A Positive Legacy

The Starborough Flaxbourne project may have come to an end but it has left a legacy of innovative thinking and a ‘can do’ attitude towards dry land farming. The initial aims for the project were to gain community involvement, change farmer attitudes and land management practices towards farming dry land in the Awatere/Seddon area of southern Marlborough in the Upper South Island. The success of the work carried out by the Starborough/Flaxbourne Soil Conservation Group has positive implications for many east-coast New Zealand dry-land farming situations and prompted further projects.

The Sustainable Farming Fund has provided support to Professor Derrick Moot and the Bonavaree trial farm to promote Technology Transfer directly from the original Starborough/Flaxbourne Trials. This involves demonstrating to farmers and agribusiness consultant’s, on-farm applications based on the science linked to successful legume agronomy and grazing management.  They will also develop a written diary on how leading farmers manage and utilise different dryland pasture legumes under a variety of farming situations. Further information on this project is available from Professor Derek Moot.

A second project involving Marlborough Research Centre & the New Zealand Dryland Forestry Initiative seeks to develop forest management systems that will enable the growth of high value naturally-durable hardwood eucalypts.  The project will establish large breeding populations of five wild (unimproved) species in six NZ dryland regions in an effort to identify genetic improvement. More information will be available at a field day taking place on Friday 10 September 2010 from 1 – 4pm. The field trip starts from and concludes at the Marlborough Research Centre, 85 Budge St, Blenheim. To register for the Field day or for more information about the project contact Paul Millen.