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Sodra reduces purchase price for spruce and pine logs, increases for fuel wood

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 11:19

Södra is adjusting the purchase price for spruce and pine logs as well as fuel wood.

“We are seeing a slowdown in the economy at the same time as wood supplies are high and forestry activity is intense. As a result, the market price of saw logs is declining,” the company said.

“Our operating environment is more unsettled, and we are entering a situation marked by greater uncertainty in the markets,” said Olof Hansson, President of the Södra Skog business area.

At the same time, demand for biofuel remains high. “We are currently experiencing increased demand primarily for fuel wood, driven by the energy transition we are seeing in society,” continued Olof.

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Logset’s Managing Director leaves the company

International Forest Industries - Thu, 31/01/2019 - 10:54

Jussi Malmi, the Managing Director of Logset Oy, will start working for another employer from February 1st, 2019. Logset has already started looking for a new Managing Director.

Logset Oy is a Finnish forest machine manufacturer located in Koivulahti, near Vaasa. The company was established in 1992 and today it has approximately 70 employees.

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Oregon Department of Forestry names Lena Tucker as Deputy State Forester

International Forest Industries - Fri, 25/01/2019 - 14:54

The Oregon Department of Forestry announced the selection of Lena Tucker as the next Deputy State Forester. Tucker follows Nancy Hirsch, who retired from the position in December. Under the department’s current structure, the Deputy State Forester serves as the Deputy Director for Operations, overseeing the agency’s operating programs in Fire Protection, Private Forests, and State Forests.

“I am very excited to work with Lena in her new role. She has a proven record of leadership within the department and at the local and national levels,” said State Forester Peter Daugherty.

Tucker joined the department in 1994. She brings a range of experience from geographic areas throughout Oregon and has worked in all of the department’s program areas, including Fire Protection. Most recently she served as the agency’s Private Forests Division Chief, where she focused on implementation of the Oregon Forest Practices Act, forest health, technical assistance programs to help private forest landowners and the Urban and Community Forestry Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in forest management from Northern Arizona University. Tucker, who lives in Sweet Home, Ore., is a member of that city’s Tree Commission and has been involved nationally with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) for over a decade. She is also a Certified Forester through the Society of American Foresters.

“I am committed to the mission of ODF: serving Oregonians by protecting, managing and promoting stewardship of Oregon’s forests to enhance environmental, economic, and community sustainability,” Tucker said.

Under an existing transition plan, Tucker will take over full responsibility for the position on July 1, 2019.

Photo: Lena Tucker

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Swedish Forest Agency: The notified area of final felling increased by 16% in Dec 2018

International Forest Industries - Fri, 25/01/2019 - 14:36
The notified area of final felling in Sweden continued to rise in December, with an increase by 16% compared to the same month last year. In the region Central Sweden, the December figures were the highest in over 10 years, according to the latest monthly statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency.

The total area of notified area of final felling in the whole country amounted to 23, 360 hectares. In the region North of Sweden the notified area of final felling increased by 32% to 4,527 hectares. The corresponding figures in the region South of Northern Sweden the notified area increased marginally by 1% and amounted to 5, 502 hectares.

The notified area of final felling in the region Central Sweden increased by 23% and amounted to 6,386 hectares and it is the highest monthly recorded data for December since 2007. In the region South of Sweden, the notified area of final increased by 15% and amounted to 6,946 hectares. This is also the highest monthly recorded data for December since 2007

On county level, the notified area of final felling increased in 17 of 21 counties. The largest increase was in Stockholm County by 93%, in Gävleborg County by 63% and increased in Västerbotten County by 58%.

There was a decline in notified area of final felling in Jämtland County by 40% and in Skåne County by 18%.

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Roseburg Forest Products –  Mike Reardon Promoted To Director Of Industrial Products Manufacturing; Mike Henry Named Simsboro Plant Manager

International Forest Industries - Fri, 25/01/2019 - 13:07

Roseburg Forest Products recently announced that Mike Reardon has been named Director of Industrial Products Manufacturing, effective Jan. 1, 2019. In his new role, Reardon will oversee the entirety of Roseburg’s Industrial Products manufacturing structure. This is the third promotion for Reardon since he rejoined Roseburg in January 2017 as Plant Manager for the company‘s composite panel plant in Simsboro, La. Reardon served as plant manager for another Roseburg facility from 2006-2009.

