John and Robyn Ive prove benefits of forestry

Understanding the benefits of forestry to farming was the reason for a visit to a local property last week by attendees of the 2018 joint Institute of Foresters of Australia - Australian Forest Growers (AFG) Conference.

John Ive discussing forest management on his property. Picture: Dr Kevin Harding, National President of AFG

John Ive discussing forest management on his property. Picture: Dr Kevin Harding, National President of AFG

Delegates and guests were hosted by John and Robyn Ive at their Talaheni property, just outside of Murrumbateman on the Yass River - a prime example of how planting new and regenerating trees has helped protect livestock.

Now, many are appreciating how well-designed forests can actually lift the productivity of a farm.

AFG president Kevin Harding

In about 35 years, the Ives have turned around what was a rundown property by establishing some 200,000 trees, planting around 30,000 and regenerating the rest through fencing.

AFG president Kevin Harding said the visit gave attendees - a combination of forestry students and practicing foresters - new ideas for their own and others’ properties.

“The old, traditional approach to forestry by farmers was to clear trees. Now, many are appreciating how well-designed forests can actually lift the productivity of a farm: trees provide shelter for livestock; you get better grass growth from trees acting as windbreaks; and timber from well-managed trees can be valuable, making farmers more resilient, particularly in times of drought,” he said.