Do you want to increase productivity, reduce operating costs and improve the land value of your farm?
Landholders can achieve all this by encouraging native vegetation on their farms:
- Farms with shade trees and shelter belts are more aesthetically appealing and attract a premium over average land values. A survey conducted in the Central West indicated that farms with good quality native vegetation have a 15% increase on capital value compared to those without.
- Crop and pasture productivity is increased by remnant native vegetation and established shelter belts. Native trees and shrubs provide habitat for birds, lizards and bats, the natural enemies of pasture pests.
- Pastures and crops with some tree cover experience less soil moisture loss than those exposed to the full force of the wind.
- Cold and heat stress in livestock can significantly reduce farm income by reducing stock fertility, weight gain, wool growth, milk production, and increasing the mortality rate of calves and lambs and the susceptibility of stock to disease.
Scattered paddock trees also serve an important function for native wildlife, providing a food source and nesting sites. They also act as stepping stones for animal movement between other patches of vegetation and water sources.
Many existing mature trees on agricultural land in temperate Australia are in decline. This is not isolated to paddock trees, mature trees in larger stands of vegetation are also disappearing, but often the effects are more pronounced in isolated trees.
There are a number of things landholders can do to help protect paddock trees and help their regeneration. Fencing around selected trees will help to protect them from stock and limit detrimental agricultural practices such as applying fertilizer in the root zone and reducing herbicide spray drift. Planting additional shade trees for stock can also take the pressure off the old giants.
Watershed Landcare is currently running a Paddock Trees project which aims to enhance areas of highly cleared ecosystems in the Central Tablelands Local Land Services region by increasing the extent of paddock trees and clusters.
We are seeking expressions of interest for funding from landholders in our region to conduct on-ground works to improve linkages between remnant native vegetation on the land they mange. Funding is available for materials or labour for protection of existing remnant vegetation and/or new plantings.
The project is supported by Watershed Landcare and Central Tablelands LLS through funding from the Australian Government. Total funding of $16,500 is available, with individual landholders able to apply for up to $2,750 in funding.
For further details visit our website.
Applications close 23 February 2018. Please contact Agness Knapik, Watershed Landcare Coordinator on 0435 055 493 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or to discuss your project idea.