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Komatsu Thinning Experts – A new thinning concept

International Forest Industries - Fri, 11/09/2020 - 13:12

Komatsu Forest is introducing a brand-new thinning concept, Thinning Experts (TX), which includes the Komatsu 835TX and the all-new Komatsu 825TX. The new TX machines have several new features that enable them to easily navigate dense stands while maintaining high production, making them particularly well suited to thinning. The standout features include a new tracking frame and an optimised load area.

One eagerly awaited announcement is the introduction of the brand-new Komatsu 825TX, an agile 9-tonne forwarder with good tracking characteristics aimed at the market segment for the smallest machines. It also fills the gap left by Komatsu Forest’s former bestseller, the Komatsu 830.

Previously our smallest offering at 11 tonnes, the Komatsu 835 is making a comeback with an upgraded spec boasting new features that make it an even more specialised thinning machine. The 835TX is described as an agile forwarder with high ground clearance and good tracking characteristics.

“Our original plan was to present the new machine at FinnMetko this September, but due to current circumstances, we’ve had to change our plans and will instead embark on a demo tour throughout the autumn”, says Daniel Grabbe, Product Manager at Komatsu Forest.

Minimal impact and agility in focus

With the Thinning Xperts, we introduce an all-new tracking frame that more than halves the tracking – the difference between the front and rear wheel tracks – to less than 200 mm.
“A machine with the smallest possible tracking is more agile and has less impact, which reduces the risk of damage to standing trees”, Grabbe explains.

The lengths of the tracking frame components have been optimised for the best possible tracking – all without impacting the overall frame length or the length of the load area. The steering coupling has also been moved further back so that the rear wheels better follow the front wheels, to further reduce tracking.

“Naturally, not only do thinning machines need to be agile, they also need to be productive. This means a spacious load area, a powerful crane and high traction. In short, the same demands placed on the large machines but in a more compact package”, says Grabbe.

The load space of the TX machines has been optimised for thinning with a special gate (Thinning Gate) and special bunks (Thinning Bunks). Both the gate and the bunks are angled 5 degrees inwards at the top to be as agile as possible in tight spaces. This reduces the risk of hitting standing trees when the machine sways from side to side in uneven terrain. As on other Komatsu forwarders, the load area is otherwise flexible with many options to choose from.

Both the 825TX and the 835TX feature a new upgraded design, the latest engine installation and a new control system. Visibility is excellent in all directions – over the hood and down towards the wheels as well as over the load area and towards the treetops. The good visibility combined with the TX machines’ powerful crane with its long reach and minimalist design with few protruding parts enables the operator to feel confident in not damaging any standing trees while thinning.

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LVM ANNOUNCES A TENDER FOR FORESTRY WORKS

International Forest Industries - Fri, 11/09/2020 - 11:58

To ensure timely and high-quality forest tending and restoration, JSC “Latvia’s State Forests” (LVM) announces an open tender for forest planting, maintenance of young stands, agro–technical tending and protection of restored areas in 2021–2023. The tender is open to workers with or without forestry experience. Proposals should be submitted in the Electronic Procurement System (EIS) by 22 September; 12.00.

“We cooperate with responsible workers who wish to work and grow professionally. We are pleased that we have acquired reliable and knowledgeable cooperation partners in the regions of Latvia, who apply for forestry work every year. For the majority of these people, work in the forest is a permanent source of income, but for others – an opportunity to earn additional income,” says Lauris Ropājs, LVM Forestry Quality Manager.

Interested contractors are offered to enter into a one- or three-year contract for forestry works in an area of 94 325 hectares. Within the framework of the tender, it is planned to perform six types of forestry works: forest planting in an area of 7 950 ha; replenishment of restored forest areas in an area of  2 410 ha; agro–technical tending of restored forest areas in an area of 26 985 ha; tending of young stands in an area of 30 445 ha; protection of restored forest areas in an area of 17 620 ha; protection of young trunks in an area of 8 915 ha.

 Thanks to forest maintenance works, LVM offers additional job opportunities for local residents in the regions. These are both seasonal jobs that can be planned by contractors in parallel with their daily work, as well as various permanent jobs. A brush cutter and chainsaw operator’s certificate are required for agro–technical and young stand tending works.

Detailed planning and sequential work are a must to create the most suitable growing conditions for stands. Depending on the growing conditions, an appropriate tree species is planted and care is taken depending on the average tree height of the dominant tree species. Timely tending of young stands reduces the risk of possible damage caused by wind, snow and insects.

Animals that are found in Latvian forests use young trees as feed, and in order to avoid possible damage, it is necessary to use various means of protection. Protection work requires responsible workers who are knowledgeable or willing to acquire new skills.

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Soil Preparation Works in Full Swing

International Forest Industries - Fri, 11/09/2020 - 11:43

JSC “Latvia’s State Forests” (LVM) has already prepared soil in more than 3 000 hectares to carry out the forest restoration works planned for next year in an area of 10 500 hectares.

“Preparation of soil or planting sites in felling areas is a key prerequisite for successful reforestation by planting young trees. It is best to do it in late summer or autumn of the previous year, and before planting trees in the spring. This year, there are several positive developments in the forest soil preparation sector.

The range of service providers has increased; the forest machinery park has been supplemented and upgraded. Two new John Deere skidders, as well as several Bracke and one UOT tillage unit have been purchased in Latvia.