“In the past two years, Mike has made a significant impact through process improvements at Simsboro and our other industrial products plants,” Industrial Products Business Director Jim Buffington said. “After more than 30 years in wood products, he brings a depth and scope of experience to improve and enhance oversight of our operations.”

Mike Henry will replace Reardon as Plant Manager at Simsboro Composites, effective Jan. 14, 2019. Henry brings 25 years of experience successfully managing particleboard, MDF and TFL operations for companies including Jeld-Wen, Del-Tin Fiber and Arauco. He most recently served as vice president of operations for Essential Cabinetry Group in Greenville, S.C

Photo: Mike Reardon has been named RFP Director of Industrial Products Manufacturing

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Jake Elston Named Roseburg Svp Of Operations

International Forest Industries - Fri, 25/01/2019 - 12:34

Roseburg Forest Products is pleased to announce that Jake Elston will join the company as Senior Vice President of Operations on Feb. 18, 2019. In his new role, Elston will be responsible for all Roseburg manufacturing operations, including both industrial and structural products.

Elston has an established and respected reputation in the wood products industry, with 23 years of experience in manufacturing and operations. He began his career as a superintendent and technical director at Willamette Industries, became manufacturing director for Weyerhaeuser Co.’s North American Composites Business, and moved on to Arauco North America, where he served most recently as Vice President of Operations.

Elston served seven years as an aviator, mission commander and flight instructor for the U.S. Navy. He earned an MBA from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

“We are thrilled to have Jake join the executive team at Roseburg,” Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery said. “His extensive history with wood products, including broad national and international experience, allows us to structure our executive leadership to maximize opportunities for continued growth and development.”

Elston will work closely with Roseburg’s Ashlee Cribb, who has been promoted to Senior Vice President – Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for the sales, marketing and logistics functions, and the supply chain initiatives for the company.

“While the face of the company remains unchanged in the marketplace, our internal ability to leverage the strengths and collaboration that Jake and Ashlee bring to the table will propel Roseburg to continued success in future opportunities,” Mulbery said.

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NZ – Why no one wants to plant trees for $400 a day

International Forest Industries - Fri, 25/01/2019 - 12:18

Last week we covered Friday Offcuts story on the shortage of workers for planting trees. (see www.fridayoffcuts.com). It went like this: Pay rates of $400 a day are not enough to attract workers to plant trees, potentially putting a brake on the Government’s one billion trees by 2028 campaign. Forest nurseries have doubled plantings to 100 million tree seedings in response to Government incentives, but finding staff is the biggest hurdle to getting them in the ground.

Forest Management director David Janett said the bottleneck was not so much acquiring seedlings from forest nurseries, but finding people to plant the trees. “We are fully booked up for this year.” Planting rates in the North Island were reaching 60 cents a tree, which equated to pay rates of $300 to $400 a day. “And we still can’t get people.”

The story has had two reported feedbacks with RNZ running a response from Forest & Bird challenging the MPI programme itself (see here)** and a worker advocate challenging the worth of the roles: Here’s why no-one wants to plant trees for $400 a day – New Zealanders aren’t taking short-term jobs because it’s not worth their time to do so, workers’ advocate say. They were responding to reporting last week of a shortage of people to plant the trees required by the Government’s one billion trees by 2028 campaign.

Pay rates in the North Island are up to 60c a tree, or up to $400 a day if workers plant a tree a minute over 10 hours. There have also been reports of shortages of staff for meatworks, construction and agricultural roles.

First Union general secretary Dennis Maga said it was disingenuous to claim there were not enough willing workers.

“If you look at the industries that are claiming a worker shortage they’re all low paid, some have even broken the law through the exploitation and human trafficking of migrant workers,” he said.

“There’s a reason no-one wants to work in these jobs, their time isn’t worth the money and they often cannot afford to live on what some of these unethical businesses choose to offer. And it is a choice, right, what’s really disheartening is that it’s not like the money isn’t there. Horticulture for example is one of our highest export earners.”

He said many of the industries struggling to find workers had previously been staffed by international students but the number of students coming to New Zealand had dropped significantly.

