WoodWeek – 18 April 2018

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. The week we have an update on the new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) which come into force on 1 May 2018. Before they come into effect, foresters will need to familiarise themselves with the requirements for each forestry activity and understand how the three tools apply to their own land. They will need to prepare (and keep records of) a forestry earthworks management plan, harvest plan, and quarry erosion and sediment management plan for submission to council.

In a change to a decades-long trend, Japan’s wood exports have grown in the past few years. Lumber export increased for two straight years by both volume and value. Japan’s total wood export sales in 2017 were 32.6 billion yen, 37% more than 2016. The largest factor of the increase in 2017 was log export, particularly for China.

Meanwhile, despite the negative long-term economic implications of recent oil and gas exploration plans, there is good news. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will provide $250,000 for the development of a digital tool for farmers to assess the viability of planting trees on Taranaki hill country farms. The Taranaki Regional Council will lead the work with hill country farmers to help diversify their land use where needed. It is estimated that 80,000 hectares could be suitable for planting.

As some of you may know, our Innovatek team has recently expanded our operations, adding conferences in North America and technology transfer service on tall timber buildings in New Zealand. On Tuesday 28 August our 3rd Annual Changing Perceptions Conference, running in Rotorua, is focused on the growing use of engineered timber in construction. It will showcase how the use of timber in large structures is increasing internationally, as well as exploring changes in timber use in New Zealand. Case studies of wood in commercial building will be explored from different angles, including both emotive and economic responses to engineered timber buildings. Lendlease from Australia are one of the key leaders in this area.

Moving to transport, log trucks are now being fitted with a mobile phone on the dash in a series of studies aimed at collecting road data from more remote forestry roads for planning and maintenance. Log measurement, trucking, and wood transport technologies are major themes for the two-yearly WoodFlow 2018 series running in both Australia and New Zealand in mid-June. Registrations are now flowing in. Full details of both programmes can be found on the event web site, www.woodflow.events.

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Forestry standards set to come into effect

Staff from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have travelled the length of New Zealand over the past six months hosting workshops for councils and the forestry sector on the new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES- PF) which come into force on 1 May 2018.

The new nationally consistent regulations replace regional and district council plan provisions for plantation forestry activities. The regulations are based on existing good practice standards for the forestry industry.

The NES-PF covers eight core activities in the life-cycle of a plantation forest. Most forestry activities are permitted by the NES-PF provided foresters meet the permitted activity conditions. If not, they will need to apply to council for a resource consent.

Three risk assessment tools are available to help foresters and councils determine when consents will be needed for forestry activities. These tools identify the risk of wilding conifer spread, erosion, and disturbance to waterways while fish are spawning.

“The workshops provided foresters and council staff with an overview of the NES- PF and information on their responsibilities under the new regulations,” said Oliver Hendrickson, Director Spatial, Forestry and Land Management, MPI.

Under the NES-PF plantation foresters will need to familiarise themselves with the requirements for each forestry activity and understand how the three tools apply to their own land.

When required they will need to prepare (and keep records of) a forestry earthworks management plan, harvest plan, and quarry erosion and sediment management plan for submission to council.

“The workshops also enabled foresters to discuss any issues they needed further clarification on, which allowed us to streamline and tailor our communications and guidance material to best meet their needs,” he said.

MPI has produced further guidance on the NES-PF which is available for download on the MPI website. Of particular interest to the forestry sector, are the NES-PF User Guide and the Consent and Compliance guide.

“We have met with more than 500 foresters during the NES-PF workshops. The general feeling is that these regulations provide more certainty for the sector, and the long term benefits for both the environment and forestry sector productivity are welcomed by both the forestry industry and local authorities,” he said.

A second round of workshops will be hosted by MPI and the New Zealand Institute of Forestry next month. The purpose of these workshops is to provide an opportunity to apply the NES-PF in a scenario based activity, assessing the forestry industries ability to apply and navigate the regulations.

For more information on the NES-PF visit: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/

Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

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Huge growth in Japan's wood exports

Japan’s wood export in 2017 - Total value of wood products’ export was 32.6 billion yen, 37% more than 2016. By items log export was 970,000 cbms, 49% more than 2016 and lumber was 130,000 cbms, 49% more. Wood export started increasing since 2013. Total value in 2013 was 12.37 billion yen then it increase by three times in 2017 with total value of 32,648 billion yen.