It is worth mentioning that in addition to the skidders used for transporting trees, several new tillage units will be powered by John Deere, Ponnse and Komatsu forest machines, which have already proven themselves in forestry,” says Edmunds Linde, LVM Forestry Planning Manager.

Soil preparation in the territory managed by LVM has been performed by seven service providers so far, but the new changes have facilitated the involvement of three new cooperation partners with relatively new sets of equipment. “It gives hope that work will be much smoother this season,” says Edmunds Linde.

Since its foundation in 1999, LVM has paid more than one billion euros to state and local government budgets. Company’s economic activities are carried out by maintaining and recovering forests, taking care of nature conservation, recreation opportunities and increasing timber volumes, as well as by investing in expanding the forestland and developing forest infrastructure – renovation of drainage systems and forest road construction. The volume of timber in the forests managed by LVM increases by 12 million cubic metres annually.

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NZ – Wilding pine control efforts ramp up

International Forest Industries - Thu, 10/09/2020 - 13:25

A nationwide plan to tackle more than 800,000 hectares of wilding pine infestations over the next year will generate up to 550 new jobs and help prevent future wild fires, say Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare.

“We’re ramping up our wilding control activity in areas where jobs are needed most,” Damien O’Connor said.

“Budget 2020 included $100 million for wilding pine control through the Jobs for Nature programme. Over $36 million of that funding will be spent in the next 12 months as part of our four-year programme. That extends our work from 19 to 58 sites across New Zealand.”

Minister O’Connor says this includes a range of long-term projects led by regional councils, and smaller-scale community partnerships.

“We’ll see significant work throughout most of New Zealand – in Northland, across the Central North Island, in Marlborough, Nelson/Tasman, Queenstown, Otago and Southland.”

“More than $17 million of work is allocated over 400,000 hectares of wilding infestations in Canterbury alone, including extensive infestations in Craigieburn and the Mackenzie.”

Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare was in the Mackenzie District last week to survey the fire damage near Lake Pukaki, the spread of which has in part been attributed to wilding pines.

“I saw the devastation first-hand, and heard concerns from locals that the wilding pines are a pest, and play a dangerous part in helping to spread fires.

“This Government investment will help prevent fires like this in years to come,” said Peeni Henare.

Minister O’Connor says wilding pine control is part of the Government’s commitment to provide economic support for people, with a significant environmental benefit.

“This is not necessarily about putting people into new careers. It is about finding work for people now, while their sectors recover from Covid-19.”

“Wilding control is largely seasonal work, with some year-round operations. This will allow companies to employ new people – and to keep on existing staff.”

Minister O’Connor says New Zealanders can expect to see significant changes to the landscape as control activity increases.

“In many areas, like Queenstown and the Mackenzie basin, we’ll be removing longstanding infestations that have become a familiar part of the landscape. People are inclined to think any tree has some value. But the recent fires near Lake Pukaki, only a few years after the devastating fires in Flock Hill, have shown that wilding pines threaten the ecosystem, the economy – and the community.

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Getting back in touch with the market – at LIGNA ’21

International Forest Industries - Thu, 10/09/2020 - 11:55

Preparations for LIGNA ’21 are already in full swing. The world’s top international wood-industry trade show is enjoying strong industry support despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheduled opening day is a good eight months away, but demand for exhibition space is already strong. “The event will once again fill ten halls as well as the open-air site booked. All the big industry players are on board. It seems that after many weeks of social distancing, lockdowns, online-only events and video conferencing from home, the industry is really looking forward to meeting up face-to-face,” said Christian Pfeiffer, Deutsche Messe’s Global Director LIGNA & Woodworking Shows. “Businesses in the wood industry are keen to resume normal production and sales. They want to be able to advise and inform their customers in person. So, we’re doing everything we can to provide a safe and effective marketplace where the wood industry can meet, showcase new products and developments, and get business moving again.”

LIGNA is the flagship fair of the global wood industry and serves as a marketplace for woodworking and wood processing plants, machinery and tools as well as a platform for exploring and debating hot topics set to shape the future of the industry. At the upcoming show, the following three topics will feature prominently: Woodworking Transformation, Prefab Building Processes and Green Material Processing. Exhibitors will be highlighting these topics at their stands, and they will also be featured across various forums and special displays.

“LIGNA will present the pioneering developments and visionary ideas that will be shaping wood-industry production and business processes just a few years from now,” remarked Dr. Bernhard Dirr, director of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). “LIGNA is our window onto the future, and that’s more important than ever given the COVID-19 pandemic. If we manage to showcase our industry in a way that people can physically explore, experience and engage with, then I think we can call LIGNA 2021 a success, regardless of the visitor and exhibitor turnout,” Dirr said.

“Obviously, we all hope that the worst of the pandemic will be over by May,” Pfeiffer commented, “but it’s impossible to say when case numbers might start to drop off or when a vaccine might become available. So we have to be realistic. The global travel restrictions alone suggest that we are will have fewer international visitors than at LIGNA 2019. The virus is likely to be with us for some time to come, so we need to find new ways of enabling businesses to engage with their markets. We need LIGNA ’21.”

Social distancing and safety at LIGNA

The LIGNA 2021 format incorporates a public hygiene strategy that Deutsche Messe has developed in consultation with the relevant authorities. The show will have comprehensive measures in place to protect the health and safety of exhibitors and visitors in all areas of the venue. Hannover’s hospitality sector is also ready for the new tradeshow normal. “For us, facilitating business and protecting health go hand in hand,” explained Pfeiffer. “To protect exhibitors and visitors, we will ensure that LIGNA ’21 meets the highest standards of hygiene, safety and healthcare. This will entail hygiene and distancing measures at the entrances and exits to the venue as well as for in-hall aisleways, exhibition stands, on-site restaurants and even local hotels.” Click here for information on the hygiene and infection-prevention measures implemented by Deutsche Messe for events held at the Hannover Exhibition Center.

