Getting the right forestry message across

PF Olsen staff, from left, branch manager Dave Thode, business development manager Julie Hayward, harvesting manager Tim Garlick and North Island business development manager Hamish McGregor, enjoy a quieter moment at the Otago Field Days in Palmerston la
PF Olsen staff, from left, branch manager Dave Thode, business development manager Julie Hayward, harvesting manager Tim Garlick and North Island business development manager Hamish McGregor, enjoy a quieter moment at the Otago Field Days in Palmerston last week. Photo: Alice Scott
It took a few meanders past the tent of forestry management company PF Olsen last week at the Otago Field Days before there was a window of time to chat to the team.

Interest is high at the moment for new forest plantations within the farming sector, business development manager Julie Hayward
says.

''But it's been about correcting the hysteria about mass-planting of entire farms and getting the message out there that most forestry companies are not advocating for that kind of major shift in land use,'' she says.

Ms Hayward explained forestry development was about optimising the land with the right use.

''If typically a certain area was under performing and costing the land owner many thousands of dollars in weed control every year, planting it in trees and removing that cost altogether might be a logical option.''

Ms Hayward explained the return on investment in forestry is between 5-7% and with the carbon credits can bring it up to around 8%.

''But that depends on a number of factors such as land type, farm location and its proximity to the mill and port,'' she said.

Like farming, forestry is cyclical; with the good years come the not so good.

''But the beauty of forestry is the flexibility to harvest only when the return is profitable,'' she said.

-By Alice Scott

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