In the 2017/18 financial year, there were 104,781 approved student visa applications. For 2018/2019, it was 44,970. “We end up with a split labour market. Kiwis won’t do the dirty, dangerous low-paying jobs.” He said employers finding it hard to hire should look at their strategy. “If they want to sustain their business in their industry they need to attract the young ones.”


Photo: First Union general secretary Dennis Maga

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Finland: A new technique based on gasification

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 15:09
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has developed a new technique based on gasification, which offers a sustainable way to turn forest industry byproducts, such as bark, sawdust and forestry waste, into transport fuels and chemicals. The new technique reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 90% compared to fossil fuels.

The new approach uses gasification to turn biomass into intermediate products – liquid hydrocarbons, methanol or methane – in production units integrated with communal district heating plants or forest industry power plants. The intermediate products are processed further in oil refineries to make renewable fuels or chemicals.

VTT developed and piloted the new gasification process and evaluated the competitiveness of plants based on the technique in the course of a recently concluded project called BTL2030. The distributed generation process developed by the project team makes efficient use of the energy content of biomass. Approximately 55% of the energy content is turned into transport fuels and a further 20-25% can be used to provide district heating or to produce steam for industrial processes. The new technique reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 90% compared to fossil fuels.

The process is based on VTT’s low-pressure, low-temperature steam gasification technology, simplified gas purification and small-scale industrial syntheses. Thanks to the small-scale approach, the heat generated by the process can be used throughout the year, and the process can be fuelled with local waste. Finland’s previous plans have involved considerably larger gasification-based diesel plants, the raw material demands of which could not have been satisfied with locally sourced waste.

Source: VTT Finland

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China’s forestry output tops 7 trillion yuan in 2018

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 14:54

China’s forestry sector output reached 7.33 trillion yuan (about 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2018, 2.88 percent up from than in 2017, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

The growth came amid the country’s ongoing drive for environmentally-friendly development, as the government banned grazing on degraded grasslands, increased financial input and stepped up law enforcement in the sector.

China’s desertified land has shrunk by 10 million hectares since 2012, while nearly 34 million hectares of forest has been planted, bringing the national forest coverage to 21.66 percent.

China unveiled a plan last November to enhance land greening and boost domestic ecological resources. Under the plan, China will increase its forest coverage to 23.04 percent by 2020, while the volume of forest resources will expand to 16.5 billion cubic meters.

Source: Xinhua Net

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NZ – $36 million to tackle regional erosion

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 14:28

Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) has announced funding of almost $36 million through the Hill Country Erosion Fund (HCEF) to enable much-needed erosion control in the regions.

The HCEF supports proposals to protect our most vulnerable hill country landscapes, where the main treatment is tree planting.

“We’re pleased by the level of interest from councils, with 12 applications received in this latest round – four of which were from regions that had not previously applied,” says Julie Collins, Deputy Director-General Forestry and Head of Te Uru Rakau.

“It shows the importance they are placing on sustainable land management and treating erosion in their regions.”

Ms Collins says the loss of productive land through erosion has a significant impact on the environment and the sustainability of New Zealand land.

“The annual cost associated with hill country erosion is estimated to be between $100 million and $150 million through lost soil, nutrients and production, and damaged infrastructure and waterways,” says Ms Collins.

“The 12 new HCEF programmes will take place between July 2019 and June 2023 and will deliver significant improvements in erosion control. For example, these range from building regional capacity and capability to plant trees, to farm planning and land treatments including planting poplars, willows and other indigenous and exotic species.

“We estimate that over four years, these programmes will result in more than 13 million trees being planted and treatment of more than 21,000 hectares of land,” says Ms Collins.

“These will contribute to the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme, and deliver environmental and a range of other benefits across the country.”

Photo: Julie Collins, Deputy Director-General Forestry and Head of Te Uru Rakau.

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John Deere and Hitachi to end arrangement

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 13:56

From May John Deere Construction & Forestry and Hitachi Construction Machinery (Australia) Pty Ltd. (HCA) have agreed to end a successful 29 year distribution arrangement of Deere branded and manufactured construction, forestry, and compact machinery in Australia. As the joint businesses expanded over the years, so have each company’s priorities in various markets around the globe.

“John Deere Construction & Forestry Company (Deere) and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (Hitachi) have a long and successful global partnership spanning multiple continents and product lines,” said Dan Fitzpatrick, global director of construction & forestry sales outside of the Americas.

