Transfer of Research Outcomes to Practitioners

An on-going challenge for those involved in industry research is how to get outcomes from research programmes implemented by those who own and manage forests. Value is not created for the sector or for New Zealand until the outcomes of research are actually implemented by investors.

FFR has put a lot of effort over the last 2 years into communicating research outcomes to members and as we approach the end of current Government funding contracts in 2013 greater effort will be put into this by FFR and our research providers.

It is useful to reflect on some examples of FFR tech transfer activities to demonstrate what has been made available from these programmes for forest owners. In the harvesting area an updated version of the "Business Management for Logging Handbook" has been produced and over 200 copies have been made available to harvesters.

Improving the use of remote sensing technologies has been a focus for FFR and workshops were run last year on the use of LiDAR and Rapid Eye satellite imagery in forest management. We are pleased to see the increasing application of this technology by forest managers.

A manual covering all aspects of Douglas fir management has been published and is available for those investing in Douglas fir forestry. In addition a two day workshop and field trip was held recently in Gore to provide industry members with an update on the latest research results. These include the first genetically improved Douglas fir seed from a new seed orchard in Southland. Workshops have also been organised to update industry members on the latest knowledge for growing Redwoods, Eucalypts and Cypresses.

FFR members, such as PF Olsen, now have a new version (Version 4) of the Douglas-fir Calculator with improvements that include:

  • Improved productivity index algorithm.
  • Batch run facility allowing productivity indices to be obtained.
  • Removal of bias in growth model which caused under prediction in growth following thinning.

The Douglas fir Manual is an example of how FFR is getting forestry best practice into the industry

The planning tool Forecaster is an important way of making research results available to industry members. This has been significantly enhanced following user feedback and a number of new models arising from the research have been incorporated into Forecaster, including the Douglas fir growth model. In addition simpler Calculators are now available for Eucalyptus fastigata, Cypresses and Redwoods allowing forest growers to evaluate alternative forest management options. A kauri growth model that draws on 80 years of research is also now available.

Next month FFR is organising a field trip and workshop focusing on managing the risks of forestry operations on steep erosion prone land in a time of increasing high intensity storm events. This is at a time when there is increasing harvest activity on this steep land and there is increasing interest in forestry on steep land to reduce erosion and improve water quality. This is a very important and high priority issue for the industry to address.