Deutsche Messe’s LIGNA team is currently developing a digital participation option that will be offered alongside the show’s trusted in-person format. It will make the show available to exhibitors and visitors from key markets who may be unable to travel to Hannover.

Further information about LIGNA is available at www.ligna.de .

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Local bioenergy leaders welcome valuable insights

International Forest Industries - Wed, 09/09/2020 - 14:37

Bioenergy sector supports obtaining greater value from New Zealand’s wood residues – The Bioenergy Association welcomes the release by Te Uru Rakau of the Wood Fibre Futures report but also wants greater focus by government on the immediate use of forest harvest and processing residues for replacing coal.

Brian Cox, Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association said “It’s encouraging to see government supporting efforts to obtain greater value from forest harvest residues which are generally left as waste. Wood waste from forestry is a valuable resource which we squander because we don’t have a priority for using it to create regional economic opportunities, including additional employment.”

Mr Cox said that “The wood processing sector already use process residues for heat but there has been little interest in expanding the use of this proven technology to replace coal for other manufacturing process heat. Wood is a fully renewable natural resource which is carbon neutral. The Wood Fibre Futures report investigates many new investment opportunities but ignores the opportunities to grow the sector by first encouraging investment in existing proven technologies. This would provide a strong foundation for expanding additional sources of forestry residues into these new emerging investments.”

The BioenergyAssociation has identified that 1.8Mt CO2-e of greenhouse gases could be reduced if coal was replaced by use of biomass fuels.

Mr Cox said that “it is great that the Government has recognised that using wood waste to produce energy and other products is good for business and communities, and that proactive climate change policies can have a very positive upside to communities and the economy. We just need to have a greater sense of urgency by initially focusing on what can be achieved by 2030 while we investigate the longer term investments outlined in the Wood Fibre Futures report. ”

Photo: Brian Cox, Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association

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Big opportunities for a high-value, low-carbon forestry future

International Forest Industries - Wed, 09/09/2020 - 13:01

Big opportunities for a high-value, low-carbon forestry future – A New Zealand wood fibre futures stage one report published last week identifies key wood processing technologies that could help drive a high-value and low-carbon economy.

Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) director sector investment Jason Wilson said the report, by an international consortium led by BioPacific Partners, focused on how New Zealand could build on the forestry industry’s current strengths to create a low-carbon future.

The report identified possible alternatives to concrete and steel, and biofuels made from woody biomass.

“We know forests have a big role to play in carbon mitigation, but forestry can play an even bigger role in both the economy and meeting environmental goals if it is used to create new and innovative high-value, low-carbon products including liquid fuels and replacements for coal,” said Mr Wilson.

“The questions for New Zealand are what products do we need the most, what technologies are available to help us create these, and, importantly, how do we attract investment to make it happen?”

“New Zealand is considered one of the best places in the world to do business and we have a large amount of Pinus radiata which gives us a comparative advantage, but we need to start working with technology investors to produce high-value, low-carbon products.”

Mr Wilson said the report identified 15 technologies out of 108 found globally that New Zealand could prioritise and laid out ways to attract investors.

“Both biocrude and liquid biofuels are favoured by investors, have the most potential for export, and are being actively developed globally by high-tech firms.”

Mr Wilson said the report represented the culmination of stage 1 of the project and Te Uru Rākau was now progressing with stage 2.

“Stage 2 focuses on building an attractive investment case and undertaking a detailed feasibility study for the priority technologies. It will involve discussions with key industry partners, including those in forestry, transport, construction, and energy. We are also working closely with other agencies, including the Ministry of Transport and MBIE, to identify policy tools to incentivise investment.”

This next phase of work will come under the umbrella of the Forest and Wood Products Industry Transformation Plan, and as part of the broader Fit for a Better World initiative.

“A high-value low-carbon future for the forestry sector that will deliver economically and environmentally is an exciting prospect and I am looking forward to working with New Zealand industries to achieve this.”

To download the report click here.

Photo:Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) director sector investment Jason Wilson

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Market Update: China Log Imports

International Forest Industries - Wed, 09/09/2020 - 11:51

US no longer largest log supplier – The main countries supplying more than 1 million cubic metres of logs to China in the first half of 2020 were New Zealand, Russia, Germany, Australia, PNG, Czech Rep, US and Solomon Islands. Shipments of logs to China from all main suppliers fell in the first half of the year. The decline of more than 70% in shipments of logs from the US was the most significant.

In the first half of the year New Zealand was the main log supplier to China accounting for 26% of total log imports. Imports from New Zealand totalled 6.33 million cubic metres, down 64% from the same period of 2019. The second ranked supplier of logs was Russia at 3.29 million cubic metres, down 56% from the same period of 2019 and accounting for about 13.5% of the national total.

The third ranked supplier of logs was Germany at 3.29 million cubic metres, down 22% from the same period of 2019 and accounting for just over 13% of the national total. Germany has become the most important supplier of China’s log imports.

Major entry ports for log imports from Germany – Over 90% of China’s log imports from Germany in the first half of 2020 were through Qingdao Port in Shandong Province which handled around 45% of all log imports.

