Diversified Waiau Farm Showcased
Source: Post Quake Farming
A Waiau farm that suffered significant damage to over 1/5 of its grazable area in the November 2016 quakes is opening its gates to other farmers this autumn. It’s the first of three field days in the Post Quake Farming Project.
Henry and Olivia Pinckney’s 1400ha sheep and beef farm has had the benefit of 300ha of planted forest, which provided them with a much-needed income buffer following the destruction the quakes, and the drought that preceded them, wrought on their pastures. Now they are showcasing how integrated forestry and grazing operations can work alongside each other to reduce risk and enhance business growth.
“Forestry is a great option as it doesn’t take much time compared to running the farm,” says Henry. “It’s about the appropriate land use - the right tree in the right place.
“It is also a way of dealing with ongoing weed incursion and land that is environmentally and financially marginal to farm livestock on.”
The Pinckneys are investigating further diversification to future-proof their farming operations, including sheep milking, production forestry, Manuka honey, and native planting.
Post Quake Farming project manager Michael Bennett says the timing is perfect for farmers to look at forestry when considering how best to use their land.
“It’s a buffer against drought, price movements, market demand, climate change, increasing compliance, and the odd earthquake,” says Michael.
“Income comes from the timber at harvest, and also from registration in the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme. MPI’s One Billion Trees funding may also make it more accessible for some of our farmers now.”
Michael says that the field days are a chance for farmers to gain a better understanding of how land type can support farm development decisions, including intensification of grazing, types of forestry, and native regeneration.
“We’ll be looking at land development options, and modelling different financial scenarios.”
The 2016 earthquakes left their mark on much of the farming area around North Canterbury and Southern Marlborough. Some farms lost up to 40% of their useable land. Around 30 farms were severely damaged, and infrastructure damage created problems for farmers whose primary income relied on moving stock around.
The Field Day is on 12 April from 10am-3pm and speakers include Jansen Travis from Tambo, Dave Janet from Forest Management, Lachie Grant from Land Vision, Andrew Dardenell from Riverside Nurseries and MPI/Te Uru Rākau about the One Billion Trees fund.
For further information...
Post Quake Farming Project Manager
027 505 7535