Friday Offcuts – 2 December 2022

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After a 17 month delay for New Zealand's Fieldays, large numbers of visitors have been turning up this week to look through the 1,000 exhibits and activities on show. When it last ran in 2021, over 132,000 people attended the event over the four days. The gates opened on the Southern Hemisphere's largest agricultural event on Wednesday with the Minister of Forestry, Hon. Stuart Nash, launching the Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan (ITP). Details on the initiative are contained in this week’s lead story. To support the delivery of the ITP, the NZ Government announced that they've set aside NZ$27m with another NZ$155m ring-fenced to support ITP-related activities and projects.

One of the much-publicised draw cards at the Fieldays this year has been the new Forestry Hub with 35 exhibitors involved, all under the one roof. Visitors have been able to look at a raft of new innovations (see story below) and discuss with exhibitors, forestry and wood products opportunities including integrated land use (as anticipated, a hot topic of conversation right now), with trees on farms, providing farmers the real opportunity of increasing overall long-term returns, while improving their environmental outcomes.

An issue often being tackled head on for a number of years now is how to actively increase the participation of women across the forestry and wood products workforce. We’re seeing changes ourselves in the workforce and the good news is, that it’s not only perception. Progress is being made. FWPA and the Australian Forest Products Association have just completed a major survey across the workforce with results showing that a significant 20 per cent rise in the number of female employees since the first survey was undertaken two years ago. As well as growing gender diversity, almost 25 per cent of executive level roles within the surveyed companies are also now filled by female employees. Pleasing results in a relatively short space of time showing commitment across our sector to change.

As detailed in earlier issues, we’ve been closely working with log transport operators, forest companies and all of the main trucking industry associations to put together a major log transport event, the first in five years. It's running in May next year. Electric, hydrogen and diesel- hybrid powered vehicles, truck automation and platooning are all right now on the cusp of being adopted by wood transport fleets. Right now, there’s a huge amount of interest being shown by larger fleet operators. The new technologies have moved from research, to trials and now into full commercial adoption. Already, a number of firsts for fuelling log trucks in this part of the world are underway and planned for early 2023.

We’re pleased to announce that the programme for Wood Transport & Logistics 2023 has just been uploaded to the event website . Check it out for more details and for what’s being planned next year. And finally, as we move towards the end of 2022, for advertisers and for those supplying material for upcoming issues of Friday Offcuts, our last issue for this year is Friday 16 December 2022. For planning into 2023, our first issue is scheduled to go out on Friday 20 January 2023. If you have any questions relating to advertising in the lead up to the end of this year and start of next year, please make contact directly with . And that’s it for this week.

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Plan launched for NZ Forestry Sector

- Sector ITP to grow domestic processing and low-carbon wood products

- Grow the wood processing sector by 3.5 million cubic metres (25%) by 2030

- Grow export earnings from value-added wood products by $600 million by 2040

- Increase the use of domestic timber in construction by 25% by 2030

The Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) will increase wood processing in New Zealand and grow a low-carbon, high-value industry, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash announced on Wednesday

“Through working closely with industry we’ve developed an ITP that will both boost the value and future-proof our Forestry sector, providing greater economic security all New Zealanders during this global downturn. The forestry and wood processing sector is a multi-billion-dollar sector in New Zealand, with an export value that has grown by 22% since 2017, and is now worth around NZ$6.6 billion, and employs more than 35,000 people in regional communities.

“The ITP will see our export numbers rise further, while creating new domestic opportunities for the sector. An initial investment of NZ$2.5 million from the Government, plus another NZ$1 million from industry contributions, will see a series of initiatives rolled out from 2023 onwards,” Stuart Nash said.

Those initiatives include:

- A diversification programme to improve the opportunities for non-radiata species to be grown and milled in New Zealand

- Establishing New Zealand’s first post-graduate qualification in wood processing

- Scaling up the Wood – Our Low-Carbon Future campaign that demonstrates the benefits of low-carbon products derived from locally grown logs

- Research that identifies how the use of wood products can be increased, by improving standards, and options to recognise the benefits of carbon stored in wood products

- A business case for a new facility to support commercialisation of bio products

- Provide support for a Māori forestry strategy

“The ITP sets the path for future export growth that does not just rely on exporting logs and instead opens up domestic opportunities such as converting wood into high-tech low-carbon products such as construction materials, including timber frames, fence paling and decking, and into bio-materials such as liquid and solid fuels. These will all create more employment and lift sustainability”.

