D.M. CAMERON1, R.C. GUTTERIDGE2 and S.J. RANCE1
1Division of Forestry, CSIRO;
2Department of Agriculture, University of Queensland; Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
The benefits of introducing or maintaining a tree component in land use systems are becoming attractive for land rehabilitation and sustainable production purposes. Increasing evidence supports the view that multiple production systems involving trees have some beneficial economic and environmental consequences in many land use programs throughout Australia.
Coordinated research to support these approaches and to demonstrate their implementation and potential is now needed to complement fragmentary research throughout the country. Government policy towards forestry and agroforestry requires redefinition to provide production incentives to increase the impact of the environmental thrust.
Trees have often been included in farm planning for amenity purposes, particularly around farm houses and buildings but less frequently to provide shade and shelter for animals, crops and pastures or to reduce the harmful effects of rising watertables, especially those containing salt. Advantages and disadvantages of including trees in multiple land use systems are listed and their role and potential discussed. There is considerable potential to expand private timber production in agroforestry systems to offset the very large import bill for timber and forest products.