“This partnership served both companies well and supported each company’s global growth over the multi-decade relationship. Over the course of the next five months Deere and HCA will work together to execute a seamless transition of business to John Deere Limited’s newly appointed construction and forestry dealers in Australia.”

As of May 1, 2019, RDO Equipment Pty Ltd (RDO Equipment) will be appointed the authorized John Deere Construction & Forestry Dealer for John Deere Limited in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory. AFGRI Equipment Pty Ltd. (AFGRI) will be appointed the authorized John Deere Construction & Forestry dealer for John Deere Limited in Western Australia.

“John Deere Limited, HCA, RDO Equipment and AFGRI are committed to working together to ensure this transition has minimal impact on customers’ access to machines, parts, and/or service,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Similarly, John Deere Limited, HCA, RDO Equipment and AFGRI are committed to smoothly transitioning customers who have existing agreements and service contracts with HCA. We believe this change in distribution will allow both companies to increase focus on their respective brands and provide a world class experience to customers across Australia.”

The changes announced in this press release have no impact on Deere and Hitachi’s partnerships or distribution arrangements outside of Australia.

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Tilhill Forestry’s professionalism steps up further

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 13:12
Tilhill Forestry has anounced that another six members of staff have gained their Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) Professional Member’s status.

The Company supports the Institute and endeavours to see all applicable staff achieve chartered status. The company pays the membership subscription fee and supports staff members as they plan their route to chartered status.

Tilhill’s Forestry Director, Tim Liddon FICFor said: “Membership of the Institute has long been encouraged at Tilhill Forestry. Externally and internally within Tilhill Forestry, chartered status denotes an individual’s standing within the profession.  It demonstrates a commitment to Continuing Professional Development and a commitment to follow a Code of Conduct and I am delighted that we now have a further six professional forest managers within our forestry team. Many congratulations to them.”

Our staff also consider that achieving ICF status is a significant step up in their careers. Upon gaining his chartered status Byron Braithwaite, Forest Manager Central Borders said: “I am excited for the opportunities that certification will offer me. Thanks to the colleagues that supported me through the process.”

In addition to Byron, Tilhill’s other successful staff were Forest Managers Andrew Fisher, Colin Corkhill and David Crozier, Senior Forest Manager Callum Nicholson and Head of Investment & Property Bruce Richardson.

Dr Stuart Glen, Institute of Chartered Foresters added: “The Institute of Chartered Foresters is delighted with another record number of applicants promoted to Professional Member status last year. Chartered Status denotes standing within the forestry profession. It gives staff parity with other professionals e.g. Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers, Surveyors, Environmental Scientists, Planners, etc., many of whom employees will encounter on a regular basis in day-to-day activities. This notion of parity and recognition across professions is highly important to many members.”

Tilhill Forestry’s latest ICF Professional Members:

Byron Braithwaite, Forest Manager

Byron Braithwaite joined Tilhill Forestry in 2015 following the completion of his degree at Bangor University. As part of his degree he spent a year working with the Forestry Commission in Central Scotland and he completed Tilhill Forestry’s graduate programme. He now manages a broad range of forests in the Scottish Borders.

Colin Corkhill, Forest Manager

Colin Corkhill is based at Alton in Surrey giving him management responsibilities across a swathe of Southern England. He has been working in the industry for over 10 years, initially studying Lowland Woodland management at Sparsholt Agricultural College, where he was awarded Best Overall Performance by Royal Forestry Society.

Colin is thrilled to be receiving member status and of learning of his success said: “Becoming a Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters has been something I have aspired to since I began my forestry career with Tilhill Forestry back in 2011.  The recognition by my peers of my hard work and dedication to the implementation of sound forestry and silvicultural practices across southern England is highly gratifying.  This is truly the pinnacle of my career to date and an accolade of which I am extremely proud.”

David Crozier, Forest Manager

Forest Manager David Crozier covers the North West of Wales, managing client properties. He holds a BSc Honours degree in Countryside Management from Harper Adams University. With experience working as an Estates Manager in Derbyshire, David has since developed an interest in forest diversification and adding value to commercial conifer plantations.