“We will also develop our domestic woody biomass industry that takes forestry by-products such as branches, bark, chips and sawdust and turns them into products such as pellets and particleboard, and into bio-fuels to power our transport, make plastics and pharmaceuticals, and replace high-emissions materials in our buildings.

“More processing in New Zealand will create jobs, drive growth and provide more wood residues to support the growing bio-economy,” Stuart Nash said.

The Government allocated NZ$27 million in Budget 22 to support delivery of the ITP, and have ring-fenced another NZ$155 million to support ITP-related initiatives and projects.

“I’m also glad to announce the establishment of the Interim ITP Implementation group, which is made up of sector leaders and will support Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service to start the implementation of the plan.

“It has taken two years to get to this point, and I am very proud to officially launch the final plan. The Fieldays Forestry Hub was created in partnership between Government and the sector, and demonstrates what can be achieved when we work together,” said Stuart Nash.

For further coverage on the release - and research and innovation linked to the work programme, click here.

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Breaking the glass ceiling – increasing gender diversity

For the third year running, companies in the Australian forest grower and timber processing sector completed a voluntary Gender and Diversity Survey, as part of an ongoing industry-wide commitment to increasing the participation of women across the workforce.

The 2022 survey was completed by 21 companies, with a key result showing a significant 20 per cent rise in the number of female employees since the first survey two years ago.

The figures also represent a valuable growth in gender diversity in corporate governance. In a two-year period, almost 25 per cent of executive level roles within the surveyed companies were now filled by female employees – an impressive increase of five per cent since the first survey was distributed two years ago.

The survey stems from the Australian Forest Industries Diversity and Inclusion Charter, which sets out eight commitments focused on improving diversity and inclusion within the industry. Participating organisations are required to report on their progress through the annual survey, with data collected and analysed in collaboration between the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) and FWPA.

Kevin Peachey, Statistics and Economics Manager, FWPA, said, “The survey plays a crucial role in enabling the industry to monitor the outcomes of its positive efforts in the diversity and inclusion policy area. “With each year’s results, the industry is empowered with more data to draw on for analysis. That analysis aids planning for the improvement of diversity goals and policy development.”

If your company is not currently participating in this annual survey and you would like to, please contact FWPA Statistics and Economics Manager Kevin Peachey at or by calling Tel: 0411 060 186.

Source: FWPA

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Major log transport event planned for May 2023

In log transport, we continue to ramp up coverage of an array of new innovations in electric, hydrogen and diesel-hybrid powered vehicles, truck automation and platooning. Right now, there’s a huge amount of interest by larger fleet operators. Already, a number of firsts for fuelling log trucks in this part of the world are underway and being planned for early 2023.

It’s for this reason that a major Wood Transport & Logistics event has been set up by the Forest Industry Engineering Association with support from all of the key trucking associations for forestry and log transport companies for 24-25 May 2023.

As well as being the first dedicated log transport event run for over five years, the event (conference, trade exhibits and pre-and post-conference workshops) will be covering industry technology firsts including;

- The first Australasian electric log truck using exchangeable batteries

- Operations of the first hydrogen powered log and timber haulage trucks

- Trial results on running diesel-hydrogen hybrid transport fleets

- Rolling out scalable hydrogen refuelling networks across NZ

- Development of the first off-road in-forest log truck platooning

- Robotic and mobile log scaling measurements

- Operations of new automated chain throwing & tensioning

Mark the date into your diaries. It will be run in Rotorua, New Zealand and will also be live-streamed for Australian companies unable to travel into New Zealand or for remote delegates from outside this region. Programme details and registrations have just gone live this week and other information on this major event can now be found on the event website

On the website, you can also register to receive industry updates around log measurement, loading, wood transport and logistics if keen.