The largest factor of the increase in 2017 was log export particularly for China. Value of log export to China in 2017 was 10.3 billion yen, 84% more.

Volume of log export was 780,000 cbms, 62% more. An average value per cbm was 13,271 yen as compared to 11,701 yen in 2016, 1,570 yen more in 2017.

Log export to Korea in 2017 was 130,000 cbms, 29% more with the value of 2.3 billion yen, 22% more. Since Korea buys heavy to cypress, an average value per cbm was high at 17,384 yen.

Log export to Taiwan decreased in volume but the value increased. An average unit price per cbm was 16,000 yen, 3,084 yen more.

Lumber export increased for two straight years by both volume and value. Main markets of China, Philippines, Taiwan and Korea increased the volume then cedar fence lumber for the U.S. market increased by four times by shortage of North American red cedar supply and soaring prices. Rough lumber with dark red color is preferred.

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Call for speakers: Timber in Commercial Building

Innovatek's 3rd annual "Changing Perceptions" Conference is focused on the growing use of engineered timber in construction. It is scheduled for August 28th, 2018 in Rotorua. This conference will showcase the use of engineered timber internationally as well as exploring changes in timber use in New Zealand. The value of wood will be explored from different angles, including both emotive and economic responses to engineered timber buildings.

Our target audience is developers, architects, engineers, building designers, specifiers and quantity surveyors. The conference, that draws strong audience numbers, will continue on from the previous two events in this series, exploring further the use of engineered timber in buildings both in New Zealand and around the globe.

This year’s conference has been timed to suit developers as the NZ Property Council is meeting in Rotorua the same week. We are working closely with a wide range of international operators, service suppliers, researchers and government organisations to develop a strong and innovative programme.

If you are an early adopter, developer, innovator, technology supplier, service provider or researcher within the engineered timber and construction sector, the CPETC team would like to hear from you.

The CPETC 2018 conference will include sessions on:
  • Building Performance: Design & Implementation
  • Timber Options for delivering Commerical Building Solutions
  • Building the Future Sustainably
  • Overcoming Barriers to New Solutions

If you are interested in being considered as a presenter, or would like to recommend an early adopter, case study or international expert, please contact us by visiting https://connexevents.com/cpetc2018/.

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Taranaki tree planting tool gets Shane funding

Tool for tree planting potential on Taranaki farms - The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will provide $250,000 for the development of a digital tool for farmers to assess the viability of planting trees on Taranaki hill country farms, Regional Economic Development and Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced.

“Landowners will be able to use the simple digital tool to identify the return on investment and benefits of planting trees on their hill country farms,” Shane Jones said.

“It could help accelerate tree planting in the hill country from current rates leading to jobs, and environmental and social benefits. The tool could include decision- making help on the Emissions Trading Scheme and utilising tools such as SEDNET, which is used to predict land management effects on erosion and sediment yield.

“It also supports the One Billion Trees programme and has positive benefits through an increased contribution to climate change mitigation, enhanced water quality, soil protection and biodiversity.

“Taranaki has about 80,000 hectares of hill country in low-producing pastoral grassland that would be better suited, in terms of sustainable land use, to some form of forestry or vegetative cover. Yet there has been a gap of practical information to help farmers with their decision making.

“For more marginal farm land, there’s clear evidence that supports higher returns for forestry per hectare compared to drystock over the rotation of a forest,” Shane Jones said.

The Taranaki Regional Council will lead the work as it has well-established relationships with hill country farmers to help diversify their land use where needed.

The development of the tool will take about 12 months and will serve as a pilot project which could be replicated in other regions. The $440,000 initiative is being co- funded by the Taranaki Regional Council, which will play a major role promoting the tool.

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Entries closing soon for Timber Design Awards

New judges and new categories ensure the prestigious 2018 NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards are even more exciting, says NZ Wood’s Promotion Manager Debbie Fergie. But Monday, April 30th is the last day to enter. “Entries are already coming in, but if we don’t have yours it can’t be considered, and nor can it provide a showcase for your expertise,” she points out.

This is New Zealand’s only timber design award which allows engineers, architects, architectural designers and builders to showcase their innovative projects using locally-sourced timber.

Entries must be of a building or structure completed between 1 March 2016 and 28 February 2018 that includes a significant amount of timber, be it structural or decorative.

However, the judges recognise that wood and wood products can be used in many innovative ways, and this year the “Wood and Fibre Creativity Award” category has been revised and expanded. This can include original uses of wood fibre properties, perhaps applying chemical or process innovations to form new products. Last year, the winner of this category produced essential oil from wilding pines, for example.

