WoodWeek – 11 September 2019

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team in Rotorua. We’ve got a wide range of forestry news updates for you today. Looking to international forest technology markets, Trimble is set to acquire 3LOG Systems – a Vancouver-based supplier of timber management software solutions. 3LOG has over 500 installations and provides business software for timber management, wood product and bio-energy companies in North America.

Both Trimble and 3LOG are among the many innovative companies whose tech experts will be actively involved in our upcoming ForestTECH and ForestTECHX conference series coming to Rotorua and Melbourne and Rotorua in November and Vancouver in March.

In logging equipment tech news, John Deere has announced the expansion of the technology offerings TimberMatic™ Maps and TimberManager™ to their full-tree equipment range, including feller-bunchers and skidders.

Contractors have found the technology very helpful: “I’ve seen a big increase in production from basically out of the gate with TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager,” said Thomas Johnson, owner of Thomas Johnson Logging. “It lets me map out, in the machine, the area that I’m working, my job sites, and it counts the stems that the tracked buncher is cutting … It also lets the skidder know where the wood is at on the ground … I don’t have to guess anymore or ask an operator how much wood’s left on the ground — being able to see everything in real time is a big help.”

Looking to local environment standards, FOA president, Peter Weir says his members welcome the opportunity to join the national conversation on freshwater management. He urges people to study the exposure draft of the new Freshwater National Environmental Standard, as well as the more stringent National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

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Trimble acquires 3LOG Systems

Trimble announced last week that it has acquired 3LOG Systems Inc, a leading supplier of timber management software solutions. The acquisition complements Trimble's forestry business software portfolio and further expands the Trimble Connected Forest™ solutions, which offer a complete end-to-end ecosystem for forest management, traceability and timber processing. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Vancouver British Columbia, 3LOG has over 500 installations and provides business software for timber management, wood product and bio-energy companies in North America. By providing enterprise software with integrated mobile field applications, 3LOG solutions manage millions of annual supply chain transactions and connect the forestry business cycle. 3LOG customers include forest owners and timberland managers, pulp and paper mills, softwood mills, hardwood mills, pellet mills, OSB/plywood mills and biomass facilities.

Trimble's Connected Forest solutions manage the full raw materials lifecycle of planning, planting, growing, harvesting, transporting and processing finished wood products. The Connected Forest improves decision making and provides integrated supply chain visibility at every step. With the addition of 3LOG and its Log Inventory & Management System (LIMS) to the Connected Forest portfolio, Trimble now provides the most comprehensive forestry supply chain software suite available in the industry today.

"Our fundamental mission is to provide forestry organizations with solutions that drive agility, improve productivity and enable better visibility at each stage of the forest lifecycle," said Kevin Toohill, general manager of Trimble's Forestry Division. "3LOG is a leader in forestry business management software. Our combined technology portfolio will connect forestry operations to deliver even more value for our customers."

"3LOG's focus on integrated and adaptive business management solutions, coupled with Trimble's worldwide expertise and broad portfolio, offer forestry customers a global partner that addresses the challenges of the modern forest industry," said Hassan Farzadeh, 3LOG founder and CEO. "3LOG and Trimble have already been working with mutual customers for many years. Together, we will be able to provide the most comprehensive solution to the forestry sector. We are excited to continue our mission of providing innovative software and look forward to bringing increased value and productivity gains to the industry."

About 3LOG Systems - Headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, 3LOG Systems is a software company specialising in the forestry industry. 3LOG products support core business activities for Timber Investment Management Organizations (TIMO), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), integrated forest product companies, and independent mills, processing facilities and supply chain partners. With implementations across North America and New Zealand, 3LOG software solutions set a new industry standard for forestry business management. For more details see: https://www.3log.com

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John Deere expands technology solutions

Building upon the positive momentum of the original launch of TimberMatic™ Maps and TimberManager™, John Deere announces the expansion of the technology offerings to full- tree equipment, including feller bunchers and skidders. These streamlined software solutions offer loggers enhanced machine visibility and communication for a productive work day.

“The addition of full-tree machines to the TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager offering is an example of how John Deere continues to lead the way in innovation and arm our customers with smart, streamlined solutions to optimize their efforts and ultimately increase productivity,” said Matt Flood ForestSight product manager, John Deere.

TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager provide loggers with the ability to plan work that needs to get done in a day. The map provides the precise location, estimated volume or mass, and up to two species of timber. As timber is moved, operators can update the map for improved team visibility. Loggers can also add items of interest to the digital maps such as points, areas, and lines. These features are shared in real time with all crew members for a better understanding and opportunity to optimize jobsite awareness and production as a system of machines.

One of the biggest feature improvements over the former TimberNavi™ system is the accommodation of all map formats, ranging from a simple map drawn in by hand to an elaborate shape file or PDF file. The design of TimberMatic Maps also allows for standard satellite imagery or topography to be loaded directly through the JDLink™ cellular connection. In addition to a simplified map creation tool, TimberMatic Maps now provides tools for estimated production awareness. With TimberManager, the online, cloud-based solution optimized for mobile devices, owners can create or alter map features and share updates to all machines in real time without the need to visit each machine and operator. Managers can also view jobsite summary data and production efficiencies through TimberManager.

“I’ve seen a big increase in production from basically out of the gate with TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager,” said Thomas Johnson, owner of Thomas Johnson Logging. “It lets me map out, in the machine, the area that I’m working, my job sites, and it counts the stems that the tracked buncher is cutting … It also lets the skidder know where the wood is at on the ground … I don’t have to guess anymore or ask an operator how much wood’s left on the ground — being able to see everything in real time is a big help.”

The technology system is now available in skidders, wheeled and tracked feller bunchers, wheeled and tracked harvesters, forwarders, and swing machines. Data is collected by the sensors on the equipment, while the location of the production is gathered through the GPS technology. Information is then transmitted to the TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager systems. “[With TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager], the skidder and the feller buncher are working together instead of guessing where each other are at. In a way it adds a safety aspect to it. You can see a lot more [of the job site] without having to walk ahead,” Johnson said.

From the office, managers can access the data from the machines using a PC, tablet or mobile phone and follow the progress of the work site. This solution offers ultimate insight into the operation from land harvested to the machines at work, streamlining communication and increasing efficiency when shift planning. “I can be in a meeting or off-site somewhere and pull up TimberManager on my [cell phone], and see my skidders are here, my buncher is here, and there’s been this much wood dropped off in the landing already today … I know what I have by looking at TimberManager on my phone … It makes my life a lot easier,” said Johnson.

To learn more about the John Deere TimberManager and TimberMatic Maps software solution, please visit www.JohnDeere.com.

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Champion Freight Report

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China: Lanzhou zone operational

Lanzhou wood processing zone operational - The new wood processing zone close to the Lanzhou Port in Gansu Province is now operational. Mills in the zone process imported timber raw materials. The zone occupies 13,100 square metres and imports include scots pine and radiata pine from Russia, Belarus and New Zealand. Mills in the zone produce mouldings and decorative panels for the domestic and international market.

Source: ITTO Market Report

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Environmental reform consultation

Government launches consultation on environmental reforms - Public meetings will be held in more than 20 places over the next three weeks to provide information and seek feedback on reforms to the way we manage our freshwater, elite soils, urban environment, waste and hazardous substances.

“Public meetings/hui start today that give New Zealanders a chance to have their say on the biggest programme of action to protect our environment since the introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991,” Environment Minister David Parker said.

“There is a widely held view that central government has not provided enough national guidance under the RMA. These changes address that.

“We are delivering on our promise at the last election. The state of our rivers, lakes and wetlands are a top concern for New Zealanders. They want us to take action to stop the degradation and restore the health of our waterways.

“We need to start now. If we don’t, it will take longer, cost more and be harder to fix,” David Parker said, adding “This is a big agenda, which includes a major review of the Resource Management Act.” The Government is working across numerous portfolios to protect and improve our environment, transition New Zealand to a low emissions future and ensure the economy thrives within environmental limits, while enhancing New Zealanders’ wellbeing.

“We are also reducing waste, better managing hazardous substances, planning for successful cities and valuing our most highly productive.

“Because the freshwater proposals released last week, in particular, have the potential to have a significant impact in some areas, I am appointing an Independent Advisory Panel to consider the submissions we receive on this topic,” David Parker said.