At this stage, sponsorship and exhibition packs for the 2023 event haven't yet been widely distributed but already indoor and outdoor spaces have been booked from some of our earlier articles. For those companies interested in securing either an indoor or outdoor exhibition space, please make contact directly with

Further details will follow.

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Mass timber increasing but more knowledge needed

A 2022 survey of New Zealand design, construction and building professionals into the perceptions and barriers to mass timber use in construction highlights a growing awareness and adoption of mass timber however also that more can be done.

The survey was distributed to manufacturers, builders, architects, designers, engineers, building officials and quantity surveyors. It was commissioned by the Mid-Rise Wood Construction Programme and carried out by BRANZ, using the same format as a 2019 survey for comparing results.

The analysis report of the survey noted that recent years have seen a significant global increase in the use of timber products within the built environment. A major portion of this increase being attributable to engineered wood products (EWPs), from large-scale structural elements through to non-structural and decorative components used on the interior and exterior of buildings. This includes materials such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL), cross laminated timber (CLT), plywood, particleboard, and other composite products utilising wood as a base material.

The report concluded that there was a general impression that barriers do exist to increasing the uptake of EWPs in the New Zealand construction industry. These barriers, as well as perceived advantages of using EWPs, manifested themselves in different ways and could be summarised into 4 categories: cost, availability, regulation and standards, and Information/Education.

An increased and thorough understanding of the environmental impacts of EWPs is also seen as necessary in order to determine the effects of including these products for building projects, particularly in light of the recently introduced climate change objectives from the Ministry for Building, Innovation & Employment (MBIE). This combination of information and education would need to include the carbon benefits of using more timber, but also the potential detriments of manufacturing processes, treatments and adhesives used and end-of-life impacts.

The recommendations of the report for supporting greater uptake of EWPs were to develop more data on the economic and environmental impact of using EWPs including Life Cycle Analysis, to continue to provide detailed case studies of buildings using EWPs, to provide more education on EWP’s to building sector players, the public and at tertiary level and to provide more design and product information on specific EWP’s.

These suggestions are considered a starting point for developing a deeper knowledge and understanding of the potential for increased use and acceptance of EWPs across the New Zealand built environment.

Two further surveys are planned for 2024 and 2026. A full copy of the report can be found here.

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PF Olsen NZ Log Market Report - November

At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices for export logs reduced an average of 6 NZD per JASm3 across ports in New Zealand in November. This was caused by a reduction in CFR log prices in China combined with the NZD strengthening against the USD. Log inventory in China remains stable. There is still a lot of uncertainty in China, especially with how the government will continue to manage Covid-19.

Domestic Log Market

Domestic demand for sawn timber has reduced, but this is now at a more manageable level for mills. Most mills still expect a slow-down in demand in the medium term due to inflation and cost increases reducing discretional spending. The usual summer increase in building activity and DIY will likely mean any downturn won’t happen in Quarter 1.

Sawn timber exports remain difficult. China is relatively quiet and has price pressure. Their South East Asian customers struggle with the American buyers of their mainly furniture products demanding extended payment terms as well as coping with tariffs imposed by the US government. They expect better demand in Quarter 2 of next year.

Many sawmills are closing for year-end in mid-December. This is a bit earlier than in the last couple of years as mills struggled to keep up with demand.

Export Log Markets


China softwood log inventory is stable at about 3.5m m3 and port off-take is stubbornly sitting at about 60k per day. Covid restrictions continue to significantly constrain economic activity in China.

The current sale prices for A grade logs range between 120-123 USD per JASm3. Expectations are relatively stable pricing through to the CNY then an increase in CFR prices as log buyers prepare for March and April, which are traditionally the busiest construction months in China.

The China stock market prices had increased through November when market sentiment improved after the Chinese government announced some minor changes to their Covid policy. While these changes were not significant the market read these as a signal for a potential easing of the strict Covid management regime over time. Meetings between leaders from China and the US also prompted hopes of a better economic relationship. However, stock market prices which had risen approximately 20% through November have dropped approximately 4% in the last week as Covid fears resurface.

Shares of Country Garden (China’s largest property developer by sales) more than doubled after the central bank and banking regulator announced measures that encouraged banks to assist the real estate industry. These measures are more about short term liquidity relief for developers than a fundamental improvement in the market.