Speaking of his success David said: “Last year was a very big and crazy year for me – I had the letter through confirming my ICF status a few days after my son Bertie was born. It was a good week for me and the ICF news was the cherry on top!

“I consider that membership of the ICF is important because it’s a stamp of professionalism that demonstrates trust and competency for anyone with a chartered status. For me, personally, it was a huge relief to ‘get there’ after a lot of hard work and preparation throughout last year and I am proud to put the ‘MICFor’ letters after my name.

“The promotion has provided a confidence boost and has cemented my position as a forest manager within Tilhill Forestry. Throughout the process Tilhill has provided huge amounts of support to get me to this stage, which would have been impossible without the experience gained in my role. I enjoy carrying out CPD events and networking that the ICF provides and I will continue to play an active role in engaging with the ICF community.”

Andrew Fisher, Forest Manager

Andrew Fisher, Central Borders Forest Manager is focused on commercial forestry management and large scale woodland creation for a wide range of forest owners, he was one of only two applicants this year to be presented with an Award of Excellence for his PME submission.

Andrew said: “I am very pleased to have been promoted to full chartered status, it is the culmination of 5 years of hard work toward this achievement. Drawing on all my knowledge and experience gained during my time in the industry. Chartered membership of the ICF is the mark of professionalism within the industry, so I am very proud to have this against my name. Beyond that the organisation will offer networking, learning and knowledge sharing opportunities throughout the industry.

“I am very pleased and proud my work has been chosen for the Award of Excellence, even more so now I know there were only two issued within the 52 promotions!”

Callum Nicholson, Senior Forest Manager

Callum Nicholson, Senior Forest Manager, North Highland joined Tilhill Forestry in 2016 after seven years working for Forest Enterprise in North Scotland. He completed his BSc in Forestry and Conservation with distinction from the University of Highlands in 2016. Callum’s background is in forest establishment, maintenance operations, GIS mapping and the preparation of forest management plans for both commercial and native woodlands and he has been heavily involved in the development of SRDP woodland creation projects, with an emphasis on native woodland expansion.

Callum said upon receiving the news: “I am delighted to have gained chartered status. It’s important to me as it demonstrates professionalism to both clients and colleagues. I see it as a very important achievement towards my continued development as a Forester, by attending thought provoking ICF events and having access to such a wealth of information and the opportunity to network with industry colleagues.”

Bruce Richardson, Head of Investment & Property

Head of Investment & Property, Bruce Richardson originally worked in the financial services industry and afterwards completed a Masters degree in Forestry before joining Tilhill Forestry in 2012. Bruce supports both individual and corporate clients with property acquisition, valuation and woodland creation projects. He also leads on several projects such as the production of the annual UK Forest Market Report. Commenting on the recent promotion he said:

“Coming into forestry as a second career it was very important to me to be able to provide assurance to my clients (and myself) that I can be trusted as a competent professional in my new career and that I am recognised as such by my peers.

“The demanding entrance process, the requirement for continuous development, all governed by a strong Code of Conduct, enforces this professionalism. Surprisingly, I found the entrance process itself was a confidence booster, as it gave me the chance to reflect on what I have achieved and see how far I have travelled since joining Tilhill Forestry.”

Photo: Andrew Fisher, Central Borders Forest Manager

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Tilhill Forestry seek quality graduates

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 12:47
Tilhill Forestry is seeking graduates with drive, passion and enthusiasm who are interested in a career within the forest sector with the industry’s leading company.

High-achieving forestry graduates, or those studying for a degree or about to graduate in forestry or related subjects such as land management, environmental studies or horticulture, will be ideally placed to join Tilhill Forestry’s three-year graduate programme. Successful applicants are assigned to a district office or business stream where they learn every aspect of that area, including shadowing highly experienced colleagues. Graduate trainees are offered mentoring and are paired with an experienced manager during their training period.

Tilhill Forestry Managing Director George McRobbie said: “This is a very exciting time to join the forest industry and Tilhill Forestry is a superb company to work for with a wide variety of roles across the UK on offer. There is the added benefit of being part of the BSW Group – BSW is the UK’s largest sawmill company.

“We are looking for graduates with drive, enthusiasm and passion for managing and creating forests and working outdoors.”

