I’ve recently realised that the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association has posted videos on their excellent website featuring farmers who grow blackwood.
Two of these videos are particularly good.
One features Malcolm McKenzie who is a passionate farmer and blackwood grower. Trees are combined with dairy support grazing on this 57-hectare block, with trees occupying the steeper land. Malcolm grows top-quality blackwoods as well as poplar, cypresses and radiata pine. Markets for blackwoods are discussed.
The other video features Northland farmer Brian Simms. Brian’s farm combines grazing with high value trees. Tree species planted include radiata pine, blackwood and silky oak (Grevillea robusta). Brian plants for erosion control and beautification of the farm, while also producing high value timber.
The passion and enthusiasm of these farmers is clearly evident. All of these videos are well worth watching. Much of the country reminds me of areas in northern Tasmania. Excellent farming country with pockets of steep and difficult land very suitable for growing high value timber such as blackwood.
Now how do we encourage Tasmanian farmers to copy their Kiwi peers?