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SFF forestry projects announced

01 April 2015

Forestry will benefit from five new projects in the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) round announced today by associate primary industries minister Jo Goodhew.

“One project will provide higher quality wood for the production of laminated veneer lumber by screening young Eucalyptus trees,” Mrs Goodhew says. “These sorts of engineered timber developments could open up additional export opportunities.”

The other projects are:

  • Improved control of the larvae of the eucalyptus tortoise beetle, Paropsis Charybdis, with the parasitoid Eadya paropsidis
  • Evaluating historical research trials on cypress cultivars on a range of sites to provide insights on their relative performance as potential commercial species
  • Evaluating options for the inclusion of farm-grown totara timber in the Building Code
  • Developing a rapid and cost effective tool for measuring the durability of coast redwood

According to Dean Satchell on the FFA website, the eucalyptus tortoise beetle is the most serious defoliater of eucalypts in New Zealand, but is normally only a serious problem for those belonging to the Symphyomyrtus subgenus.

“Many of the eucalypt species susceptible to Paropsis could be commercialised if an adequate level of control over Paropsis was achieved. In particular, for warmer areas, red mahogany (E. scias) because of its quality timber suitable for high value end uses and white-topped box (E. quadrangulata), for its extremely durable timber, excellent form and fast growth. Colder climate species such as E. johnstonii, E. nitens and E. globulus could regain favour if biological control of Paropsis was to prove successful."

Ms Goodhew says around $1.2 million has been committed over four financial years toward the five new SFF forestry projects.  They are among 29 new SFF projects announced today. The Ministry for Primary Industries will be opening the next SFF funding round in mid-2015, inviting new ideas for future SFF projects.

For more information about the 29 new SFF projects, including the five new forestry projects, visit: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/funding-and-programmes/farming/sustainable-farming-fund/ 

Sources: NZ Government media release, MPI and FFA websites