This year, a new category of “multi-storey timber building design” has been added to reflect the growing acceptance of wood, particularly engineered wood, as a viable and cost effective construction material.

This makes ten categories in total that are offered, including the very popular “Innovation of Student Design Award” that was introduced last year. Other categories open for entries are Residential Architectural Excellence, Commercial Architectural Excellence, Engineering Innovation, Excellence in Engineered Wood Products, Interior Innovation, Exterior Innovation and Infrastructure, and the NZ Specialty Timber Award.

The speed of construction that wood offers helps meet accommodation and office space demand across the country and New Zealand is recognised as an international leader in the field, says Ms Fergie. “Both local and international companies are looking to New Zealand for timber design inspiration,” she says.

Judges this year will be Pamela Bell, Prefab NZ; David Carradine, Timber Design Society; Tim Melville, NZ Institute of Architects; and Andrea Stocchero, Sustainable Architect, Scion.

Finalists will be announced on Monday, May 21st and will have until July 20th to prepare their final submissions.

A cash prize of $2,000 will be awarded to the winner of each of the nine categories, and student winners will each receive $1,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the gala awards.

Winners will be announced at a gala event at the Grand Millenium Hotel in Auckland on Thursday, September 20th.

For a full list of entry criteria, and a timeline of entry submissions and judging announcements, call Debbie on 021-807 002, email her at debbie@wpma.org.nz or go to http://www.nzwood.co.nz/news-and-events/nz-wood-resene-timber-design-awards-2018/

Photo: Supreme winner of the 2017 NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards was Cathedral Grammar Junior School in Christchurch. The project was one of the first in the country to have structural components engineered off-site to within 0.5mm tolerances, then assembled on site.

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Wood exports affected by US tariffs

Wood products from China will be hit by US tariffs - The US Trade Representative has issued a list of products to which a 25% tariffs will be collected. The list covers some 1300 products imported into the US from China valued at about US$50 billion.

Wood products that now attract tariffs include wood products machinery and furniture parts. Analysts in China say inclusion of HS84193250, 84412000, 84413000, 84414000, 84418000, 84419000, 84209920, 84399910, 84399950 and parts of seats (94019015) and parts of seats of cane, osier, bamboo or similar materials (94019025) , as well as kiln dried wood (84193210) is of great concern to exporters.

In retaliation China unveiled a list of products imported from the United States for a possible additional tariff of 25% just hours after the United States released its list of Chinese products subject to an additional 25 percent tariff.

The list of products, defined by 8-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), can be found here.

Source: ITTO TTM Report

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Report: Forestry good for Queensland

New report shows forest industry adds $731 million to the Queensland economy -The forest industry contributed $685 million to the Queensland (QLD) economy in direct sales alone last financial year, increasing to a total of $1.624 billion once flow-on effects in other industries are included. This led to a total contribution to gross regional product (the regional equivalent of GDP) of $731 million.

That was among the key findings of a new industry snapshot funded by Forest & Wood Products Australia and conducted by the University of Canberra in conjunction with consultancy EconSearch, a division of BDO.

In terms of jobs, the QLD forestry industry generated over 8,400 direct jobs including almost 3,300 in forest growing and initial processing, and over 5,100 in secondary processing.

The plantations of southern pine generate the largest number of jobs (1,666 in growing and initial processing), followed by timber harvested from native eucalypt forests (691 jobs), Araucaria plantations (608 jobs) and native cypress forests (207 jobs) – showing the QLD forest industry draws on timber from a range of sources.

All these areas also generate further jobs in ‘secondary processing’ of initial timber products into further products, with imported timbers also used in the secondary processing sector.

The industry is an important contributor to the economy in several regional communities, and contributes to diversification of the economy in many regions. While most jobs - 5,167 - are in the South East region that includes Brisbane, 1,837 were generated in the Wide Bay Burnett region, 919 in the Southern region, 393 in the Central region, and 577 in the North region. The local government area with the highest dependence on forestry for employment was Gympie, at 4.6% of jobs.

Over 70 per cent of forest industry businesses reported difficulty recruiting heavy machinery operators, people with skills in occupational health and safety training and those able to operate hand-held machinery such as chainsaws.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Jacki Schirmer said that businesses remain hopeful:
“A little less than half surveyed (45%) felt demand would remain the same, and the remaining businesses (55%) felt that demand would grow over the next 12 months. “That said, obtaining labour, the increasing cost of labour, government regulations and rising input costs are still big challenges for many businesses.