The Panel is chaired by retired Principal Environment Court Judge David Sheppard.

“Judge Sheppard chaired a Board of Inquiry in 2008 on proposals to develop a National Policy Statement on Freshwater that National later spiked. We have been paying the price for the mistake made by the previous government,” David Parker said.

The other members of the Advisory panel are:
~ Andrew Fenemor, who is a Senior Scientist in hydrology and water management at Landcare Research in Nelson, and has experience as an RMA Hearing Commissioner.

~ Antoine Coffin, who is the Director of Te Onewa Consultants. He is an accredited Commissioner, specialising in freshwater, wastewater, heritage and planning and is experienced in iwi governance and decision-making.

~ Tracy Brown, who is a trained agricultural economist and has been dairy farming for 25 years. She has had a range of community, regional and national roles leading environmental change in the dairy sector, including as Chair of the Dairy Environment Leaders Forum.

~ Maree Baker-Galloway, who is a partner at Anderson Lloyd specialising in environmental and planning law, specifically the Resource Management Act. She was President of the Resource Management Law Association from 2015 to 2017.

Submissions on the freshwater proposals close on October 17.

Resource Management Review Panel announced - David Parker has also announced the Resource Management Review Panel for the comprehensive review of the RMA that he announced in July.

The Chair, Hon Tony Randerson QC, will be joined by:
~ Amelia Linzey, who is a leading resource management planner and the Senior Technical Director of the planning team at engineering and planning consultancy Beca.

~ Dean Kimpton, who has been the Chief Operating Officer at Auckland Council and Managing Director at engineering and planning consultancy AECOM.

~ Kevin Prime MBE ONZM, who is a Commissioner with the Environment Court as well as a farmer, forester, and conservationist in Northland.

~ Rachel Brooking, who is a Senior Associate of law firm Anderson Lloyd specialising in environmental and local government legislation.

~ Raewyn Peart MNZM, who has significance experience in environmental law and is currently the Policy Director at the Environmental Defence Society.

“The members are high-calibre experts in planning, environmental management, resource management law, te ao M?ori, local government and infrastructure development,” David Parker said.

Their appointments are in place until 30 June 2020.

Details of the consultation meetings, discussion documents and information on all the consultations are available on the MfE website: https://www.mfe.govt.nz/more/consultations

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FOA welcomes freshwater debate

Foresters welcome risk based Standards for freshwater management - Forest Owners Association President, Peter Weir says Forest Owners and Farm Foresters welcome the opportunity to join the national conversation on freshwater management and he urges members of both associations to study the exposure draft of the new Freshwater National Environmental Standard, as well as the more stringent National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

Peter Weir says he is pleased that the positive contribution plantation forestry makes to the environment is acknowledged in the just released freshwater discussion documents, but he also acknowledges that, in some steepland erosion-prone catchments, under severe storm conditions, community expectations for water quality have not yet been met.

“The forest industry is deeply committed to doing its part to further improve freshwater quality.”

“It is heartening, that the government has clearly stated that it realises all forms of forests, indigenous and plantation, ‘play a significant role in providing freshwater resources and ecosystem services, such as water quality, water yield, recreation, and biodiversity.”

“The detail of the Freshwater NES is important” says Peter Weir. “We are looking closely at the setback rules for streams. We agree with the government that the minimum distance rule for using the land should be based on the nature of the stream and the risk and effect of the use of the land. We note that two setback distances are suggested for intensive winter grazing. They are five metres and twenty metres.”

“Given that the present National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forests requires a five metre planting setback from small streams and a ten metre setback from larger streams, its makes no sense that year on year intensive winter grazing should be able to be closer to a stream than we are permitted to grow a tree.

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Radiata unpopular but effective carbon sink

The unpopular tree sucking carbon from our air - Pinus radiata grows like a weed, which is why it’s so fast at sequestering carbon. But since many people prefer native trees, forestry scientists are proposing an unconventional solution to get the best of both worlds.

To measure how much carbon is in a tree, you first have to kill it. You slice up the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves and roots and dry the dismembered tree parts in an oven. Then you weigh them.