The October Caixin China Manufacturing PMI increased to 49.2 from 48.1 in September. While there is still downward pressure on the China economy, sentiment has edged up from the 34-month low in September.

Log supply will remain low as Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) imports from the USA remain constrained by the pine nematode policies implemented by China earlier in the year. In Quarter 3 this year only two shipments from South America (one handy and one Capesize). Supply from New Zealand will reduce with less harvesting during December and January. Many sawmills in New Zealand are closing earlier for year-end holidays this year (after a hectic couple of years), so harvest operations will also finish relatively early in many locations.

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Scott Downs, Director Sales & Marketing, PF Olsen Limited

Source: PF Olsen

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Record shipments of Russian timber - via China

Timber from Russia has in recent years been sent through China for processing but since the Ukraine invasion by Russia, and the declaration of Russian timber as conflict timber, the volumes have grown substantially.

Australian builders, architects, and specifiers who for nearly nine months have agonised over an ever-widening supply gap in high-strength engineered wood products have found an unforeseen “saviour” – Russia by way of China, according to sources in the timber industry.

The wood product needed to complete thousands of unfinished “top-half” construction projects around the country seem to have found few structural alternatives. The material also known as laminated veneer lumber (LVL), originally developed in Australia in the 1970s is used primarily for structural applications and is comparable in strength to solid timber, concrete and steel.

“And heaven forbid, we were pencilling in steel on our blueprints as a last resort,” the chief executive of a large Sydney construction company confessed. Now some of Australia’s biggest processors of domestic timber are re-configuring their machinery as they switch roles to become net importers, filling once-empty warehouses, it’s claimed, with an endless supply of Chinese engineered wood products.

Controversially, sources say this produce is manufactured from Russian logs.

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Source: thefifthestate, Photo: Environmental Investigation Agency

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40% denser than engineered wood - SEB

Pretentious as it may sound, we can say with certainty that bamboo is one of the most promising materials for the future of the construction industry. Neil Thomas, principal engineer at atelier one, says that if we were to design an ideal building material, it would look a lot like bamboo. This is because it grows very fast, is present in many countries around the world, has a highly efficient cross-section, and has impressive load-bearing strength.

But beyond its structural use in its raw form, bamboo is also a material that allows a high level of processing and can be laminated for flooring, fixtures and, as we will see in this article, for Structural Engineered Bamboo (SEB) structures, which are very similar to Engineered Wood. We spoke with Luke D. Schuette, founder and CEO of ReNüTeq Solutions, LLC, a company in St. Louis, Missouri, that has been working with this structural material technology.

Engineered bamboo is made from raw bamboo culms, which through pressure and heat form a laminated composite that is then glued together to form structural parts. In Renüteq's case, the slat preparation process and the finished product are patented specifically for structural building applications, called Radial Laminated Bamboo.

RadLam® optimizes the highest performance fibre of the culm by removing the lower strength fibres from the inside of the culm slat before lamination takes place, while increasing the efficiency during production by reducing waste. The main applications of SEB are structural systems (columns and beams), structural glazing systems for buildings (for entrances, roofs, façade systems), as well as curtain walls and floor-to-ceiling frames.

Although the uses are similar, according to Luke, “from a structural standpoint, SEB is much stronger than any Mass Timber on the market. The Modulus of Elasticity of ReNüTeq’s SEB is more than 4 million PSI, which is more than twice the strength of any engineered or glulam timber product. In tension, it is more than 10 times stronger due to the continuous silica fibre content throughout bamboo. The higher density of SEB is ideal for connection design as timber fibre will crush within bolted connections, whereas this maintains its form under higher compression.”

Because it is 40% denser than engineered wood, it also means that bamboo structures have significantly better fire performance than wood, because its carbonization rate is much slower. “Bamboo, at its cellular level, is more closed than timber fibre which makes it much more stable in moisture and temperature changes. SEB is more than 28% more stable than Mass Timber in volatile conditions, making it optimal for both structural and glass systems.“

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Source: archdaily

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Brandt to Acquire Agrowquip NZ

In New Zealand, the Brandt Group of Companies is pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Agrowquip NZ Ltd. The acquisition combines the strong local presence of Agrowquip with Brandt’s existing locations across the North Island to create a network of John Deere dealer locations that runs from Cape Reinga to Wellington.

