CFOC C4OC – Increased Adoption of Sustainable Brushwood Production
Funding Caring for our Country C4OC
The project ‘Increased Adoption of Sustainable Brushwood Production’ has planted 500,000 native Melaleuca’s for the production of brushwood on farms in the Moore River Catchment and the Yarra Yarra Lakes Catchment. Specific Melaleuca species are harvested and used in the construction of brushwood fencing, these species have the ability to coppice (resprout from a lignotuber) after harvesting, ensuring a renewable and sustainable resource. Two endemic species to the region are sought after for brushwood and have proven to be suitable for growing on land that is no longer viable for cropping systems due to increased input costs and the spread of salinity.
Funding – $224,000.00
Project Value –
Full Project Report
Increased Adoption of Sustainable Brushwood Production project completion
The ‘Increased Adoption of Sustainable Brushwood Production’ project, funded by the Federal Government through Caring for our Country, has been completed and has achieved all its milestones. The project was delivered through a seedling subsidy incentive scheme involving 24 sites throughout the Moore River Catchment and Yarra Yarra sub-regions. Seedlings of the Melaleuca uncinata complex planted by the project are destined for the brushwood fencing market.
- 520,000 brushwood seedlings were planted in the Northern Agricultural Region;
- Wheatbelt Brushwood Grower Group has been formed;
- Brushwood Industry Steering Committee was established from representatives from the Avon, Southwest and Northern Agricultural Catchments
- Sites planted through MCC’s previous brushwood project, ‘Adoption of Sustainable Brushwood Production’, were inspected and management recommendations were made;
- Measurements from the monitoring bores established in 2006 showed that it was too early to determine whether the plantations have had an effect on groundwater levels. Monitoring will continue.
Brushwood production offers farmers diversification of farming enterprise and economic return on previously unproductive agricultural land affected by salinity and waterlogging. Additional benefits of brushwood plantations include addressing natural resource management issues such as providing protection from wind and water erosion, increasing water use in saline and waterlogged sites, and providing habitat for wildlife on previously degraded sites. Sustainable production of brushwood in plantations ensures the protection of naturally occurring stands of Melaleuca in remnant vegetation. The harvested plants have the ability to re-sprout, providing a renewable resource.
Brushwood Industry Model
Project Officer, Helen Job, proposed an industry model for brushwood production in WA, involving coordination between a peak grower group and a brushwood supply co-operative. The peak grower group provides facilitation and technical support for regional grower groups servicing local growers. The supply co-operative would be run by growers as a representative group able to negotiate on behalf of growers in matters such as marketing, coordinating harvests and other aspects of business
See diagram below.