Increased water efficiency, enhanced farm aesthetics and warmer paddocks ensure the Peltzers will continue the family tradition of planting trees for the future.
David Taylor is a merino sheep farmer producing wool, lambs and crops on their 2,234 ha property.
David discusses his learnings and his direct supply arrangement with a European manufacturer and mountaineering clothing label where they make annual audit visits to their property ensuring sustainability and environmental standards are met.
Matthew and Pippa Gunningham are organic dairy and free range chicken farmers located at Montumana in Tasmania’s far north west. The Gunningham’s have strategically planted a mixture of niten and radiata pine trees displaying the benefits of creating more biodiversity on farm whilst providing a genuine level of shelter for livestock and reducing water evaporation.
Fulham is a 3,000 acre grazing property on the south-east coast of Dunalley producing fat lambs, wool and oysters.
Fulham has always had a tree planting program on farm and have wanted to further diversify their business income and create additional shelter for livestock believing there are advantages of trees in almost every aspect of farming.
Trees play a huge role on this coastal property which suffers from prevailing westerly winds.
Sam Archer and his brother farm a 2,600 hectare property, ‘Quamby Park’ at Westwood Tasmania producing prime lambs, beef cattle & irrigated cropping. The Archer’s have been planting shelterbelts for a number of years and in 2020 were successful in receiving grant funding under the Integrated Farm Forestry Demonstration Sites program.
Sam explains how plantations have been established on steep and rocky unproductive farmland and how he has seen a 10-15% increase in lamb survival in well sheltered paddocks.
In this series of short videos, we share the experiences of Tasmanian farmers using trees to help them achieve socio-economic and environmental goals. Hosted by Sally Dakis, journalist and ex presenter of Tasmanian Country Hour on ABC Radio, we meet some of the farmers, researchers and experts as they recount their real-life experiences.
We know Tasmanian farmers are having to juggle complex decisions as they take on the challenge to make their farms sustainable, productive, and profitable.
That's up against a backdrop of a changing climate, ever more sophisticated consumer expectations, and naturally wanting to leave the farm in a better state for future generations.
In this series of short videos, we share the experiences of Tasmanian farmers who are using trees to help them achieve these goals; trees to prevent erosion, improve water quality, boost farm resilience and productivity, and grow a crop of not just timber, but think biofuel, fibre, and carbon capture.
Ed Archer’s family has been farming Greenhythe on the banks of the Tamar, north of Launceston, since 1876. The family operates a nationally recognised Angus stud, and a Launceston butcher shop selling Landfall branded beef and prime lamb. Ed grew up watching his father plant trees and now intends to plant more. So, how does he see the role of trees in the past, the present and the future?
Not many farmers get to design their own farm from a clean slate. But that was the case for Andrew Colvin. Andrew focuses on valuable grass-seed crops and prime lambs on the 800-hectare property, turning off 13,000 head a year. Over the last 40 years he's invested in trees in strategic places for specific purposes, and he's convinced they've helped underpin his farm's productivity.
In the early 2000s Chris White decided to plant as many as 8,000 trees alongside rivulets on his farm at Wattle Grove. The planning was driven by the sight of deteriorating riverbanks, soil erosion, animal welfare, and a desire to leave the farm in better condition. 15 years later, the initiative has changed the nature of the farm, providing the CSIRO with real evidence on how trees can lift farm productivity and environmental sustainability.
Some farming businesses are being designed today to cater to the consumer of the future. A practising engineer and scientist, Anh Nguyen's research into new farming techniques saw her named the Tasmanian winner of the 2019 Agrifutures Rural Women's Award, and has developed a water sensing system, which is being tested at Ese Vineyard in the Coal River Valley.In the three years that Anh and her family have owned the vineyard, they've introduced biodynamic farming practices, and in doing so, produced a product that consumers are increasingly looking for.
We know that those who plant trees to harvest are taking a long-term position.
So, how can we be reassured that in the future, wood will hold value? That over and above the other environmental values it brings to a farm, that the returns will warrant the investment and commitment?
Michael Lee, from the University of Tasmania's Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood, sees a very robust future for Tasmanian-grown timber. But not just for products as we know them now.
The University of Tasmania is one of a number of international entities researching the wood products of the future.
Tasmania more than most Australian states appreciates the significance of a brand and the story that goes behind it. It's one of the Island's major assets, but now under the umbrella of Brand Tasmania, that story is going to be much more compelling, with the island's ambition to become totally reliant on renewable energy.
Todd Babiak, the CEO of Brand Tasmania, says the state's future story is much more than just electricity; it's also about food, farming, trees and wood.
Three generations of tree planting on Logan, a family-run farm at Evandale, has delivered increased water efficiency, increased lamb survivability, and enhanced farm aesthetics. After two generations of planting, Clare Peltzer explains why she and her brother, Angus, will continue the family tradition of planting trees for the future.