“It is important to remember that the majority of forestry jobs are generated by the processing sector, as is the majority of the industry’s flow-on economic impact. This highlights the importance of local processing of wood and fibre for generation of jobs.”

Dr Schirmer would like to thank the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for their support in the project.

To read the report, click here

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Researchers excited about new carbon dioxide sink

Algae-forestry, bioenergy mix could help make CO2 vanish from thin air - An unconventional mélange of algae, eucalyptus and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage appears to be a quirky ecological recipe.

But, scientists from Cornell University, Duke University, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo have an idea that could use that recipe to help power and provide food protein to large regions of the world - and simultaneously remove carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere.

"Algae may be the key to unlocking an important negative-emissions technology to combat climate change," said Charles Greene, Cornell professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and a co-author of new research published in Earth's Future, by the American Geophysical Union.

"Combining two technologies - bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, and microalgae production - may seem like an odd couple, but it could provide enough scientific synergy to help solve world hunger and at the same time reduce the level of greenhouse gases that are changing our climate system," Greene said.

Based on an idea first conceptualised by co-author Ian Archibald of Cinglas Ltd., Chester, England, the scientists call the new integrated system ABECCS, or algae bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

The system can act as a carbon dioxide sink while also generating food and electricity. For example, a 7,000-acre ABECCS facility can yield as much protein as soybeans produced on the same land footprint, while simultaneously generating 17 million kilowatt hours of electricity and sequestering 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

More >>

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Woodflow Conference: Log trucks to collect more data

The digitalisation of the road network is often thought of as something related to main roads alone. The forest sector, however, is also interested in the road network outside main roads, and its condition will be monitored in many ways in the future.

Road data can already be easily collected by means of the mobile phone. With the appropriate application it is able to amass an astonishing variety of data. The phone can be installed behind the windscreen of the log truck. In this way, road data could be collected by the very people who need it most.

The mobile phone can be used to video the road. ”You can then use machine vision software to determine the road width, the state of undergrowth along the road, the condition of traffic signs, or the presence of stones, dust, snow and ice on the road, or whether it is slippery,” says Pirjo Venäläinen, Senior Research Scientist at the Metsäteho research and development company. The video will show stones with a diameter of just three centimetres.

Practically every smart phone can monitor its own movements. Thus, it is able to provide data on how even the road is. And, thanks to its GPS system, all data can be automatically transmitted on to digital maps. What is more, almost everyone has a phone. Anyone using a road can be a data collector.

Venäläinen knows of several existing projects to collect road data in Finland, though not that many collect data on minor roads, such as privately-owned and forestry roads. For the forest sector, however, these roads are essential, because they are used to transport logs from the forest to the industry.

Metsäteho aims at free access to as much of the data as possible, so that anyone could create new business on the basis of it. The network of minor roads is also needed for passenger and goods traffic, tanker lorries fetching milk from farms, tourism, trips to summer cottages, and other recreation.

However, the mobile phone is only one of the tools available for collecting road data. More exact data must be collected using more heavy-duty tools, such as laser scanners attached to vehicles. ”There are special traffic weather stations along the main roads. By attaching a monitoring unit to a vehicle, we could turn it into a mobile weather station,” says Venäläinen.

As far as collecting data by means of log trucks is concerned, the driver is in a key position. About a hundred workers connected to wood transport have been involved in pilot studies by Metsäteho. Their attitude towards the project has mainly been positive.

”Of course, the suspicion has been voiced that the studies are actually about monitoring the performance of the drivers, but it has been easy to dispel that thanks to the technical solutions adopted. You don’t, for instance, have to transmit all data real-time, but can collect a bigger batch and send it on at intervals,” says Venäläinen.

Collecting and sending on the data should be automatic, so that there is no additional need for the driver to key in anything. Another question to resolve is what data will be published anonymously and the extent to which the data collector can decide about access to it.

”These are important issues. We plan to set up a special task group to deliberate the rules for using vehicle data,” says Venäläinen. Data protection also interests companies and the managers of private roads. Niskanen anticipates that the new platform will be operational in the beginning of 2020, if everything goes according to plans.

More >>

Source: www.smy.fi



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Big increase in scholarships for primary industries

Scholarships doubled to help New Zealand’s primary sectors grow - Geneticists, robotics engineers, farm managers, entrepreneurs, foresters…Students wanting to use their talents to help New Zealand grow, can now search an extensive online database of scholarships to help fund their future study or training.

The database, originally developed in 2016 by GrowingNZ – the Primary Industry Capability Alliance (PICA) – has recently been relaunched at www.growingnz.org.nz/scholarships

“By adding additional scholarships and including internships, cadetships and apprenticeships relating to New Zealand’s primary sectors, we’ve doubled the number of scholarships featured to 270 - worth over $3million,” says Dr Michelle Glogau, CEO of GrowingNZ.

New search functionality helps potential applicants narrow down the scholarships of most interest or relevance to them. The range of filters includes region, study or training level, tertiary institution, and subject area. A number of scholarships are exclusively available for: Maori; Pacifica Peoples; Asian; and rural students.

As an industry, education and government alliance, GrowingNZ is on a mission to attract 50,000 more people needed by New Zealand’s primary sectors by 2025.

“We don't just need a lot more people. We need more people who are better qualified and with a diverse range of skills for our primary sectors to thrive,” Dr Glogau explains.

“We appreciate that finding the funds for study or training is no mean feat for young people or anyone looking at changing careers,” she adds. “Making it easier for people to find out about scholarships they might be eligible for is one way we can support them.”

While many students will be eligible for ‘fees-free’ in their first year of study, many scholarships featured by GrowingNZ, offer financial support towards other costs such as books and accommodation, or for fees beyond the first year. Scholarships for apprenticeships and cadetships are also available.

Dr Glogau is quick to point out that the scholarships provide successful applicants with more than just money. “Many scholarships offer intangible benefits such as support via mentoring; networking opportunities with industry leaders; and internships. Our experience shows that after graduating, scholars are highly likely to pursue careers in our primary sectors. Ultimately, they contribute to our success so it’s a win-win.”

To find out more: www.growingnz.org.nz/scholarships
Note: Eligibility and closing dates vary.

GrowingNZ provides students, career changers and influencers such as teachers, career advisors and parents with information, activities and resources to support the many career opportunities available in New Zealand’s primary sectors. It is a not-for-profit incorporated society funded by its members.

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... almost finally ... when is a tree not a tree?

USA- In Nebraska, several Omaha residents are against the proposed installation of an AT&T cell tower disguised as a pine tree.

The 92-foot tower would be placed at the main entrance to Omaha's Memorial Park, according to the plan proposed by the cellphone provider and Brownell Talbot School. The tower would sit between the private school's parking lot and the park.

A neighbourhood group called the Dundee-Memorial Park Association voted unanimously Monday to oppose the tower.

"It will be an eyesore," said Peter Manhart, the association's president.

Nearby trees are much shorter than the proposed camouflaged tower, said several neighbours.

"It's hard to see that a fake tree is going to fool anybody," said resident Matt Johnson. "I understand why they want to put a cell tower there. But I don't think it's the right fix for the city, the park or the neighbourhood."

Officials deemed other potential sites unworkable for the tower, which is necessary to improve the area's wireless coverage, according to AT&T representatives.

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Jobs


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... and finally ... jokes about the good life ...

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Ted was on his deathbed and gasped pitifully, "Give me one last request, dear," he said.
"Of course, Ted," his wife said softly.
"Six months after I die," Ted said, "I want you to marry Bob."
"But I thought you hated Bob," she said.
With his last breath Ted said, "I do!"

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A man comes home from work one day to find his dog with the neighbor's pet rabbit in his mouth. The rabbit is very dead and the guy panics.

He thinks the neighbors are going to hate him forever, so he takes the dirty, chewed-up rabbit into the house, gives it a bath, blow-dries its fur, and puts the rabbit back into the cage on the neighbor's back porch, hoping that they will think it died of natural causes.

A few days later, the neighbor is outside and asks the guy, "Did you hear that Fluffy died?"

The guy stumbles around and says, "No.. umm.. no.. I didn't. what happened?"

The neighbor replies, "We just found him dead in his cage one day, but the weird thing is that the day after the kids buried him in the backyard we went outside and someone had dug him up, gave him a bath and put him back into the cage. There are some real sick people out there!"

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That's all for this week's wood news.

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John Stulen
Editor
Innovatek Limited
PO Box 1230
Rotorua, New Zealand
Mob: +64 27 275 8011
Web: www.woodweek.com

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