“It takes a long time,” says Euan Mason, a professor at the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry. “I did some in 2012 with two students, and in six weeks I think we did 25 trees.”

Sacrificing trees like this is expensive, but researchers need these measurements.

Typically, about half a tree’s dry weight is carbon, which you can multiply by roughly 3.7 to work out how much carbon dioxide the tree has sucked from the atmosphere.

Once enough trees of different ages and species have been dissected, the results are used to help build computer models estimating how much carbon is in a hectare of living forest, or an entire country’s worth of trees.

Forest owners can use models like this to see how much money they can claim for carbon credits under the Emissions Trading Scheme. Similar estimates tell the Ministry for the Environment that New Zealand’s forests removed 24 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere in 2017, enough to offset 29 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Most of this CO2 was absorbed by Pinus Radiata, a species much-loved by commercial foresters for its astonishing rate of growth, but seemingly little-loved by anyone in the general population.

Radiata became the nation’s wood crop after most of our ancient Kauri forests were destroyed by indiscriminate logging in the 1880s. (“I wouldn’t call it forestry, because it was just pillaging,” says Mason).

Permanent indigenous forest still covers a much larger area than pine - almost quarter of the country, compared with 6.6 percent in wood plantations. But old-growth forests on conservation land are excluded from the tallies of New Zealand’s carbon sinks and emissions. (This sounds less insane after you find out that mature forests often reach a steady state, sucking about the same amount of CO2 they are losing from dead wood.)

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Source: Newsroom

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University in China forestry partnership

New college from international partnership - Three years of cooperative effort have paid off, with the University of Auckland today joining forces with Northeast Forestry University (NEFU) in China, to partner in a new college approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Aulin College (the name combines the first syllable of ‘Auckland’ with the first syllable of ‘Linye’ – ‘forestry’ in Chinese) will deliver courses at bachelors and masters level in Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Technology – Big Data, and Ecology. The two universities have also agreed to develop a joint PhD programme.

The first cohort of undergraduate students will enrol in Aulin College this month, taught in part by University of Auckland academic staff on NEFU’s Harbin campus, then transfer to Auckland in July 2022. Eventually, up to 1,200 students could be studying at the College.

NEFU, founded in 1952 and located in Harbin city, is the largest forestry university in China and an important institution within China’s ‘Double First-Class University Plan’. This strategic initiative aims to develop a group of elite Chinese universities and departments into world-class universities and disciplines by the end of 2050.

University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said the partnership has been in the making since 2015 and is firmly based on a reciprocated respect between Auckland and NEFU.

“China and New Zealand have a strong and mutually beneficial relationship in the tertiary education and research sectors. The University of Auckland’s first Professor of Chinese language was appointed more than 50 years ago, and such early associations and strong relationships have led to deep collaborations established over many years,” he said.

“We look forward to this joint college as the next phase of our academic relationship with China, in which we anticipate significant mutual benefits to our universities and stronger links between our two countries. This initiative will broaden the channel of global exchange for teachers and students and enhance the international development of staff.”

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Farm forestry market report

Courtesy of the Farm Forestry NZ website we bring you their recent views of the market for logs:
August 2019: Log Export Prices Under Downward Pressure - For those forest owners actively harvesting, the news out of the export segment will not be what they wanted to hear. In less than a month we have seen wharf gate prices fall $32 a cubic metre across the structural grades and $40 a cubic metre for pruned logs.

We have seen this sort of drop and rise in the past but never in the space of three weeks. Indeed, while some commentators have suggested there have been similar movements in the past, my records show June and July 2019 to be the most rapid.

A Very Elastic Band - In this report I cover off on some of the key factors which have us all reeling under the strain of being on the end of a very elastic band, for some of us quite a large one, while going round and round in circles. Some might even be hoping the elastic breaks and it would all stop, albeit in a rather dishevelled and broken heap.

I said in my last report that a correction was not unexpected. If I reflect back, the warning signs have been there since the last quarter of 2018. New Zealand suppliers to the China eastern seaboard seemed to want to continue to push prices up when domestic sale timber prices in China were falling while Uruguay, Europe and Russia were ramping up supply. And good old New Zealand just kept increasing production with a staggering 70 to 80 vessels a month, New Zealand ports flooded with logs, vessels stacked up and not a care in the world. Frankly we can scour the world to look for some people to string up over what has now happened but I would suggest start looking first in New Zealand.