Tilhill Forestry offers all its employees a friendly and challenging work environment with good personal and career development opportunities. The Company operates a unique management development programme that starts by building up employees’ management skill sets in order to give them all the tools required to be our managers of the future.

Applications opened in December with placements starting in June 2019. If you’re a recent graduate or studying for your degree, you can find out more about our graduate opportunities by visiting the careers section at www.tilhill.com Applications should be emailed to careers@tilhill.com and the process closes on 10th February 2018.


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Local sawlog prices increase in Brazil

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 12:35
Softwood lumber exports from Brazil have increased 36% from January through November this year as compared to the same period in 2017, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

In US dollar terms, the export price has only gone up a modest three percent from the 3Q/17 to the 3Q/18, but because of the weakening Brazilian Real, there has been a 26% increase in the export price in the local currency over the past year. This development has led sawmills to expand export sales, which has resulted in higher demand for sawlogs.

As a consequence, there has been continued upward pressure on log prices, which reached a new all-time-high in the 3Q/18, according the Wood Resource Quarterly. This increase is a continuation of a trend that started in 2013 when sawlog prices averaged BRL125/m3.

In US dollar terms, Brazilian sawlog prices have declined the past year because of the strengthening dollar and in the 3Q/18 were at their lowest levels in over two years.

Despite excess regional supplies of both pine and eucalyptus pulplog, prices in the local currency have increased slightly this year. Eucalyptus pulplogs have gone up three percent from the 3Q/17 to the 3Q/18, while average prices for softwood pulplogs have increased 1.3% during the same period, reports the WRQ. However, in the Southern region of Brazil, prices for pine pulplogs have declined somewhat, which was an unwelcome development for the many small independent land owners and timberland investors in the region.

The limited price improvements over the past few years, oversupply of pine pulplogs, and potentially more attractive land-use alternatives in the agricultural sector, have led some landowners to choose to plant agricultural crops rather than trees. There is a concern that if many current owners of forest plantations choose this path, there will be insufficient supply of wood raw-material for the forest industry in the southern states in the future.

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Ufkes Greentec b.v. Drachten strengthens position in Germany with acquisition of Schültke GmbH

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 12:21

Ufkes Greentec b.v. the developer and producer of forestry machinery, such as wood chippers, stump grinders and forestcutters, has been active in the German market for a long time now.

Schültke GmbH is a family business and market leader in selling Rayco stump grinders throughout the whole of Germany. By joining forces Schültke can facilitate the German market even better and provide optimum service.

From North Rhine-Westphalia (Sundern) we are strategically positioned to easily facilitate sales, service and parts. As extension of Ufkes Greentec b.v. our employees can always be informed about the newest developments and trained to provide the best customer support.

Schültke GmbH is excited to get the opportunity to continue expanding the company and its team. The acquisition matches our ambitions for further growth in Germany. Ufkes Greentec b.v. has been the market leader for PTO driven and built on stump grinder for years. Together with the wide range of Rayco self propelled stump grinders the target is now provide the right machine for all customers.

With a professional range of Greentec wood chippers, Greentec Forestcutters and Greentec stump grinders, together with Rayco stump grinders, Schültke Ufkes Greentec GmbH now offers the complete range for forestry, authorities and landscapers.

Greentec machines are widely deployed in Germany and are recognized for their robust built, high-tec control, easy maintenance and customized solutions. From the compact, 30 cm infeed, crane fed, car towed chipper up to machines with 600 HP.

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VEON – a prominent member of Forest Industries Ireland

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 11:48

A recent development for the forestry sector in Ireland has been the launch of Forest Industries Ireland.

Ireland has a significant strategic advantage over its international competitors with higher forest growth rates, cutting edge processors and increasing scale over the coming decades.

Strong government support demanding an increase in forest cover (currently just 1 in 10 acres is planted) aligned with a modern industry sector can ensure it contributes to expanding the rural economy for the benefit of all, together with all the environmental benefits that emanate from a healthy, vibrant forestry sector.

Veon Ltd is a prominent member of Forest Industries Ireland.

For more click here.

Photo:  Daragh Little, Managing Director Forestry of VEON Ltd; Fergal Leamy of Coillte; Brian Murphy, FII Chairman; Mark McAuley FII Director at the launch of Forest Industries Ireland.

