Designing a Farm Forest / Design - balancing multiple goals /
Forestry for economic diversification
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Designing a Farm Forest

Forestry for economic diversification

Farm forestry offers Australian farmers an opportunity to build income security without threatening conventional agriculture production by investing in forestry on the less productive parts their farms. Agricultural returns are susceptible to poor seasons and fluctuating markets. Timber, seed and other tree products commonly have markets unrelated to agricultural commodities such as wool or beef. Some tree products—for example, timber—also remain available for harvest even through poor seasons.

Forestry might also offer farmers taxation, superannuation and generational transfer options and benefits. By investing in a long-term venture that will mature well into the future, farmers may be able to cater for their own retirement without drawing resources from their children's agricultural enterprise. Farm forestry is a long-term, and sometimes risky, investment. So a thorough diagnosis of the farm's business situation, and the family's investment objectives, is required before a commitment is made to establish a forest farm. Projects must reflect individual farmers’ circumstances and their willingness to commit resources and time to a long-term investment. The best design is the one that matches the farmer's individual performance criteria without exposing them to an uncomfortable level of risk.

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