The other major entry points for logs were Yanshan in Shanghai, Dapeng Port in Guangdong Province, Tianjin Port and Xiamen Haicang Port in Fujian Province.

The average price for China’s log imports from Germany through Qingdao port was the lowest at US$96 per cubic metre just below the average price for logs of US$100 per cubic metre. Logs supplied to China from Germany arrived via the China-Europe Railway Express.

Source: ITTO TTM Report 31 Aug

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FinnMETKO filled the venue – trade was booming

International Forest Industries - Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:23

The FinnMETKO 2020 annual professional exhibition for the heavy machinery industry attracted 9,950 visitors over its three exhibition days. 

  • Thanks to all participants, visitors, exhibitors and the volunteers who helped to organize the exhibition. Together we achieved a successful event in good spirits amid this unprecedented situation, which required special arrangements, says Markku Suominen, Chair of the exhibition management group.
  • The feedback from participants has been positive. Exhibitors said that they had reached their target audiences and had traded well at the exhibition, Suominen adds.

Teemu Sillanpää wins the Ykköskuski competition

Teemu Sillanpää came first at the Ykköskuski Finnish championships for earthmoving machinery drivers, organized on the last day of the exhibition. Jaakko Hannula took second place and Kim Lehkonen came in third.

The competition tested the drivers’ skills with two earthmoving machines: a front loader and an excavator. The winner was decided based on a total score. The competition was organized by GRADIA Jyväskylä.

The FinnMETKO exhibition is organized every two years. FinnMETKO 2022 will be held from 1.–3.9.2022.

The FinnMETKO 2020 professional and sales trade fair is Finland’s main event for the heavy machinery industry. The organizer responsible for FinnMETKO 2020 is Finnmetko Oy. The organizations behind the exhibition are the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry and Earthmoving Contractors and Keski-Suomen Koneyrittäjät ry.

www.finnmetko.fi 

More information is available from:
Chair of the exhibition management group Markku Suominen, tel. +358 (0)44 079 4977

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Australia – New Victorian Forest Products Association formed

International Forest Industries - Tue, 08/09/2020 - 14:21

The newly formed Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) yesterday announced 23 foundation members and elected its Interim Governing Council. The new Association will span Victoria’s forest industry value chain including plantations, native forestry operators, sawmills and pulp and paper making.

The eight members of the Interim Governing Council are:

• Sarah Harvie: Opal Group
• Rob Hescock: Hancock Victorian Plantations
• Paul Heubner: Allied Natural Wood Exports
• Mike Lawson: SFM Environmental Solutions
• Phil Mason: New Forests
• Darren Sheldon: Australian Bluegum Plantations
• Tony Price: Midway Limited
• Owen Trumper: AKD Softwoods

The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association Ross Hampton said, “Forest industries employ thousands of men and women in Victoria. At a time when so many jobs are being lost, our industries can play a big role in Victoria’s post – pandemic economic recovery if they are enabled to.”

“This new body will turbo-charge representation for all our industries and help make the case to policy makers that now more than ever our sustainable, renewable forest industries should be backed to deliver vital growth and prosperity.”

The Chair of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries inc (VAFI) Craig Dunn said, “We are entering a new era for the Victorian forest products industry. VAFI has been the voice of the industry for many years. This new peak body is being formed on the strong foundation laid by VAFI through the perseverance of its members”.

“The VFPA will bring a new approach and broader industry representation during these challenging times. VAFI will continue to operate in parallel until the VFPA is up and running to ensure a seamless transition,” Mr Dunn concluded.

Source: AFPA

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NZ – East coast sawmill set to create 50 jobs

International Forest Industries - Tue, 08/09/2020 - 13:51

Kiwi Lumber is to set up permanent operations following the successful trial of a sawmill at Matawhero, Gisborne. The operation will create 50 jobs and pave the way for NZ$15 million of capital investment over the next three years and a substantial investment in systems and teams.

Kiwi Lumber managing director Adam Gresham is confident the Matawhero mill can be highly successful. “Kiwi Lumber wouldn’t take this site on unless we were confident we could make a go of it,” Mr Gresham said.

“Gisborne will be our fourth sawmill site in the North Island. We are pleased with the results of the trial and excited about making our arrangements permanent through a lease with Trust Tairawhiti.”

Trust Tairawhiti chairman Dr Paul Reynolds reinforced the significance of growing wood processing to the region. “The trust invested in local infrastructure to act as a catalyst for growth in the wood processing sector. Tairawhiti currently processes 6 percent of wood, compared to 39 percent nationally.

“Kiwi Lumber will not only employ locals, they will also contribute to a more diverse wood industry and a more resilient Tairawhiti economy,” Dr Reynolds said. Trust Tairawhiti commercial general manager Richard Searle has worked closely with Kiwi Lumber during initial discussions and the trial period.

“Kiwi Lumber are experienced in running very successful timber processing businesses, taking on troubled sites, turning them around and growing them as part of their group,” he said. They have demonstrated 70 percent revenue growth in their sawmilling businesses over the past five years. We welcome that experience and track record to our region.”

Mr Gresham described Kiwi Lumber as a growing, progressive sawmilling company marketing radiata pine to the USA, Australia, Europe, Asia and New Zealand customers. The group consists of sawmills in Masterton, Dannevirke and Putaruru — employing 275 staff — and now Gisborne.

