Funding allocated to Tasmanian farmers for trees

Friday 31 Jul 2020

Private Forests Tasmania is leading a project that will see 212 hectares of trees planted on farms across Tasmania in the next twelve months. The project is co-funded by Private Forests Tasmania, the federal government (through the Smart Farming Grant) and primary producers, seeking to develop a landscape-scale best practice integration of shelterbelts and woodlots into the Tasmanian agricultural landscape.

Private Forests Tasmania called for expressions of interest from Tasmanian primary producers to join the project. Applications were received from 17 farms across Tasmania, which were assessed against twenty selection criteria. The successful applicants will receive assistance totalling over AU$600,000 for activities that establish significant farm scale best practice integration of shelterbelts and woodlots into the agricultural landscape; and demonstrate the multiple benefits of trees on farms.

“Seven of the seventeen applications had good claims against all criteria and also met other essential and desirable requirements,” says Private Forests Tasmania Chief Executive Officer, Penny Wells. “The successful applications are dispersed across Tasmania including farms at Evandale, Dunalley, Montumana, Campbell Town, Ellendale and Westwood. Across the sites there is a 50/50 mix of shelterbelts and woodlots and a range of species including Radiata Pine, Blackwood, Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus Nitens and other mixed species.

“The trees will be managed for wood products including sawlogs, poles and fibre and will provide a broad range of other benefits including stock and pasture shelter through wind reduction, reduced water evaporation, carbon sequestration and prevention of farmland degradation.”

Planting will commence in late winter/spring 2021. The trees will be integrated into farming enterprises that currently include prime lamb, wool, grass seed, cereal grains, forestry, aquaculture, dairy, beef, cropping, seed growing and potential future horticultural crops.

“Existing Tasmanian case studies have found that farm systems that include trees are more productive and profitable than agriculture only enterprises with internal rates of return typically around 8%,” says Ms Wells. “It was great to see such a high number of good quality applications. While 10 of the 17 applicants did not meet all the necessary criteria for grant funding as part of this project, this does not mean they are not worthy projects for agroforestry or forestry investment.”

Unsuccessful applicants will be contacted regarding their willingness to participate in Private Forests Tasmania’s ‘Matching Project’, which seeks to find suitable investors willing to work with landholders to fund mutually beneficial tree growing opportunities. “Private Forests Tasmania would like to work with all land owners interested in gaining the benefits that trees can bring to their farming enterprise,” says Ms Wells.

Source: Private Forests Tasmania

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