The deal will provide the industry’s broadest support infrastructure for customers throughout the North Island, delivering the products, parts and service they need, wherever they are operating. Already an established John Deere agricultural equipment dealer in New Zealand, Brandt’s foray into the construction and forestry sector is familiar ground for the company. From humble beginnings with a single location 30 years ago, Brandt has grown to become John Deere’s leading Construction & Forestry equipment dealer worldwide.

The company owns and operates 130 dealerships worldwide, including 23 John Deere Ag stores in Australia and New Zealand as well as 56 John Deere Construction & Forestry dealerships across Canada. Their extensive experience in the agriculture, construction, and forestry sectors will enable them to deliver the quality products and industry-best support services that New Zealand equipment owners need to help them to compete successfully.

The agreement is subject to due diligence and customary closing conditions and is expected to close on January 30th, 2023.

Source: Brandt

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Bushfire review shows need for major overhaul

A comprehensive report into the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires highlights the need for a major overhaul of current forest management strategies according to the peak Australian association for forest scientists, professionals and growers.

Jointly commissioned by the Victorian and Australian governments as parties to the Regional Forest Agreements (RFA), and conducted by an independent expert panel, the Major Event Review of the 2019-20 bushfires examined the impacts of the devastating bushfires on a wide range of forest uses and a range of forest values. The review undertook extensive consultation with stakeholders, communities and Traditional Owners, and presented the two governments with 37 recommendations.

Forestry Australia Vice President Jim Wilson said the report highlighted the need for a major overhaul of current forest management strategies so appropriate resources could be allocated to provide for the full range of forest uses and values in a balanced and holistic way.

“This report confirms that to avoid future repeats of 2019-20 and protect human life and biodiversity, forest and fire management must be viewed and managed at a landscape scale, with active management over long timeframes, using expert knowledge of forests and their processes,” Mr Wilson said.

“In order to achieve this, and overcome Australia’s wicked bushfire problem, we need all forest stakeholders to work together to manage our forests in a planned, strategic and considered manner, which unfortunately is not happening across the board right now. Through these strategies, we can conserve forests for a broader range of values, and proactively manage current pressures and increasing threats to our environment from climate change and the interrelated impacts of bushfires and invasive species.”

Forestry Australia member Dr Tony Bartlett ASFM (Australian Fire Service Medal), who was part of the review’s panel, said the report showed that old growth and fire sensitive forests would be lost if the if the extent and frequency of severe bushfires were not reduced.

“The review found that of the 1.5 million hectares burnt in the 2019-20 bushfires, 1.39 million hectares of this was forested land, about half of which was burnt at high severity,” Dr Bartlett said. “62,000 hectares, or 15 per cent of Victoria’s old growth forest is thought to have been lost in the fires, of which 40,800 hectares was within Dedicated Reserves and Special Protection Zones.

“This shows that the state’s current forest and fire management strategies are ineffective in limiting bushfire impacts on many important RFA values, including old growth, threatened species and fire sensitive communities Victoria’s public land management planning is not well integrated, with most management plans 25-30 years old and poorly connected with recent bushfire management strategies, especially for protection of environmental values”.

Dr Bartlett said the review identified a number of improvements which could be made to land and fire management practices in Victoria, including expanding active and adaptive management, increasing collaboration with Traditional Owners and expanding the range of forest industries.

A copy of the Major Event Review of the 2019-20 bushfires report can be found here.

Source: Forestry Australia

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Forestry firing up biomass boiler in NZ

A new biomass boiler, which uses by-product waste from the commercial forestry industry, has been commissioned at Danone’s dairy plant near Balclutha in South Otago, New Zealand.

The largest biomass boiler in the country (BANZ comment: To set the record straight it is not the largest boiler - there are 10 other bigger boilers. It is also not the first use of fluidised bed boiler technology – there are two other such boilers in operation and one other planned. This was mis-reporting and not claims by Danone), which uses by-product waste from the commercial forestry industry, has been commissioned at Danone’s dairy plant at Balclutha in South Otago.