About 50 people will be employed at Kiwi Lumber Gisborne, increasing permanent employment in the region through the creation of a range of roles. Mr Gresham said Kiwi Lumber was pleased to be creating jobs at a time when the impact of Covid-19 was contributing to job losses and a lot of uncertainty in businesses and the workplace.

Source: Gisborne Herald

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What Wood You Do – the LIVE final

International Forest Industries - Tue, 08/09/2020 - 13:06
Global forest innovation competition is being decided 24 September

The What wood you do competition was launched in March to find new solutions that accelerate the transition to a fossil-free society. After more than 50 entries from 10 countries, six finalists have been selected from with ideas ranging from new uses for cellulose to high-tech drone solutions. Read more about the innovations below.

On September 24, the six forest innovations compete for €25,000 and the opportunity to realize their climate-smart business concept. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the final of the ”What wood you do?” innovation competition will now have limited be broadcast live online: https://whatwoodyoudo.eu/thefinal

At the final, the contestants pitch their ideas to the jury, which consists of industry experts representing Paper Province, Gunnar Sundblad Foundation, Business Värmland, Stora Enso and Sveaskog. Watching live online, you’ll see the finalists pitch their forest solutions to accelerate the transition to a fossil-free society. You’ll be able to send in questions, take part in live surveys, and interview the contestants before watching the winner announcement and prize ceremony.

While the finalists are honing their competition pitches, please save the date of September 24th. If you want to participate remotely, you will find the live feed at whatwoodyoudo.eu/thefinal. It is also possible to book individual interviews with the finalists and jury during the day, either on site or online via Zoom.

To book an appointment, get in touch you to a.aman@paperprovince.com.

WHEN: 24 September at 13.00 – 17.00 CET, with a 45-minute break between 15.15 and 16.00 for jury deliberation.

WHERE: Värmland Museum in Karlstad or online via whatwoodyoudo.eu/thefinal

CONTACT: Julian Reisz, innovation manager and final moderator julian@reiszandshine.com, +46731035818

The entries that compete in the final are:

Biosorb: A cellulose-based technology that absorbs fat, bacteria and oil from air and water

Wood Tube: Patented paper studs that can replace steel studs in interior walls – save money, reduces emissions and improves the working environment for carpenters.

FineCell: New technology for producing nanocellulose in the form of a dry powder – easier to integrate and use in packaging and other industries.

Nordluft: A drone-based distribution system for forestry and agriculture, which combines high-capacity drones, a ground truck and AI-powered control system.

Arboair: A forest scanning technology with 4K cameras and color shift analysis to detect infected or stressed trees.

Silvibio: A new bio-based seed coating, which provides a source of moisture and long-lasting nutrition to increase plant germination rate of up to 40 percent in dry conditions.

Read more about the competition and the finalists on whatwoodyoudo.eu

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Morocco discovers planting trees slows climate change

International Forest Industries - Wed, 02/09/2020 - 10:32

Climate change – Humanitarian crises have recently been declared in Sudan, Yemen, Niger, Mali, and Somalia—affecting at least 450,000 people—due to flash floods and landslides. Areas with low tree coverage and poor soil quality are more likely to experience flood and drought, as the soil is less able to retain excess rainwater.

Countries like Morocco, which are highly susceptible to long periods of drought, are welcoming reforestation efforts to improve agriculture. In partnership with civil society, the Moroccan government will plant 800,000 trees across the country by 2024.

Like Morocco, many are turning to agroforestry, or tree-farming, as an eco-friendly solution to climate issues. Globally, at least 650 million hectares of land (13.3% of total farming land) are used for agroforestry systems.

Planting trees also diversifies farming. Estimates claim forest-farms can be eight times more profitable than staple crops like grain, which can increase farmers’ incomes and reduce rural poverty.

Deforestation and poverty are linked

Almost 30 percent of the world’s 821 million malnourished people live in Africa, the highest prevalence by region. Despite socioeconomic improvements in Morocco (1.7 million Moroccans have moved out of poverty in the last decade), droughts continue to threaten agricultural production, which accounts for 20 percent of GDP and 30 percent of the Moroccan workforce. Low crop yield can exacerbate poverty, especially in rural regions, as two thirds of people who are in extreme poverty work as agricultural laborers.

However, African farmers are beginning to diversify their incomes, a method Morocco has been successful with in improving rural economies and reducing poverty throughout the region. For Moroccan farmers, this has meant investing in cash crops, such as fruit and argan trees, as opposed to producing principal crops, such as wheat and barley.

An oasis in the desert

Forest-gardens, or “food forests,” have been around since ancient times. These cultivated forests contain several layers. The top layer, usually fruit or nut trees, provides shade and traps moisture for smaller edible plants, such as shrubs and root crops.

One of the most well-known forest-gardens in Morocco, located in Agadir, is the Inraren forest, a strip of tropical fruit trees that covers approximately 65 acres. While the exact origins of the forest are untraceable, many believe that it has existed for at least 2,000 years.

The area began as a small gathering of plants, an alternative to transporting and cultivating food sources far away from home. Locals tended the area over thousands of years, creating a support system—beneficial insects, cultivation techniques, and traditional horticultural knowledge. The end-result was the creation of a “self-sustaining” ecosystem, a so-called oasis in the desert, where local produce—goats, chickens, pheasants—could live within and contribute to the survival of the trees and crops.

In addition to food staples and non-native produce, these forests provide shady spaces where cool, moist air can gather, keeping the surrounding land firm and water-retentive. The goal of food-forest developers is to create these forests in areas where the soil is prone to becoming loose and dry.