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Acquisition gives Morbark global mulcher attachment line and future growth

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 11:29

Morbark, LLC, has recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of DENIS CIMAF, Inc., based in Roxton Falls, Québec.

This transaction represents the company’s second acquisition since private equity firm Stellex Capital Management LP acquired Morbark in 2016. The acquisition of Rayco Manufacturing in October 2017, brought a lineup of innovative equipment into the Morbark family across multiple product categories.

In particular, Rayco stump cutters, aerial trimmers, forestry mulchers and crawler trucks. The purchase of DENIS CIMAF is another step in the Company’s strategic focus on broadening the range of tree care and industrial equipment, aftermarket parts, and service offered to their Customers.

Founded by Laurent Denis and his wife, Monique Vaillancourt, in 1998, DENIS CIMAF specializes in the development of high-performance brushcutter-mulcher attachments for excavators, skid steers, forestry tractors, graders and other types of heavy equipment.

The company manufactures four main lines of products: the DAH series, industrial mulcher attachments for excavators; the DAF series, attachments for skid steers and other dedicated carriers; the DTN series, industrial brushcutters-mowers for roadside maintenance; and the EWF series, dedicated hydraulic power packs. The Company celebrated its 20th anniversary in business this past summer.

“The DENIS CIMAF team and I are extremely excited to be joining the Morbark family,” said Benjamin Denis, the newly appointed General Manager of DENIS CIMAF.  “DENIS CIMAF is a fantastic business with committed and passionate associates, a great track record and enormous global potential. Being part of the Morbark family will enable us to continue to grow the business farther and faster.”

Dave Herr, Chief Executive Officer of Morbark, commented, “DENIS CIMAF’s line of attachments are complementary to our current tree care and industrial product lines. In fact, DENIS CIMAF mulcher heads have been an available option on our Rayco carriers for many years. The company’s patented mulcher head design has enabled them to become the mulcher head attachment of choice among intensive vegetation control, land clearing, roadside transmission lines, pipeline maintenance, and forest fire prevention contractors.”

Transaction Highlights:

  • The transaction is a positive, strategic fit for both companies. DENIS CIMAF brings a lineup of patented, innovative equipment into the Morbark family across multiple product categories and will enhance the Morbark carrier product line.
  • Benjamin-Pierre and Simon Denis, sons of DENIS CIMAF founders, Laurent Denis and Monique Vaillancourt, will continue to lead the DENIS CIMAF team to develop new products and help improve the company’s existing product lines.
  • Morbark will operate DENIS CIMAF as a new division maintaining its brand identity. DENIS CIMAF’s experienced management team will continue to manage its operations. Teams from each company will work together to determine how to be more efficient and leverage each other’s strengths.

Herr continued, “The companies have a common entrepreneurial heritage and culture, and this is a great fit with immense potential for growth. We are anxious to get started.”

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Harvesters may explode the volume of data from forests

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 13:00

New technology and big data open up new opportunities for forest harvesting entrepreneurs, allowing them to provide services for a variety of purposes.

Even today, harvesters gather a stunning amount of data for forestry needs, but they could do it for others, too. The machine could make available many new types of data from forests.

”This could be of interest to other sectors of society, and some might even be prepared to pay for it,” says Matti Rahikka, an expert on data protection and Executive Director of the DPO Finland company. Rahikka was one of the speakers at the Forest Day organised by the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry and Earth Moving Contractors.

Sensors attached to harvesters already gather data on distances, temperatures, humidity, air pressure, velocity, light, soil conditions, geography and location, as well as the amount and water content of snow.

According to Rahikka, a harvester could also function as the ground base of a drone. Computer vision is developing fast and also offers new possibilities for drones.

Drones can be programmed to follow animate or inanimate objects, they are able to fly along a pre-set path, avoiding obstacles and then returning to their path. They can reach a speed of 50 km/h and are able to fly even seven kilometres without re-charging.

A drone could estimate the amount of stout timber in a forest and the amount of smaller timber for pulp production. It could estimate the quality of the forest and, for example, check the condition of powerlines.

It can identify animal species and count the number of individuals per species. It can look for spruces suitable for Christmas trees, find mushrooms and berries and tell whether they are good for picking – for it can tell the difference between ripe and unripe berries even if shaded by leaves.