The NZ$30m boiler will reduce CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year at the company’s spray drying plant, which processes fresh milk sourced from twenty local farms into powder that is used as the base for production of baby formula brands including Aptamil and Karicare.

Danone’s New Zealand operations director Steve Donnelly said the conversion to the biomass boiler had not been easy for the company, especially with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. “It is symbolic of the action required for business to contribute in an impactful way in order to realise a low-emissions, climate resilient future for New Zealand,’’ he said.

The boiler creates about 136,000 tonnes of steam each year, producing approximately 15.5MW of thermal heat. It will use 35,000 tonnes of biomass fuel supplied from local forests. It’s the first boiler of scale In New Zealand to use to use by-product waste from the commercial forestry industry.

“It’s the first use of the technology in New Zealand, so it’s quite a big deal in the sense that it doesn’t require new forests to power,’’ Donnelly said. The introduction of the biomass boiler means the plant has reduced its emissions by 95%, and its total emissions reductions is about 20,000 tonnes, or 10,000 cars off the road.

Source: Danone, Stuff

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New tech aims to track carbon in every tree

Climate scientists and data engineers have developed a new digital platform billed as the first-ever global tool for accurately calculating the carbon stored in every tree on the planet.

• Founded on two decades of research and development, the new platform from nonprofit CTrees leverages artificial intelligence-enabled satellite datasets to give users a near-real-time picture of forest carbon storage and emissions around the world.

• With forest protection and restoration at the center of international climate mitigation efforts, CTrees is set to officially launch at COP27 in November, with the overall aim of bringing an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability to climate policy initiatives that rely on forests to offset carbon emissions.

Users of a new digital platform from nonprofit CTrees will be able to track in near-real-time the carbon stored and emitted in the world’s forests. The platform is borne out of two decades of research and development by a team of the world’s leading climate scientists and data engineers. It’s being touted as the first-ever global system for calculating the amount of carbon in every tree on the planet.

“Forests are extremely important to mitigate climate change because they absorb a major part of the carbon in the atmosphere annually,” Sassan Saatchi, a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who collaborated with colleagues in the U.S., Brazil, Denmark and France to develop the platform, told Mongabay.

However, because trees are so efficient at stashing away carbon dioxide, they release vast quantities of carbon back into the atmosphere when forests are degraded, felled or burned. Recent studies have shown that many forests are nearing a tipping point that compromises their ability to store carbon, with parts of Southeast Asia and the Amazon already net carbon emitters due to multiple human-induced stressors.

Due to this weighty influence on atmospheric carbon, forest conservation and restoration have become major components of climate change mitigation efforts through climate policy initiatives that rely on forests to offset carbon emissions. But up until now, the world has lacked a globally consistent and transparent means of quantifying and tracking forest carbon.

The new CTrees platform now fills this gap, said Saatchi. It’s a “game changer,” he said, for the world’s governments, investors and organizations to make better science-based decisions. “The transition to carbon neutrality requires accurate accounting,” he said. “To truly evaluate the benefits of carbon reduction efforts, market and policy actors need a global state-of-the-art system for measuring and monitoring. Until now, this technology hasn’t been available to carbon markets, and only on a limited basis to climate policymakers.”

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Forest products innovations at Fieldays

New and innovative uses of forestry and wood products will be on display at 35 stands in New Zealand’s Fieldays Forestry Hub near Hamilton between 30 November and 3 December, including a revolutionary treatment for radiata pine and a super carbon-storer – biochar.

Planted trees are the raw material for more than 5,000 products we use every day. They also form the foundation of New Zealand’s next-generation bioeconomy, with the demand for new biomaterials only set to grow as fossil fuel-based products are replaced with renewable alternatives.

The revolutionary treatment for radiata pine allows it to be used in place of imported hardwood timber for decking, interior bench tops and as a fortified exterior cladding. Called Sicaro, this timber treatment technology is being distributed by Motueka-based architectural company Genia. It uses a fortification process that replaces water within the cell structure with a water-borne solution that cures to a resin.

