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How other countries are using advanced precision technology to increase profitability

The AUSTimber 2012 Forestworks’ Conference 29 March has a theme ‘precision forestry in action’. Organisers have secured speakers from around the world prepared to share their experiences applying precision technology to businesses and forestry agencies in a variety of different countries.

Canada & North America. Canada is a world leader in using advanced technology to maximise log recovery and Mr Jean Plamondon of FPInnovations, will share their experience in maximising log value recovery and integrating new inventory methods, harvester data and sales data. Jean’s acknowledged expertise in forest harvesting efficiency and the use of on-board computers will open doors for similar applications in Australia. Jean works to improve forest harvesting efficiency and the use of on-board computers and will give examples from the North American experience

North America – Precision Farming systems adapted to plantation forestry. One of the best-known brands in advanced positioning solutions, Trimble, will demonstrate how it combines a wide range of positioning software with wireless communications to provide commercial solutions to the challenges of modern forestry. Rich Hilliker, from Trimble’s Forestry Division in the USA will share the North American experience of adapting precision farming systems to plantation forestry. Originally from Western Washington, and with a family background in logging, Rich is now dedicated to applying the successful GPS and communication technologies from other industries into the field of Forestry. Rich Hilliker is an eleven year veteran in the field of precision GPS applications, focussing on the fields of Agriculture, Construction, Water Conservation, and Forestry. During his time at Trimble Navigation, Rich has been instrumental in business development within Trimble’s successful Agriculture business. Rich applies /successful GPS and communication technologies from other industries into the field of Forestry.

Ireland – Desk to Stump – increasing produce and value recovery at harvest. Desk to Stump: Treemetrics CEO and co-founder, Enda Keane will present on the role of decision support systems and pre-harvest data in increasing produce and value recovery at harvest. Tree metrics, an award-winning, innovation company, offers support to forest operations through 3D Forest measurement, Harvest Optimisation, Supply Chain Optimisation and Carbon Validation. TreeMetrics has pioneered a unique cloud-based platform that also harnesses Google Earth, using cloud computing. Treemetrics announced it has indexed more than 11 million trees worldwide, which it says gives it “the largest forestry analytics database in the world”.They have most recently worked with the European Space Agency
The company’s use of 3D laser scanners and innovative analytics to provide the commercial forestry industry with accurate and cost-effective measurement of trees before harvesting has won them the Schweighofer Prize, a prestigious EU forest innovation award, and the Society of Irish Foresters Innovation award.

New Zealand – Satellite Missions support Strategic Forestry Investments: How Forestry Resources Can Be Managed From Space. Space science and forestry may seem to be worlds apart but space science is assisting modern forestry management and will play more of a role into the future. Dragos Bratasanu is an internationally recognised, award-winning space scientist, speaker and consultant. He is the Head of Remote Sensing & GIS Division in Asia Pacific with Poyry Management New Zealand and will speak on the application of space technologies to the benefit of forestry investments. Dragos is a PhD candidate in satellite image understanding for Earth Observation at the University of Siegen – Centre for Sensor Systems, Germany. In 2011 he became the engineer of the First Romanian Simulation Mission for Planet Mars and his work has been featured in National Geographic.
Jon Dey is co-founder of the Forme Consulting Group based in Wellington. He was formerly the senior harvesting and marketing manager with the New Zealand Forest Service. In his 30 year career in forestry, Jon has worked in forest development, harvesting, processing, domestic and export marketing and business strategy and is a Registered Forestry Consultant with the NZ Institute of Forestry. Jon has a broad international experience and the capacity to grasp complex concepts and communicate these effectively from the boardroom to the bush. This is a skill that Jon will use to summarise at the end of the conference.

South Africa – Site Assessment and classification. Lee Cunningham will describe the South African experience in making the most of the attractive opportunities remote and terrestrial systems offer for soil surveys and modelling and how these lead to new possibilities for site specific fertiliser and silvicultural regimes. Cunningham is a forester and specialist in planning and monitoring large-scale commercial plantations. Until recently, Lee directed operational planning in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda & Mozambique for New Forests Company Management Services Pty Ltd based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Lee has played an integral role in the investigation & due diligence processes for potential forestry plantation acquisitions and forestry related projects.

Sweden – Integrating new inventory methods. Sweden is using precision technologies to add greater value across the entire value chain. Lars Wilhelmsson is leader of the research programme “Wood utilization” at Skogforsk, Sweden’s Forestry Research Institute. Lars’ special interests include applied R&D to increase production efficiency, net value of both well-known and new forest products including all steps from forestry to final customer. Lars will draw on this Scandanavian experience to share experience on harvester optimisation and sales data monitoring to maximise value recovery.