Over the past 160 years, poplar and willow trees have been extensively planted on New Zealand pastoral land for shade and shelter, aesthetics and conservation purposes (Wilkinson, 1999). In North Island East Coast regions, some hill-country farmers are pruning the branches of poplar and willow trees to feed them to livestock during the late summer and autumn dry period, to supplement low-quality pastures. Drought poses a serious management issue for farmers in the East Coast regions of both the North and South Islands and predictions suggest droughts will become more frequent and severe in the future (Salinger, 2000). Supplementation with conserved forages, such as hay and silages, or grains such as barley, is a common management practice for farms suffering drought conditions (Leng, 1992). However, many East Coast hill-country farms have little or no flat land on which to produce hay or silage.

EL, McWilliam, TN Barry, PD Kemp, N Lopez-Villalobos, and PN Cameron

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 62, Palmerston North, 174-176, 2002
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