Genia’s architectural specifications representative Chris Mooney says Sicaro is revolutionary in the timber modification sector. “It’s sustainably-sourced with the qualities of a hardwood and is quite a ground-breaker.” Sicaro timber is made using New Zealand-grown, FSC-certified radiata pine which is hand-selected to ensure it is free from imperfections. Testing has been carried out independently in Germany and it has a 75-year warranty.

Another product on display in the Fieldays Forestry Hub is biochar, which has many uses including improving soil health for agriculture and storing carbon. Biochar is made from heating organic materials in a reduced oxygen environment, in a process called pyrolysis. It is used widely overseas including in Australia.

Ideal materials are forest, plant and agriculture residues. Pyrolysis temperatures can range between 400°C to 800°C. Biochar is similar to charcoal although the carbon within is not burnt but stored, providing many other uses and benefits. Biochar Network New Zealand spokesperson Phil Stevens says biochar is being produced in New Zealand in low and high-tech ways, from home kilns to Hot Lime Labs’ new CO2 capture system.

“We’re on the cusp of something big in New Zealand with a number of new biochar projects expected to commence operations in the next 12 to 18 months.”

Hot Lime Labs based in Wellington is converting wood and crop waste into clean CO2 allowing commercial greenhouses to increase productivity by 20%. High quality biochar produced as a byproduct is being tested as a filter to treat wastewater. Biochar safely stores up to half the carbon in its source material for hundreds of years. It is one of a few negative emission technologies recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Fieldays Forestry Hub is a collaboration between Fieldays and an advisory group comprising Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service, Forest Growers Levy Trust, Scion, NZ Forest Owners Association, Red Stag, NZ Farm Forestry Association and Future Foresters.

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National Forest Pest Surveillance Program welcomed

Forest stakeholders in Australia have combined to establish a new National Forest Pest Surveillance Program to help protect the country’s forests from biosecurity threats that could unleash major damage. We welcome this new program that will improve and streamline processes to deal with exotic pests and disease introductions, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton said.

A Collaboration Agreement to establish the National Forest Pest Surveillance Program has been signed by the Commonwealth, States and Territories, AFPA, Plant Health Australia, Forest and Wood Products Australia, the Invasive Species Council and NRM Regions Australia.

“This new national surveillance partnership aims to improve biosecurity measures including, better collaboration between government and industry, so if pests arrive in Australia they can be dealt with quickly and more effectively. Time is a critical commodity when dealing with biosecurity matters and this agreement prioritises that necessity,” Ross Hampton said.

“Furthermore, biosecurity risks are on the rise with movements across Australia’s borders expected to increase over coming decades, increasing the risk of an accidental pest introduction, while climate change can also make trees more susceptible to pests and diseases. Continually improving biosecurity and surveillance measures are essential to protects Australia’s forests, urban amenity trees and our forest industries”.

More information on the Program can be found here.

Source: AFPA

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... at McDonald's

An oldie but a goodie. Can’t believe what I saw in McDonald’s today. An old man placed an order for one hamburger , French fries and a drink.

He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half , placing one half in front of his wife.

He then carefully counted out the French fries , dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.

He took a sip of the drink , his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them. As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger , the people around them were looking over and whispering.

Obviously they were thinking , 'That poor old couple - all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.'

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table and politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said , they were just fine - they were used to sharing everything.

People closer to the table noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again , the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said 'No , thank you , we are used to sharing everything.'

Finally , as the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin , the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked 'What is it you are waiting for?'

She answered,


And one more sent in. My husband and I went through the McDonald's drive thru window, and I gave the cashier a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her 25c.

She said, 'You gave me too much money.'

I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar back.'

She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request.

I did so, and he handed me back the 25 cents, and said 'We're sorry but we don't do that kind of thing.'

The cashier then proceeded to give me back 75 cents in change.

Tip: Do not confuse the people at McD's.

On that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 3 470 1902
Mob: +64 21 227 5177


John Stulen
PO Box 1230, Rotorua, 3040
Tel: +64 7 921 1381
Mob: +64 27 275 8011

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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