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Farm Forestry Field days a great success

LASA recently partnered with the Farm Forestry Landcare Network, Coorong District Council and the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board to present two farm forestry field days on properties at Meningie and Karoonda on April 19th and 20th.

The Meningie field day was held on Henry Angus’ property in the morning, moving to a Coorong District Council woodlot located in Meningie township in the afternoon. Australia’s agroforestry guru Rowan Reid was the guest presenter, taking participants through demonstrations and the importance of managing plantations by thinning and pruning to promote better growth around the girth of plantation trees. Rowan also spoke about the different qualities of different tree species and how agroforestry can be included in farming systems. In the afternoon, Wayne Brown provided a portable timber milling demonstration on the Meningie woodlot site. Attendance at the Meningie event was pleasing, with approximately 30 participants taking part.

On Tuesday, the 20 participants in attendance moved location to Clem Tynan’s farm at Sherlock and Brian Teakle’s property near Karoonda. In the welcome rain, the Farm Forestry Network’s Ian Filmer and Craig Neumann took participants through some of the field trials they had done on Clem and Brian’s properties over the years. Clem also talked about how he had managed the trees on his property and how he had included agroforestry plantations in his whole farm planning. The results were stunning, with the trees providing a range of benefits such as stock shelter, erosion prevention and firewood supplies. The trees also provided an aesthetic to the landscape that was pleasing in itself. Again, Rowan Reid emphasised the need to manage the trees in plantations carefully to get the best results. The last stop for the day was at Brian Teakle’s property. Brian has spent many years experimenting with different species and different ways of planting, using both tubestock and direct seeding methods, with very good results. He has experimented with quondongs, saltbush and sandalwood plantations as well as a range of eucalypt species, with assistance from Craig and Ian. While the field days were in progress, Alistair from Ag Communicators worked away in the background, filming the presentations and interviewing farm foresters, experts and participants to create a range of short videos, “Farm Forestry at the Flick of a Switch”, a resource aimed to promote the benefits of farm forestry to a wider audience than those in attendance. This was funded by a series of Ag Knowledge and Grassroots grants the Farm Forestry Network successfully applied for through the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board. Links to the videos will be included on the LASA website once editing has been completed.