Just to silence those who will continue to espouse the wall of wood and never sell it ? all falsehoods, there is no wall of wood. If we started harvesting forests when they are supposed to be harvested, rates of harvesting would drop 20 to 30 per cent overnight and there would be no over- supply at all. Gisborne port is a classic example of out of control supply. For some time now vessels have been stacking up, and at the beginning of July no less than seven were waiting to come in to load. Meanwhile wood is arriving daily at the port well in excess of the daily load rate. You would have thought someone should have put the big white gloved hand up long before now.

Some have defended the position saying a there was large number of days this year when the pacific swell has been preventing loading. But this has not been a last minute problem.

More >>

Source: New Zealand Farm Forestry Association website

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'50 ways to whinge' at it again

Government waterway document a massive subsidy for tree planting - Environmental lobby group 50 Shades of Green says the government’s policy document on waterways will provide a massive subsidy for forestry.

Spokesman Andy Scott said the problem was it would make sheep and beef farming less economic thereby encouraging farmers to walk away and sell their land for trees.

“Modelling suggesting 68% of dry stock farms in the Waikato/Waipa catchment would be converted to forestry as a direct result of the proposed regulations will send a chill through the entire sheep and beef industry,” Scott said.

“The restrictions proposed by the government will have the immediate effect of lowering land prices as the financial return just won’t be there. That makes it extremely attractive to foresters. In addition the increased costs associated with the new policy will encourage farmers to sell up and leave."

“Sheep and beef farms employ over 80,000 people and generate $9.1 billion a year. That provides a considerable boost to the New Zealand economy."

“Trees don’t pay tax."

“It must be incredibly discouraging for low input sheep and beef farmers to be hit with the increased costs of the Zero Carbon legislation to now have the double whammy of increased environmental costs.

“Add the subsidy of a billion trees and you have a sector in crisis,” Andy Scott said.

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Wallabies plague potenital concerning

Forest & Bird calls for more funding to stop plague of wallabies - Forest & Bird says the government urgently needs to fund wallaby control, before the pest reaches plague proportions.

Wallabies could spread over a third of New Zealand within the next 50 years, unless control is increased dramatically, says Forest & Bird central North Island regional manager Rebecca Stirnemann.

Wallabies eat native trees and plants in the undergrowth of forests and compete with native wildlife for food. They also damage tall tussock grasslands, leaving bare ground and increasing soil erosion.

“They are like giant rabbits that eat their way through native bush, reducing the species of plants and trees by 57%.

“They pose an enormous threat economically and environmentally,” says Dr Stirnemann.

Populations of dama wallabies in the Rotorua lakes region are dangerously high and threatening new areas, she says.

“They pose a terrible risk to native forests in Te Urewera and the Kaimai ranges, which they are edging closer to as they expand in numbers.

“If they get established in those beautiful, mature forests, the consequences would be disastrous,” Dr Stirnemann says.

People have reported seeing 20 to 30 wallabies a night around the Rotorua lakes.

The small, grey dama wallabies can move long distances quickly and have just started spreading into Waikato for the first time, Dr Stirnemann says.

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Buy and Sell

... and finally .... some great one-liners

"Someone stole my antidepressants. Whoever they are, I hope they're happy" - Richard Stott

"Who's driving Brexit? From here it looks like it's probably the Duke of Edinburgh" - Milton Jones

"A cowboy asked me if I could help him round up 18 cows. I said, 'Yes, of course. - That's 20 cows'" - Jake Lambert

"A thesaurus is great. There's no other word for it" - Ross Smith

"Sleep is my favourite thing in the world. It's the reason I get up in the morning" - Ross Smith

"I accidentally booked myself onto an escapology course; I'm really struggling to get out of it" - Adele Cliff

"After doing six hours on the basic semaphore course, I was flagging - Richard Pulsford

"To be or not to be a horse rider, that is Equestrian" - Mark Todd

"I've got an Eton-themed advent calendar, where all the doors are opened for me by my dad's contacts" - Ivo Graham

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

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

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