Resilience by planting trees

In order to combat the effects of global warming, governments are embracing reforestation initiatives. A simple initiative may involve tree planting as an activity. The Chinese government, for example, enacted a program in 1982 to combat the effects of climate change within the country, establishing that all able-bodied citizens between the ages of 11 and 60 have the obligation to plant three to five trees every year. Local governments are required to organize voluntary tree-planting activities that engage all citizens. This ensures that trees are not planted in unwanted areas that could harm the land or the people. Since the program began, a total of 42 billion trees have been planted across the country.

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF), a development nonprofit based in Marrakech, offers a method of reducing rural poverty by providing farmers with natural-grown fruit and nut trees to diversify and boost local incomes.

The approach connects three levels of stakeholders—individuals within the community, government, and local organizations—and provides a solution to barriers local farmers may face in trying to grow their own trees. Local farmers may not have available land or proper equipment to grow saplings from seeds, and nearby nurseries may be too expensive to purchase from.

HAF nurseries use land donated in-kind from donors such as the local Departments of Water and Forests, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Moroccan Jewish community. Locals grow seeds within these nurseries, keeping the process within the community. Then tree saplings are sold at reduced prices to local farmers, planted, and monitored for proper growth. In this way, the organization has planted 1.38 million tree seeds this year, partnering as well with Ecosia.

Similar support within the country has helped build women’s argan oil cooperatives, by providing argan trees, thereby reducing inequalities and bringing money back into local economies.

As climate change continues to affect communities around the world, reforestation and tree farming methods provide a solution. However, economic and political aspects of land ownership can challenge these initiatives. It will be important for those who choose to plant trees to do so in the right places.

Source: Scoop News

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HarvestTECH 2021

International Forest Industries - Wed, 02/09/2020 - 10:02

Early expressions of interest are being called for to present at next year’s major wood harvesting and log transport event, HarvestTECH 2021. Early details on the planned event can be found on the event website.

Background:
If you’re involved in wood harvesting, you’ll remember well the major harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2019 that ran in Rotorua, New Zealand last year. The event SOLD OUT well in advance of it running. It was the largest gathering of its type ever seen in New Zealand with close to 500 harvesting contractors, harvest planners, forestry managers and equipment and technology suppliers into the region’s logging industry attending.

In addition to most major New Zealand contractors being at HarvestTECH 2019, a large contingent of contractors and forest managers came across from Australia, Canada, the USA, Brazil, Chile, Finland, South Africa and Papua New Guinea. HarvestTECH 2020, with a focus on wood transport and logistics had been scheduled to run in September 2020, both in New Zealand and Australia. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the event had to be postponed.

The plan is to now run HarvestTECH 2021. It will run on 13-14 April 2021. However, the format, because of the uncertainty still surrounding travel internationally and between New Zealand and Australia (and even across state borders in Australia), for April next year has been changed.

So, what’s being planned?

1. One location. Like the 2019 event, the physical event (on-site presentations and trade exhibitions) for HarvestTECH 2021 will again be run in just one location, Rotorua, New Zealand. This enables delegates and exhibitors to plan with some degree of certainty.

2. LIVE + Virtual On-Line Event. Live links from the New Zealand event will be set up for those unable to travel into Rotorua.

3. Alignment with the Forest Safety & Technology 2021 event. As an added bonus, the very popular forestry safety event run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association is also being held at the same venue on the first day, Tuesday 13 April. This will enable delegates from both events to network during the breaks and to capitalise on the large number of trade exhibitions that are anticipated to be present in Rotorua.

Changed format and content:
With the theme of the postponed HarvestTECH 2020 series being on wood transport and log measurement and scaling technologies, this will still be forming an integral part of the planned two day-event in 2021. Day One of HarvestTECH 2021 will focus on log scaling, log segregation and loading, wood transport, logistics and technologies allowing data integration through the wood supply chain.

Day Two of HarvestTECH 2021, like the sold out 2019 event, will detail new equipment and operating practices being used to increase the mechanization, productivity and the safety of steep slope logging, new technology being rolled out by local wood harvesting contractors, the integration of automation & robotics into wood harvesting operations and best practices around ensuring environmental sustainability (roading, stream crossings and harvest residues management) in felling and in extracting wood from the forest.

So, if interested in saving a speaking space within the programme, best get back to the organisers to avoid missing out this time around. E mail your interest through to brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz BEFORE Wednesday 23 September.

As yet, they haven’t called for interest for those wishing to exhibit at the event. If wishing to express interest in receiving exhibition information as soon as it becomes available, please get in touch with gordon.thomson@fiea.org.nz.

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Exports – Port of Tauranga Offers Safe Harbour in a Global Covid-19 Storm

International Forest Industries - Wed, 02/09/2020 - 09:32

Exports decreased 8.0% in volume to nearly 15.8 million tonnes and imports decreased 7.8% to just over 9.0 million tonnes for the year ended 30 June 2020.

In the first half of the financial year, log volumes were hit by lower international prices and demand. By March positive signs were emerging in China, New Zealand’s major log export market, as business there returned to normal and demand increased.

However, forestry was deemed a non-essential industry during New Zealand’s Level 4 lockdown from late March. Log inventory stored at the Mount Maunganui wharves could be shipped to make way for essential cargoes, but cart-in did not resume through the port gates until early May.

