What's New in Future Forests Research

A particular focus of FFR's work in 2010 has been how to improve the transfer of research results and technology into the hands of the industry.

Feedback from previous industry engagement (both at the senior executive and FFR member levels) has stressed the importance of active and ongoing technology transfer. A recent questionnaire of FFR members specifically probed the preferred methods of technology transfer. Member's meetings and Member's Updates ranked highly as did the FFR website member's area, and the idea of including short video/audio clips on the website. But the most preferred method for technology transfer was industry workshops.

Recent examples of FFR technology transfer have been:

FFR Annual Meetings

In late August-early September the FFR Annual Meetings for each of the research themes were held in Nelson. The objectives of the meetings were two-fold:

  1. to present final results of the 2009/10 research year to members and
  2. to preview the 2010/11 FFR Research Programme.

Over 90 people attended these meetings over the course of the week with plenty of discussion on the research results and the direction of the programme. General feedback from the presentations was good with 70% of participants rating the value gained from the meeting as very good or exceeding expectations.

Transfer of Atlas Forecaster to FFR

FFR now owns the Forecaster decision support tool and through Atlas has made a copy of the latest version available to all FFR Radiata Theme members who are not current users of Forecaster for a 3 month evaluation period. FFR members Forecaster licence fee is significantly discounted in recognition of the FFR contribution to its development.

LiDAR Workshop

A workshop in Rotorua in September was convened in conjunction with Prof Cris Brack at Waiariki Institute of Technology. This is new technology for the NZ Forestry sector and we would like to see wider use due to the potential benefits it offers forest owners. The workshop was attended by 45 people from across the sector. The aim was to give attendees hands on experience using LiDAR data and to present case studies on the benefits of using LIDAR. On the second day a workshop session discussed some of the reasons why LiDAR is not being more widely used and what collective actions by the sector are needed to see this technology more widely used.

Harvesting Value Recovery Workshop in Rotorua

This one-day workshop which 25 industry people attended in August 2010 was aimed at helping forest managers to improve their bottom line by recovering more value from their forest-to-mill supply chain.

Value recovery is part of the production economics triangle along with productivity enhancement and cost control.

Using the skills and experience of Dr. Glen Murphy, ex-Director of the Logging Industry Research Organisation, and current Professor in Forest Engineering at Oregon State University, this workshop covered:

  • why it is important to maximise value recovery;
  • where in the supply chain value can be lost and recaptured;
  • what tools are available to assess the impacts on value of changes in work methods;
  • who is responsible for controlling value recovery;
  • when and how to check if harvesting equipment has been set up correctly;
  • how other forest managers control value recovery.