Forestry 4.0 on display at ForestTECH 2018

Friday 23 Nov 2018

Well over 250 resource managers, remote sensing specialists and inventory foresters from throughout Australasia, SE Asia and South America have participated in the annual ForestTECH 2018 series over the last two weeks. “What’s really gratifying is the continued turnout by leading forestry companies from throughout the region and the significant value that these return delegates are getting through the adoption of the technologies being discussed, showcased and demonstrated into their business”, says Brent Apthorp, FIEA Director.

As part of this recent series, Pan Pac Forest Products for example were able to outline how they'd picked up on the opportunity of using daily satellite imagery to collect and report on their clear-fell harvest areas. Like most forestry companies involved in harvesting, the data being collected is essential information for area reporting, yield reconciliation, harvest scheduling and financial forecasting and reporting. Until last year, it was being done largely on the ground with a bit of UAV and aerial photography to assist.

The company wanted a better system. They wanted a system where no ground measurements were required, harvest coordinator involvement was largely on quality control, the reliability of data collection could be improved and information flows for the end of month and YE reporting could be streamlined. Sheldon Ellis, Manager Forest Optimisation with the company and David Herries, GM of Interpine outlined the results of an 8-month trial that they’ve just completed using the Planet Lab platform. The process, results, learning's for other forestry companies and future direction for the company in using satellite imagery was shared with all those attending.

Similar case studies from companies like Indufor Asia Pacific, Hancock Forest Management, OneFortyOne Plantations, FCNSW, Swift Geospatial … were also shared. All were very open and able to outline progress on the adoption and implementation of technologies showcased in previous years as part of the annual ForestTECH series. “As evidenced by the discussions, presentations and networking over the last couple of weeks, the ForestTECH platform along with the more regular monthly communications set up through continue to provide invaluable financial and operational tools for forestry companies from across the region” says Mr Apthorp. "The benefits and payback to delegates and the tech providers have been significant."

Details of the just completed ForestTECH 2018 series will follow in future issues. Information on downloading presentations given as part of the New Zealand and just completed Australian events will be sent out to all delegates next week.

A number of new and emerging data collection technologies have been on display over the last two weeks. One video shown as part of one presentation (put out by FP Innovations a few months back) that you might find interesting or could use as a future resource, we’ve included below.

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