June 2015 Updates

Posted on June 25, 2015

  1. Congratulations to Linda Newstrom-Lloyd and her team in the ‘Trees for Bees’ project on the recent publication of the ‘Winning with Willows’ booklet released at the NZ Beekeepers conference in Taupo. This informative booklet provides information on the pollen and nectar cycles of many willow cultivars. Copies can be obtained from your local Regional Council.
  2. Congratulations to this year’s winners of New Zealand’s premier farming award, the Ballance Farm Environment Award, John and Catherine Ford of Highland Station near Rotorua, and congratulations to the 10 regional finalists. The Awards dinner hosted by Hon. Nathan Guy at Parliament Buildings featured some outstanding initiatives to progress both production and environmental aspirations in some very challenging situations. The Trust congratulates all those farmers who entered their properties in this prestigious competition. John said it so well in his acceptance speech ‘It is great when the kids get to attend the parent’s prize-giving evening!’
  3. It is the time to plant those poplar and willow poles.
  4. The Technical Advisory Group of the NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust held their annual meeting in Palmerston North on June 10. Stan Braaksma was elected as chairperson for 2015-16. Congratulations Stan.
  5. Giant Willow Aphid is ignoring all the signals of winter and is still loitering around in willow trees. We are yet to unravel the many behaviours of this recent incursion and fully evaluate the seriousness of its impacts.
  6. The recent heavy rain and consequent slipping and flooding is a timely reminder that farm resilience is not just a word to put in speeches. Sustainability first and foremost is dependent on resilience under climatic stresses and these heavy rainstorms are prime examples of climatic stress.