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Time to order poplar and willow poles for soil conservation

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

With winter just around the corner landowners are being urged to get online now and order their supplies of poplar and willow poles.

Landowners plant poplar and willow poles during winter to improve the stability of hillsides, river and stream edges, provide shelterbelts and livestock shade.

Interviews with farmers affected by the major Hawke’s Bay storm in 2011 highlighted damage and losses that can occur as a result of serious weather events. Average recovery costs from that event were $207,000 per farm. This included loss of grazing after the storm, stock deaths, and infrastructure repairs.

Most farmers surveyed who had sites planted in forest or space-planted poplars and willows rated the soil conservation provided by these plantings as excellent or good.

Research shows that after 30 years slip-affected land may only be at 80 % of pre-erosion productivity. Even after 100 years full productivity may not be recovered.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has a supply of high quality poles and pole protectors at its Soil Conservation Nursery, which are available to farmers at competitive rates to establish trees to help with soil conservation and water quality improvement.

The Regional Council can provide a subsidy on the purchase of 150 poles or more where eligibility criteria are met, which includes the trees providing for soil conservation.

A new online form helps farmers to calculate the cost including any subsidy available. The form is available at using the search #poles

Any landowners who have ordered poles from the Regional Council in recent years will be sent an email providing all the ordering information.

Jo Hales from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Land Management team says to ensure landowners get the poles they need ready for winter planting it is important they order now.

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