Farmers who plant
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.
Trees increase farm productivity.
Trees in the right place on farms can modify the local microclimate providing benefits to crops and livestock that are grown or raised alongside trees. Trees provide wind reduction and shade.
Tasmanian case studies have found that farm systems that include trees are more productive and profitable than agriculture only enterprises. Case studies, in agroforestry systems across southern Australia, indicate internal rates of return typically around 8%.
Trees improve water efficiency and water quality.
When trees are strategically planted alongside other crops, they provide a buffer from evaporation, which improves water efficiency.
In the Tasmanian midlands, the potential water evaporation reduction over one year for a 25-hectare paddock was 20-35ml. When planted around streams, trees also imporve water quality.
The global demand for timber is expected to quadruple by 2050.
There is a global shortage of timber, and farmers are the key to delivering the commercially viable resource of the future. Within Australia demand is being driven by the home building market and the desire to replace carbon intensive materials and plastics with natural, recyclable and renewable products.
Technology is unlocking new uses for materials derived from trees, like 'green' chemicals and biofuel. Providing enough timber and fibre to meet this increased demand presents both a challenge and an opportunity.
Farmers can capitalise on the opportunity - there has never been better time to plant trees.
Trees improve the carbon balance.
Planting commercially viable trees can improve the carbon balance. There are two ways to address rising atmospheric CO2. Trees and wood products can do both.
When trees grow, they actively absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it as wood. When wood from sustainably managed sources is used in place of other materials such as metal, concreate and plastic, that return more CO2 to the atmosphere over their lifecycle, there are also carbon emission reducation benefits.The trees can then be replanted and cycle starts again.
Trees protect the land for the future.
Trees in the right place prevent farmland degradation, which is being exacerbated due to the warming, climate. During extended dry periods, depleted pastures have minimal biomass which exposes more soil to compaction and wind and water erosion, and creek banks become fragile and mobile.
Planting trees can act as a form of insurance against extreme weather events. Trees also increase biodiversity, amenity and land values which is an investment in the future.