Overall, log volumes decreased 21.5% compared with the previous year, to 5.5 million tonnes. Sawn timber exports decreased 10.4% in volume. Pulp and paper exports increased slightly over the full year.

For more info >>> here

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Reliable Komatsu S132 in a new version

International Forest Industries - Tue, 01/09/2020 - 11:09

The 2021 version of the Komatsu S132 introduces a number of functions and improvements that make an already well-adapted harvester head even more versatile and suited to demanding logging assignments. The reliable and service-friendly design has been updated with new features such as Constant Cut as standard, improved length measuring and a reinforced frame.

Together with the twin feed rollers, the sturdy build makes the Komatsu S132 a highly reliable head, with the frame now reinforced exactly where needed, such as around the vertical knife and the end stops for the wheel arms.

With Constant Cut as standard, the Komatsu S132 delivers a steady maximum chain speed of 40 m/s. The saw unit design ensures that the saw motor does not run too fast while reducing the risk of cutting cracks and thereby increasing productivity.

To ensure the best possible measurement accuracy, the length measuring function has been improved and reinforced. The measuring wheel cylinder, the hydraulics and the measuring wheel arm and its mount have been updated, and the head also boasts a brand-new measuring wheel unit, complete with a larger measuring wheel.
“These changes enable the measuring wheel to better follow the contours of the stem, thereby providing even better measurement accuracy,” explains Tobias Ettemo, product manager at Komatsu Forest.

The Komatsu S132 has a brand-new rotator that has been redesigned to meet market demand for functionality, performance and service life. What’s more, the head has a larger tilt angle. The generous 133-degree angle affords the head greater manoeuvrability while reducing loads when working in steep terrain.

The head has smart hose routing and protected head components and is very service-friendly, with easy access to service points, the valve assembly and other important parts. The colour marking tank has an improved design for easier filling while its hose routing has been moved to the inside of the frame to avoid unnecessary wear.

One new option for the Komatsu S132 is the Find End Laser, a function that resets the length measurement without the need for a new cut. This maximises timber length and increases production capacity. Further to this, the head now has several options that enable it to be mounted on an excavator, such as a choice of two different felling links and a reinforced base plate.

“Together, this all makes the Komatsu S132 a productive and reliable head suited to all kinds of forests,” Ettemo concludes.

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Mechanised tree planting technologies profiled

International Forest Industries - Fri, 28/08/2020 - 15:48

Mechanised tree planting technologies profiled – For the first time since the annual ForestTECH series started back in 2007, this year’s event will involve two separate themes over the two days. ForestTECH 2020 runs in Rotorua on 18-19 November 2020. This year, it’s being run live and as a virtual on-line event for Australian and international delegates.

The usual focus for the end of year series is on remote sensing, data capture, GIS and mapping and forest inventory technologies. One of the two days this year will again be providing insights into new data collection technologies that have been developed and are being used operationally out in the forest. Advances that have been made on processing and better interpreting the big data streams now routinely being collected out in the field is also a key component this year.

ForestTECH 2020 has also set aside a full day to cover new technologies around forest establishment, mechanised planting and silviculture. A significant number of presentations given at last year’s ForestTECH series covered research and trials that had been undertaken on planting with drones, seedling deliveries onto planting site by drones and survival counts of tree seedlings using satellites, hyperspectral and multispectral imagery and deep learning. As these new remote sensing technologies are being rolled out, there is an obvious cross over between forest data collection and cutting-edge research and trials around tree crop management.

Recently, there has also been a resurgence of interest being shown by forestry companies in Australasia on mechanised or automated operations for planting and silviculture. The economics are starting to stack up and the technology can address the growing issue of labour shortages that are being faced over the planting season. Mechanised or machine planting is already successfully being used across Scandinavia and in South America. Operational trials have been undertaken in the central North Island of New Zealand last planting season with more extensive plantings using the mechanical planting systems planned for this year.

Aside from addressing the shortage of planters this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, some of the advantages being seen of mechanised planting using planting heads mounted on an excavator are much better soil cultivation (ripping and mounding) for the young trees and greater consistency in the quality of the tree planting. Fertiliser granules can also be integrated into the planting process, along with herbicides or insecticides if required.

In drier climates or at the end of the planting season, tree planting can also be extended by the application of water (or slow release irrigation) at the time of planting. This feature, particularly with eucalyptus plantings in countries like Chile, Brazil, South Africa, China and Indonesia, has been used successfully and is being trialled this season in northern NSW.

Each of the main mechanised planting head manufacturers; Bracke, Sweden, Risutec, Finland and the M-Planter, Finland (represented in this part of the world now by a CNI land preparation contractor) will be presenting as part of ForestTECH 2020. Early trial results and lessons from trials by some of the larger companies in both New Zealand and Australia will also be detailed to ForestTECH 2020 delegates as part of the November event.

Full details of the programme for both days can now be viewed on the event website and here.
Photo: Risutec

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HAIX Launches Evolution of Trusted Forestry Boot – Protector Forest 2.0

International Forest Industries - Fri, 28/08/2020 - 14:19
Few work environments present such a variation of potential hazards as the forestry, arboriculture and outdoor work sectors. From extreme weather to difficult underfoot terrain, working with cutting tools to working at height, wearers in these industries demand more from their protective footwear than any other.

Specialist functional footwear manufacturer HAIX understands that the exceptional demands on forestry workers require exceptional footwear. That’s the reason why the Protector Forest 2.0 has been designed from the sole up to provide the comfort and protection that forestry workers and tree surgeons need, no matter the job.

