What useful species can be grown along your waterways?
Riparian planting benefits the environment by reducing contaminant losses into farm waterways, but one of its disadvantages is a loss of productive land.
Productive riparian buffers are different. They can include native and/or exotic planting that can generate income, or be used on farm or in the community. Because they are productive, they can cover a wider area than non-productive buffers, potentially also providing greater environmental benefits.
To kick off the project, we reviewed a range of ideas and background literature about what could potentially be produced in riparian buffers zones. This review is available here.
Project aims and outcomes
The three-year Productive Riparian Buffers project (2018-2021), supported by the Sustainable Farming Fund, will explore new and existing plant product options and their ability to deliver environmental, social, cultural and financial benefits.
The project is led by DairyNZ-NIWA and built around two Catchment Stakeholder Groups – one in Northland (Waitangi Catchment Stakeholder Group, and the other in the Waikato (Waihou-Piako Farmer Engagement Group). The project is guided by a governance team that includes representatives from these farmer groups, Northland and Waikato regional councils, Poplar and Willow Trust, NIWA, and DairyNZ.
As the project progresses we will evaluate practical growing, harvesting and management options for plants grown on productive riparian buffers and their compatibility with different farming operations and landscapes.
In the final stages of the project we will produce resources to help farmers make informed decisions about productive riparian buffers based on their farm system.
Join us on the journey
As the project progresses information will be shared through demonstration sites, field days and the DairyNZ website. Subscribe for a quarterly email update on the project.