Movable base station to harvesting sites

When a harvester is transported into the forest, the same lorry could bring in a base station for broadband connections and an aggregate. ”This would provide a power source and broadband to the people living nearby,” says Rahikka.

At the moment, image processing software is able to identify individuals by their faces in a crowd, as well as their moods – and even different foods and their components on a plate.

360-degree cameras could be installed in forest machinery to monitor, for example, the condition of the forest and the trees spared during logging. Machine vision can tell whether the operator is having a break, repairing the machine or back in his seat. Or whether he, or she, is in a good mood.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of all kinds of appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, bicycles – of anything you can imagine – connected to the internet. When connected, these devices can then gather and transmit data wherever we want it.

The largest artefact in a forest is the harvester. ”Even today, it is full of computer and communication technology, but the time may have come for it to start serving not just the forest sector but the whole society,” says Rahikka.


New use for old NMT frequency

Sensors connected to the IoT network transmit data through the Narrow Band IoT (NBIoT), with a frequency of 450 megahertz. This was used earlier by analog mobile phone networks, such as the Nordic Mobile Telephone, the predecessor of the GSM network in the Nordic countries.

For IoT, the network has two important features. It has a very long range, several tens of kilometres. Secondly, it cannot transmit large quantities of data, but this is not a problem for sensors working in NBIoT.

As a result, these sensors do not need much energy and they may be located at quite a distance to the base station. At the moment such sensors may function for even ten years without re-charging, and their price is continuously decreasing.

Thus, the 450-megahertz network is best suited for appliances with moderate smarts, but it can accommodate a great number of them and across a large area. If the prices continue to drop, one day they might be scattered in the forest just like seeds to transmit data on the conditions in their environment for as long as the power supply will last.

Examples of existing NBIoT technologies include parking spaces indicating that they are free, problem spots in plumbing, remote sensing of heart rate, sensor-equipped collars for sheepto inform their location, or letterboxes and trash bins indicating they should be emptied.

Who owns the data?

But who owns the data gathered by a harvester? The data may be gathered for the harvester owner, but also sold to other parties.

According to Finnish legislation, you cannot own data, says Rahikka. “But you can own the device or appliance in which the data is stored. And in most cases sharing the data makes sense – whether or not you want someone to pay for it,” says Rahikka.

In Finland, there is by now an agreement on sharing the data gathered by forest machinery between forest industry companies, forest machine entrepreneurs and the manufacturers of forest machinery. The agreement aims at clarifying the rules of owning and sharing the data and at promoting new applications and services based on data gathered by forest machinery.

In addition to the forest industry companies, only one forest owner is a party to the agreement: the state forest company Metsähallitus. However, private forest owners are free to join in whenever they wish.


Hannes Mäntyranta


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Ftg Forest And Kallefall Produce A New Skidding Grapple

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 12:41

The FB22SG features well protected tongs‘ rear linkage placement and weight optimization.

The grapple is designed to extract single trees and bunches of smaller trees. The frame and tongs are reinforced in high stressed areas to improve durability and safety. Two high quality hydraulic cylinders are connected to the tractor’s quick couplings and the unit is ready for extraction. The grapples have a large opening, and sufficient distance from the slewing joint, which allows transporting of even larger bunches of timber. One of the biggest benefits is that it requires only a low horsepower tractor and does not require the operator to dismount from the tractor to operate it.

The skidding grapple is attached to the tractor’s three-point linkage. The robust design permits the long service life and low maintenance cost. A powerful double action cylinder and toothed frame provides strong grip which secures the logs or trees between the jaws. The hydraulics allow the grapple to swing to the sides (± 43°), which makes picking up of bunches from the extraction route easier as well as enables load steering to follow the tractor’s movements thus causing less/no damage to the growing young trees in thinning applications. It is an ideal application for short extraction distances.

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Progressive Kiln order from ULK Velsk Sawmill to HEINOLA

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 12:24

ULK Velsk Sawmill in Arkangelsk district has recently ordered two 2-zone Progressive Kiln type HFB from Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc. with annual capacity of ca. 120.000 m3 when drying spruce and pine timber to 18 % final moisture content.

Progressive kilns are equipped with pressure frames and HEINOLA New Drying Kiln Control System. The new Progressive Kilns will be taken into production this year.

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by Dr. Radut