Farmer Guides


Poplars and Willows as Fodder

  • Poplars and Willows can be pollarded to provide supplementary feed either for use in times of drought or as a regular supplement 
  • Feed value of poplar and willow is well above maintenance requirements. Cattle eat trimmings up to 10mm diam. and sheep up to 5mm 
  • Research trials show improved lambing percentage for stock fed on poplar and willow forage compared with stock fed on droughts pasture alone 
  • High density planting in swampy corners draws on otherwise unused nutrients and dries land out while improving pasture and providing fodder.

NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust:

Setting up a Willow Coppice Block as Fodder

  • Coppicing is the process of reducing trees down to a stump, allowing the stump to regenerate a mass of stems with stock  managing the harvesting grazing on 2 to 3 occasions over the trees growing season
  • Willows are recommended, plant in a wet area, either flat or sloping but a flat area is easier to plant 
  • High density coppice blocks (2,500 – 16,000 sph) have produced from 1.4 – 5.7 t DM/ha of edible forage over the first 3-5 years.

NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust: