WoodWeek – 20 February 2019

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Greetings from your WoodWeek good wood news team. We’ve got another bumper issue for you this week – as much as the weather is continuing to keep its heat, so is news on the wood front!

If you had a genuine rest over the Christmas holiday break and really disconnected from the web and industry news, you may have missed some excellent promotional stories pushing the forestry message. So, now that you’re back on the job, check out the clips below. We’ve even noted the links so you can include these clips in your own promotions.

On a more sombre note, the Insurance Council has advice for Nelson: Residents who’ve suffered property damage or evacuation due to the Nelson fires are being advised to take care when returning to their properties and to get in touch with their insurer. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the fires.

This week we have a guest opinion piece from Jim Childerstone on commercial forestry versus pastoral farming. He writes that the ramifications of establishing forestry blocks takes some research. The Productivity Commission suggests farmers could allocate 20 per cent of their property to plant trees.

Don’t forget your technical staff for these popular upcoming conferences. We are hosting HarvestTECHX in March in Vancouver and HarvestTECH for our New Zealand and Australian loggers in June in Rotorua. Both of these events are very popular with loggers and forest managers alike. We are well on the way with registrations flowing in fast for the Vancouver event. These are two events you won’t want to miss!

Moving across the ditch, the long-standing partnership between AFGRI and John Deere has been further cemented through the appointment of AFGRI Equipment by John Deere to distribute its construction and forestry equipment in Western Australia.

Finally, for those who have dreamed about something more than brown… it has been a long time since Henry Ford declared “you can have any colour as long as it's black” for his automobiles. But, almost forever, the only colour choice for wood has been shades of brown ... until now.

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John Deere appoints AFGRI as distributor

John Deere appoints AFGRI to market construction and forestry equipment in Western Australia - The long-standing partnership between AFGRI and John Deere has been further cemented through the appointment of AFGRI Equipment by John Deere to distribute its construction and forestry equipment in the territory. According to Patrick Roux, Chairman of the Board of AFGRI Australia, this is thanks to the exceptional relationship that AFGRI has established with John Deere, spanning 56 years.

“The success we’ve enjoyed with the John Deere agricultural range in Western Australia, combined with our outstanding service levels and ethos, as well as excellent customer relationships and our extensive retail network in Australia, encouraged John Deere to approach us to manage its construction and forestry equipment retail network in the region.”

Effective 1 May 2019, AFGRI Equipment will be a fully-fledged John Deere construction and forestry equipment dealer in Western Australia. It will initially operate across five strategically placed branches in the state, namely Geraldton, Albany, Esperance, Boyup Brook and Perth.

Roux added that he was confident that AFGRI Equipment’s deep retail knowledge and experience in the agricultural sector could easily be transferred to the construction and forestry space. “We have become the ‘go to’ company for many Australian farmers, and we’re truly delighted to extend our services to local construction and forestry companies, we are sure we will earn this same reputation.”

According to Roux, this deal marks a new phase of growth and investment for AFGRI Equipment through diversification into these additional sectors. “Western Australia is experiencing a good level of infrastructure development and construction activity, which AFGRI Equipment is eager to tap into to increase market share.”

“We will endeavour to look after the construction and forestry customers to the best of our ability, backed by our strong track record and a proven commitment to Western Australia. We aim to bring the same passion we have for the agricultural sector to the construction and forestry equipment ranges.”

Roux concluded by saying, “With the contract now signed, we are very enthusiastic to prove ourselves worthy of this appointment and have already actively started to recruit and appoint specialist staff, so we can get off to a cracking start come 1 May.”

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Source: AFGRI

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Politicians can’t see wood for the trees

Government can't see our wood for the trees. Opinion: When it comes to renewable energy, New Zealand need not look further than its backyard, writes Grant Smith - As Government and their advisers work on our climate change legislation and make plans for transformation to a net zero economy by 2050, their focus is on proving that a 100% renewable electricity system can actually work.

Extensive effort and research goes into pump-storage, subsidised solar panels and batteries into every home, and even the conversion of natural gas into hydrogen with carbon capture and storage underground. In essence, it's all getting very complicated yet opportunities using proven technologies are not being fully considered.

Grant Smith is chairman of the Bioenergy Association

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Source: Otago Daily Times

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Smartphone app to test lumber stiffness

Determining the stiffest piece of lumber is now easier with a new smartphone app created by scientists in Mississippi State University’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

Called “Smart Thumper,” the app uses soundwaves or vibrations to determine stiffness, a quality that relates to strength, for individual pieces of lumber.

Developer Dan Seale, professor in MSU’s Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, said it will help carpenters, contractors, architects, engineers, lumber mill personnel and consumers. He pointed out that it can be particularly beneficial for the do-it- yourself market.

“All lumber is not the same, even though it may be graded the same. The grade is based on a range of values and characteristics,” Seale said. “Perhaps a consumer has a pack of lumber which meets the specification for No. 2 grade, but they need a couple of pieces for a header, something that might span the opening for a window or door. This app helps select the stiffest pieces that are least likely to sag over time,” Seale explained.

Frederico Franca, the app’s co-developer and an assistant research professor in sustainable bioproducts, first envisioned the app when he discovered that the equipment designed to test lumber costs around $84,000.

“The goal was to make something cheaper and more readily available to give consumers and stakeholders broader access to nondestructive testing equipment,” Franca said. “Now anyone with a smartphone can download the app to help pick out the stiffest pieces for whatever they are building.”

His love of physics, along with the desire to create something less expensive, fueled his idea for a smartphone app that would render lumber values through the use of sound and vibration.

“With this app, I can show you which lumber pieces are stiffer and therefore stronger,” Franca explained. “This can’t always be done through visual inspection. You need vibration or you need sound.”

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Pro-forestry messages available as links

Forestry promotion strong in holiday break - If you had a genuine rest over the Christmas holiday break and really disconnected from the web and industry news, you may have missed some excellent promotional stories pushing the forestry message.

So, now that you’re back on the job, here are some clips. They all highlight the benefits and contributions our forest industry makes to the country, community, environment and economy.

They also portray some of the exciting career opportunities our industry people offer. It gets even better than that though – we have links on each clip so you can add them to your company’s own promotions/websites.

1. https://youtu.be/rju2Weh9WXc.

The first of the Love our Forests television commercials has been running on TV One since June 2018 after being launched at the Forestwood Conference in Wellington. Designed to appeal to a wide audience of New Zealanders who may not know anything about forestry, this commercial covers as many aspects of the industry as can be done in 30 seconds; science and technology, employment, regional development, safety and our status as a clean industry. The challenge was also raised to sheep and beef farming to be acknowledged as New Zealand’s number two primary export earner. The commercial features our industry people from Kaitaia in Northland to Otautau in Southland.

2. https://youtu.be/FMOPZmkNnsc.

This television commercial, highlighting the environmental benefits of plantation forestry, first appeared in the Face TV series ‘Forest Call’ in August 2018. With a few tweaks it began on TV One and online in December. This commercial is targeting people who may have picked up the myths of plantation forests being dreadful for the environment. The featuring of New Zealand’s most famous wooden structure, Wellington’s Old Government Building, illustrates that forest carbon sequestration goes on well past the life of the tree the timber came from. We got Liza Stanbra, the Scion scientist who showed off how pure forest rivers were for the original 2016 Love our Forests poster, to reprise her role for this video. A logging crew went through the site just the day before our film crew and we were lucky there were some shots left to take.

3. https://youtu.be/6eQB1Zuck20.

A 15 second version of the forestry promotion environmental advocacy commercial was edited to go to air on TV One starting in January 2019. This advertisement features a drone shot of the under- construction wooden-engineered Beatrice Tinsley Building at Canterbury University. The commercial shows off whio and kokako at home in our plantation forests to address some of the negative myths about planted forests circulating in society.

4. https://youtu.be/3kkVQqXYZvg.

This 15 second television commercial, which began featuring on TV One in January 2019, concentrates on the economic and recreational opportunities in forestry, while also mentioning environmental benefits. We had thought of including some of the non-timber forest products in this commercial, but decided that showing off a hunter carrying a pig on his back may not go down too well with some delicate urban viewers.

5. https://youtu.be/NEyay51FI74.

Acknowledging the vital importance of recruitment into the forest industry, this 15 second commercial went to air on TV One in January 2019, and illustrates the range of forest industry jobs that are available to young people, from people actually in the forest to working in the laboratory on biosecurity technology. The underlying theme to the public at large is still that our planted forest industry is beneficial both economically and environmentally.

Source: Forest Owners Association

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Strong first half for Port of Tauranga

This week the Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s largest port, reported a strong start to the 2019 financial year, with increased cargo volumes contributing to a 4.0% increase in Group Net Profit After Tax to $49.0 million.

• Total trade increased 8.8% to nearly 13.6 million tonnes
• Container volumes grew 5.1% to 621,117 TEUs
• Group Net Profit After Tax increased 4.0%, to $49.0 million for the six months to 31 December 2018
• Transhipment growth continued, with volumes increasing 18.9% to 174,983 TEUs
• Imports increased 5.7% from 4.7 million tonnes to almost 5.0 million tonnes
• Exports increased 10.8% from 7.7 million tonnes to 8.6 million tonnes, with a significant increase in log exports (up 11.7%)
• Interim dividend of 6 cents per share, up 5.3% on the previous period’s dividend.

Half year trade volumes at the country’s busiest cargo gateway grew by 8.8% overall.

Transhipment volumes, where containers are transferred from one service to another at Tauranga, continue to rise as the Port solidifies its role as an international hub. It allows shippers from all over New Zealand to access fast and frequent connections to North Asia and South America. Transhipments made up more than a fifth of containers handled over the six month period.

Port of Tauranga Chair, David Pilkington, said the results were very pleasing.

“Group operating profit grew 4.0% in the first half of the financial year. Tauranga is working very well as an international hub port for shippers looking to quickly and efficiently access large ship container services.

“Tauranga is the only New Zealand port that can easily accommodate these big ships and we are very pleased by the amount of transhipment occurring from other New Zealand locations as well as Australia,” said Mr Pilkington.

Bulk cargo volumes also continued to grow, driven largely by the increase in log exports but also increases in kiwifruit, meat and apple exports.

Port of Tauranga’s inland freight hub, MetroPort Auckland, handled a 3.8% increase in containers to set a new record in cargo transferred by rail to and from Auckland during the seasonal peak between October and December.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said it was pleasing that KiwiRail had been able to gear up quickly to transfer shipments diverted to Tauranga due to operational issues in Auckland.

He said Port of Tauranga was continually assessing the future needs of importers and exporters to ensure we invest in a timely manner the meet the anticipated growth.

“It has been two and a half years since the successful completion of our expansion programme to accommodate larger ships,” he said.

“All evidence points to a continuing trend to larger vessels. Our strategy to create long term value for our shareholders is clearly working and we are now planning for the next stage of cargo growth,” said Mr Cairns.

“We have the capacity to increase train frequency in future as required,” said Mr Cairns.

Rail is Port of Tauranga’s preferred mode of cargo transfer due to its environmental benefits and to avoid contributing to road congestion, which is an ongoing concern for Tauranga residents due to the massive population growth in the region.

“Long term value creation for our shareholders is only possible if we keep up our efforts to enhance our environmental performance, our relationships with our employees, our suppliers and our community,” said Mr Cairns.

In the six months to 31 January 2019, the Port’s use of rail avoided the equivalent of more than 300,000 truck movements.

Port of Tauranga has renewed its long-term operating agreement with Oji Fibre Solutions, New Zealand’s major manufacturer of market kraft pulps, container board and packaging products. Oji has committed to consolidating the majority of its import and export cargo volumes through Port of Tauranga for the next decade.

Cargo trends - Log exports remain buoyant on the back of strong demand from China and record international prices. Log volumes increased 11.7% to 3.7 million tonnes for the six month period, while sawn timber volumes increased 9.0%.

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Wood innovation - Ford would be impressed

Colour ingrained into the wood with new technology - It's been a long time since Henry Ford declared 'you can any colour as long as it's black' for his automobiles. But, almost forever, the only colour choice for wood has been shades of brown ... until now.

Staining or painting timber is the traditional way to add colour to wooden products, but that colour is only surface deep. Any scratching or resurfacing can remove the colourful layer and affect the aesthetic of the wood. The full thickness colour technology developed by Scion fixes colourful dye throughout timber in a range of bright colours.

The full thickness colour technology colours every fibre in a piece of timber. At present there is nothing like this product on the market and, when coupled with wood hardening, the improvements could increase the value of New Zealand’s soft pine- based wood product industry. This would also increase onshore processing and spread benefits across regional New Zealand through job creation.

Calling the technology ‘full thickness colour’ is not something the research team take for granted. Dr Elizabeth Dunningham explains the team has been working with a variety of different dyes over six years to achieve what is now a consistent, bright and non-leaching colour suitable for anything from furniture to flooring.

“Initially we focused on natural dyes that had softer hues but they wouldn’t fix in the wood. We turned to a range of commercially available food dyes, then fabric dyes, and over the first three years, looked at four types/classes of colourants and 36 individual colouring agents in all.”

The research team is now looking at combining the colour technology with wood hardening technology. The added properties would make New Zealand’s soft radiata pine more competitive in a wider variety of interior applications especially uses that require higher resilience such as skirting boards and outdoor furniture.

Market research results showed that the unique look of the full colour thickness wood was interesting to all stakeholders interviewed, especially those from international markets. The biggest advantage of the full colour thickness product was the unique ‘look’.

Described as naturally translucent and grainy, the guaranteed consistency of this look was a positive feature, as was the ability to pre-colour wood that could create potential for increased efficiency in the manufacturing process.

Source: SCION

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BMO analysis: Rayonier 4th quarter

New Zealand (NZ). Above BMO target. Adjusted EBITDA $19.3mm; BMO $17.7mm; 3Q18 $24.0mm, 4Q17 $23.0mm. Q4 harvest volumes 6% above BMO and +1% y/y. Export log prices were essentially flat q/q. Domestic log price -1% q/q. FX was a $1.5mm drag on Q4 EBITDA.

2019 Outlook? Adjusted EBITDA $270-290mm, below 2018's $338mm. BMO currently at $308mm for FY19; Consensus at $302mm. Y/Y EBITDA decline in R/E. Puts & takes: Southern Timber: Harvests 6.2-6.3mm tons, +10% from 2018's 5.7mm tons. Adjusted EBITDA $111-115mm, up modestly from FY18's $103mm. BMO currently at $109mm. PNW: 1.3-1.4mm tons (FY18 1.3mm tons) and adjusted EBITDA $30-34mm, versus $41mm in 2018. BMO currently at $39mm. NZ: 2.7- 2.8mm harvests (FY18 = 2.7mm) and adjusted EBITDA of $83-89mm versus $91mm in 2018. BMO currently at $88mm. R/E: $67-72mm EBITDA versus $123mm in FY18. BMO currently at $86mm.

Source: BMO Capital Markets

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Forest industry hub for Tasmania

Northwest Tasmania will be the site of a regional forestry hub pilot program to which federal liberal leader has committed $12.5 million - The pilot hub designated for the North-West and North of Tasmania is one of nine set to be rolled out around the country Prime Minister Scott Morrison said was providing backing for the Tasmanian forestry industry.

He said the sites would provide strategic vision for forest industries in Northern Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The pilot hub designated for the North-West and North of Tasmania is one of nine set to be rolled out around the country Prime Minister Scott Morrison said was providing backing for the Tasmanian forestry industry. The funds are part of the federal government's $20 million National Forest Industries Plan.

He said the sites would provide strategic vision for forest industries in Northern Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

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Source: The Advocate

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MobileTECH: Key Speakers for 2019 Event

Our upcoming conference MobileTECH 2019, aims to highlight some of the brightest minds and exciting technologies changing our primary sector. We have pulled together a strong programme for 2019, featuring a wide range of local and international technology and industry leaders. Here is a brief introduction to a couple of keynotes:

Yasir Khokhar, CEO of Connecterra
Based out of the Netherlands, his mission has been to ‘build an artificial intelligence that will grow food sustainably to feed future generations’.

Sarah Nolet, CEO, Agthentic
She is a a global trailblazer based in Australia. “I'm really looking forward to speaking at MobileTECH 2019 about how we can continue to bridge the gap between ag and tech, as well as enable more collaborations between Australia and NZ.”

Russell Craig, National Technology Officer, Microsoft NZ
His focus will be on how digital innovations are transforming the NZ economy. “NZ is world-leading digital nation. I'm excited to see all the digital opportunities and innovation happening across our primary industries.”

Andrew Bate, Australian farmer & founder of SwarmFarm Robotics
Andrew developed the SwarmBot, a platform of robotic machines which can ‘talk’ to one another and work in swarms to autonomously plant, weed and undertake pest control.

For more information and to register, visit www.mobiletech.events.

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Opinion: Commercial forestry vs pastoral farming

Comment: The ramifications of establishing forestry blocks takes some research, writes Jim Childerstone – The Productivity Commission suggests farmers could allocate 20 per cent of their property to plant trees. This may work, dependent on income comparisons with lower production grassland areas. That is commercial plantations verse income from grazing land, excluding carbon credits.

Facts and figures from recent harvests indicate farm woodlots can give better returns from South Island class 1, 2 and 6 lands. Net returns vary from $40,000 to $50,000 per hectare. This can be as high as $1550.00 per hectare per year, dependent on access and distance from port and mills.

But the ramifications of establishing forestry blocks takes some research.

According to extensive data produced by Beef + Lamb NZ, as well as input from Lincoln University, each land classification includes considerable diversity in income. Class 1 is defined as steep, marginal high country grazing properties, carrying under 5 stock units per hectare.

These properties run into 1000s of hectares. Many of these areas would not be suitable for commercial woodlots. Those runholds that have gone into Merino wool breeding could boast far better income than traditional sheep and beef production. Beef + Lamb figures indicates an average of just $37.00/ha/year.

Class 2 lands included lighter hill country grasslands, such as foothill areas running into steeper back country grazing. However Beef + Lamb figures indicated a wide range in income on what were obviously extensive acreages. Stocking rates listed on a Lincoln University graph indicated between five and 10 SUs per ha. Income varied from $400 to $600 /ha/a. Beef + Lamb lists an average of $492.00 net EBITR. Class 6 lands includes rolling hill and flats, usually fattening units, running 10+ SUs/ha, including some cropping. Again, figures indicate huge variations of income, ranging from $636.00 to $1488.00 /ha/a, listing an average of $973.00.

Size of properties would be a factor as to what farmers would have to consider before establishing a woodlot. Recent harvests in eastern Otago and Southland areas last year while log prices were up, indicates net returns.

A farm forestry block netted $45,000/ha of 29-year-old trees. This woodlot was fully tended, pruned and thinned, giving a good return on top pruned grades on more than 10 ha. It was within 60k of port and local mills.

The woodlot required minimal infrastructure suitable for a ground based logging operation on an easy, though hilly, site. It also helped that the contractor had logged nearby woodlots with little time wasted, moving plant and setting up on a new site.

When calculated in annual returns the figure was $1551.72 /ha/annum. Other blocks within similar proximity to port and mill, inland and along coastal Otago, gave similar returns.

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Insurance advice for people affected by fires

Residents who’ve suffered property damage or evacuation due to the Nelson fires are being advised to take care when returning to their properties and to get in touch with their insurer.

Temporary accommodation is available under most domestic insurance policies. In some cases, it will be available for people who’ve been ordered out of their homes by a local or government authority. Some policies will require an insured’s home to be uninhabitable due to physical damage so people should check their individual insurance policies and call their insurer if they’re not sure what they’re covered for.

Before incurring any costs, customers will need to contact their insurer to get approval to incur costs for temporary accommodation. The choice of temporary accommodation should be of a similar standard to the insured house and additional costs such as travel, letting fees, utilities, meals, phone and internet will not be covered. Cover is generally for the accommodation of both homeowners and their pets.

Cover will be limited to a dollar value. Some insurers will pay covered customers at the beginning and others will reimburse them once costs have been incurred. In all cases, customers should retain all receipts and discuss how their temporary accommodation cover works with their insurer to understand what is and isn’t covered.

Reasonable costs of emergency evacuation are also often covered in home and contents policies, provided the evacuation is due to safety concerns or another emergency and the customer is either unable to access their home or has been advised against living in it by the Police or another government authority.

A large fire like the one currently burning in the Nelson area is not a one- or two-day event. Once people are able to return to their houses, they’re advised to take precautionary fire safety measures and continue to follow all instructions from local and government authorities.

Residents should

• not do anything that puts their safety at risk or causes more damage to their property

• contact their insurer or broker as soon as possible to seek advice about the claims process

• speak to their insurer before attempting or authorising any building work, including emergency repairs

• not turn on any electricity until it has been inspected by an electrician if fire has entered their property

• notify their local authorities and check with their insurer or broker about whether they can claim temporary accommodation expenses if their home is not in a safe condition to occupy

• take photos of damaged property to help speed up the assessments and claims process

• keep any damaged items that don’t pose a health and safety risk
    - remove and discard any damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as soft furnishings or perishables, but take photos and make a list of anything they throw out and keep samples of materials and fabrics to show the insurance assessor

    - remain vigilant about the risk of another fire outbreak and take steps to reduce the risk of their property being damaged, including clearing leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from roofs and gutters, and moving flammable items away from buildings (such as woodpiles, gas bottles, crates, plastic wheelie bins, hanging baskets and garden furniture)

Source: Scoop News

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Replanting planned for burnt forests

The forestry company that owns 60 per cent of the plantations lost in the Nelson fire is hopeful it can start regrowing the area this winter. Tasman Pine Forests - owned by Sumitomo Forestry NZ - manages 36,200 hectares of forest in the Nelson Marlborough region.

The Pigeon valley fire started outside of Tasman Pine Forests estate, but soon spread to an area of 2300ha. About 1400ha - or 60 per cent of the total area burnt - was owned by the company. With the fire now contained, the company was taking stock and planning for the future.

Tasman Pine Forests chief operating officer Steve Chandler said the forestry losses were serious and the supply of logs to customers had been affected. But he said the fire was not expected to have a short or long term impact on Tasman Pine's business in the region.

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Source: Stuff news

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Buy and Sell

...and just for laughs...

A mind reader is at a nightclub one night and decides to give a small demonstration of her abilities.

First, she reads the mind of the lead guitarist: “Wow, look at all the cute chicks who showed up tonight! Good show!”

Then the drummer: “Lots of people showed up tonight … Great, we’re going to make some good money tonight.”

Then the keyboard player: “All three of these guys have no appreciation of my talent … what a bunch of losers.”

Finally, the bass player: “C …G … C … G…”


After a long time, I told my hot coworker how I felt.

Turns out she felt the same way.

So I turned on the air conditioning.


I rang the doctor and said, “Quick! My pregnant wife’s going into labor, what should I do?”

He said, “Is this her first child?”

I said, “No, this is her husband.”

Thanks for keeping up with the latest wood news with us!
Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen Editor

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