Based on the tried and trusted design of the original, the Protector Forest 2.0 boasts the comfort and safety features wearers have come to expect along with upgraded and enhanced elements to provide even higher levels of protection, support and fit; all day, every day.

The Protector Forest 2.0 features the same Class 2 Cut protection as the original, protecting wearers operating chainsaws and cutting tools up to 24m/s, giving peace of mind when undertaking challenging felling and clearing tasks. The anatomically designed, Protective Toe Cap provides added protection from stubs and falling object hazards, while the sturdy VIBRAM/PU sole provides confident grip and traction in slippery underfoot environments, while ensuring excellent impact absorption and correct toe-to-heel movement.

Working in all weather conditions means forestry and outdoor workers need boots that can protect them from the elements, keeping feet dry and at an optimum temperature. The Protector Forest 2.0 includes a GORE-TEX® Performance inner lining which is water proof, abrasion proof and highly breathable. Offering enhanced climate comfort, no matter the weather conditions, it works with the hydrophobized, breathable suede-leather upper to keep feet dry.

The HAIX 2-zone lacing system enables separate adjustment of the fit around both foot and calf, allowing the wearer to adjust the boot to provide a personalised best fit. The HAIX Climate System uses the pumping movement of the wearer’s steps to permit air circulation through vents at the top of the boot, creating a consistently comfortable internal temperature.

The addition of a full rubber rand around the boot ensures even greater protection and durability, and the updated red/fluorescent yellow colour scheme gives the boot a striking visual profile and works to keep wearers easily noticed and safe in poor-visibility environments like dense underbrush or low-light forests.

“Our forestry and arborist wearers really put HAIX boots through their paces, and it’s their feedback we turned to when evolving the Protector Forest 2.0,” says Simon Ash, HAIX UK Sales Manager.

“We’ve worked hard to increase levels of comfort, protection and durability while maintaining the features that wearers relied on from the original version. By using smart materials and enhanced design and manufacturing processes, we’ve made sure that the Protector Forest 2.0 will provide wearers with high levels of comfort and safety, not just this year, but for many years to come.”

To find out more about the Protector Forest 2.0, or HAIX’s full range of safety and work footwear, head to www.haix.co.uk

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Koppers to invest in North Little Rock plant over next two years

International Forest Industries - Fri, 28/08/2020 - 13:26

Koppers, a global provider of treated wood products, plans to invest a minimum of $23 million and increase the number of workers at its North Little Rock facility in Arkansas over the next two years.

The investment will be used for new construction and to purchase equipment that will allow Koppers to upgrade and modernize the company’s processes and further improve its environmental footprint.

The North Little Rock facility, built in 1907, sits on 157 acres and currently employs approximately 80 people. The plant processes and treats more than 1.5 million wooden railroad crossties each year. The plant also produces switch ties, road crossings, and framed bridge timbers.

Koppers is an integrated global provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals, and carbon compounds.

The post Koppers to invest in North Little Rock plant over next two years appeared first on International Forest Industries.

New: Grapple saw with Total Tree Control

International Forest Industries - Fri, 28/08/2020 - 12:11

The Dutch company GMT Equipment is about to introduce a new product: the GMT TTC grapple saw. TTC stands for Total Tree Control. The products will enter the market as GMT035 TTC and GMT050 TTC. With the existing generation of grapple saws (GMT035 and GMT050), the branch will always tilt- down in a controlled manner after sawing. TTC combines the advantage of grasping the tree flexible with the ability to keep or hold tree sections in position when removing them. This ‘tilt-blocking’ method is unique and the system is patented.

Working safer
The mechanical felling of trees with a felling grapple is gaining in popularity. The biggest advantage is that the process is safer and more efficient than with traditional techniques. The new models of GMT Equipment’s grapple saws have been specially developed to make it possible to hold tree parts after the moment of sawing. Not only is the tilt cylinder of the grapple blocked, but so is the movement in all directions in the cardanic suspension. That means: flexible installation and fixed removal at the push of a button! There is no limit to the holding of the sawn tree sections, but for safety reasons, they are set at the factory to the maximum permitted loads of the crane on the load-bearing vehicle. The design and operation have recently been patented.

TTC: more possibilities with less manpower
Director Michel Gierkink of GMT Equipment provides the technical explanation: “We have fitted a double knee joint above the rotation section and the attachment to the crane or telescopic handler. Each knee joint has a hydraulic cylinder and a number of brake linings. These brake linings are clamped in place by the hydraulic cylinder pushing both suspension lugs toward each other. One push of a button suddenly transforms our pivoting grapple saw into a fixed grapple saw. This makes it possible to pick a branch from the tree exactly in the position in which it is attached. This allows you to work much cleaner when picking apart and removing entire trees.”

GMT Equipment noticed some customers need more control when removing branches. TTC combines the advantage of movement flexibility with the ability to keep or hold tree sections in position when removing them. The crane or telescopic handler operator can now bring the felled timber to the ground with even more control. This creates more possibilities when felling sick or dead trees or when there is little or no room to maneuver, particularly when there are surrounding objects such as houses, above-ground power and telephone lines or other obstacles. As a result, little loose wood ends up on the ground, which also saves a lot of manpower.

The Total Tree Control system will be introduced on 1 September 2020 and will become available in two variants: a 16 inch (GMT035 TTC) and a 20 inch (GMT050 TTC) felling diameter.

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by Dr. Radut