Queensland's timber industry employs around 10,000 people and delivers a $3.2 billion output.

Timber Queensland

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Silvopastoral Systems


Timber Queensland is leading a new Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) research collaboration with partners Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA), CQ University, HQPlantations, QLD Department of Agriculture & Fisheries and CO2 Australia. 

The three year Silvopastoral trials of commercial pine systems in North Queensland project aims to unlock a softwood income stream for beef graziers.

What is a Silvopastoral System?

Silvopastoral systems combine natural forests or planted trees with pasture and livestock on the same land management unit.  They are not homogenous systems given there are a multiude of ways to integrate forestry and livestock production.

There are environmental and financial benefits of implementing silvopastoral systems.  Environmental benefits can include aesthetics, water quality improvement, soil conservation, carbon sequesteration and wildlife habitat.  Financial benefits can include farm income diversification, increasing the resilience of a farm to the impact of climate change and complementing longer term timber harvest income with early annual cash flows from livestock.

What is the expected outcome of the Silvopastoral trials for commercial pine systems in North Queensland project?

The project will assess the economic merits of combined grazing and commercial tree farming systems compared to traditional forestry and grazing only practices.

The research partners will measure and model the returns from field trials with cattle grazed in widely spaced commercial pine forests and compare the returns from carbon  sequestration and combined timber and beef production returns with traditional grazing only activities on cleared farmland.

There is a high likelihood these silvopastoralism systems can deliver higher net financial returns per hectare for suitable land types, while at the same time contributing to income diversification and lower overall carbon emissions, or even carbon neutral outcomes for a farming enterprise.

Related silvopastoral resources and projects

Case Studies of the Financial Performance of Silvopastoral Systems in Southern Queensland, Australia . Ben Francis, Tyron Venn, Tom Lewis and Jeremy Brawner.

This report demonstrates that investing in Private Native Forest silviculture is financially beneficial for farmers and more valuable than clearing land for grazing, if it is possible to remove sovereign risk (i.e. uncertainty over future Vegetation Management Act changes).taking into account the benefits from combined timber and livestock production.

Farm Forestry: Growing Together Plan

The Australian Government’s Farm Forestry: Growing Together Plan recognises the new opportunities and provides practical information and resources for farmers looking to invest in farm forestry.. This document provides practical information and resources about farm forestry. 

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