Farm forestry in focus at field day

Rows of Douglas fir trees planted on Balmoral Station in the Mackenzie district. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Rows of Douglas fir trees planted on Balmoral Station in the Mackenzie district. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The South Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA) is holding a field day at Balmoral Station, near Lake Tekapo, on April 20.

Balmoral, near Lake Tekapo, is a 9700ha property farmed by the Simpson family.

The field day will revolve around the 450ha of hybrid radiata and Douglas fir forestry.

It will explore topics such as Andrew Simpson’s overall forestry management and forestry investment approach; the success of different forestry species trialled on Balmoral; carbon; legislation affecting forestry particularly on pastoral leases; and integrating farm forestry with pastoral farming.

Speakers will include

Mr Simpson, farm forester and retired Scion researcher on Balmoral Nick Ledgard, Proseed manager Shaf van Ballekom, and forestry economist Hugh Bigsby.

Planting on the station began in 1994 with advice from Scion which helped with experiments on different forms of Pinus such as radiata, niagra, ponderosa and attenuata.

NZFFA South Canterbury branch president Tom Ward said the Simpson family hoped to plant another 200ha of plantation forestry on the property and also hoped to do more carbon trading.

People are advised to bring their lunch and have a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The field day will be held from 11am until mid-to-late afternoon.

Mr Ward expected about 30 people to attend.

Next year the South Canterbury branch is hosting the national conference which is expected to attract about 200 people.

- By Natasha Parrant

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