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Levy funded research achievements recognised

The 2017 Forest Growers Research Annual Research Report was released to highlight outputs from the research programme and covers the full forest growing value chain from breeding right through to harvesting. The report also highlights examples of industry uptake and copies can be obtained from Forest Owners Association, Farm Forestry Association and Forest Growers Research or it can be downloaded at www.fgr.nz

The annual 2017 Forest Growers Research Conference was held this year in Christchurch, and like the annual report, the focus of the conference was research outputs that have come from the various research programmes supported by forest growers. Attended by over 100 researchers and industry people the presentations covered the full spectrum of the research and again featured examples of industry implementation of the outcomes from the programme. The field trip included a visit to the site of the Port Hills fire with presentations by the emergency services and the Scion fire researchers who assisted the responses team. At the University of Canterbury testing of wood properties of young eucalypts and the siting of other species was demonstrated along with electrical heating of logs to kill bark beetles which may ultimately offer an alternative to chemical fumigants for export log exports. A visit to Proseed’s commercial seed production operation at Amberley provided an opportunity to see where the seed of our main commercial species is produced.

The 2017 Forest Growers Research Awards to people who have made a special contribution to the programme were recognised at the Christchurch conference. Recipients are:

Communication and Sector Engagement: Chris Phillips -Landcare

  • Chris is a hydrology scientist who is actively involved with hydrology research to better understand the interactions between weather, soils, terrain and forest operations across New Zealand.

Innovation that Enhances Sector Value: Richard Yao - Scion

  • Richard has been the leader of a team that has developed a spatial modelling system to value the wider benefits of forestry. The tool is being increasingly used by policy makers and planners and is providing a better understanding of the wider value of forestry.

Science of International Quality: Graeme Clare -  Plant and Food

  • Graeme has successfully developed a large bark beetle breeding and rearing programme to support research into alternative fumigant treatments to methyl bromide.

Contribution to a Science Team - Carolyn Andersen - Scion

  • NZ has a permanent sample plot (PSP) system that is the envy of the world. It supports much of the forest growing research effort and development of growth models. Carolyn manages this behind the scenes to ensure the data is robust and protected for forest growers and researchers.

Young Scientist: Hunter Harrell  - School of Forestry

  • Hunter completed his PhD in forest engineering at Canterbury University in 2014 and has made an impressive contribution to steep land harvesting through field research, developing and teaching many workshops on cable assist and cable logging planning. 

Research Participation and implementation: Shaf Van Ballekom - Proseed

  • As the manager of commercial seed producer Proseed, Shaf has shown a commitment to supporting research over many years through funding and personnel participation and is motivated to see research outcomes implemented.

Further details on the awards can be seen at FOA Media Release

The completion of the Steep Land Harvesting Primary Growth Partnership programme were celebrated at a function in Wellington on 14th November 2017 attended by the new Minister of Forests Shane Jones and Agriculture and Biosecurity Damien O’Connor along with officials and industry people. The programme is widely recognised as a successful industry-government partnership that has been a catalyst for a quantum change in harvesting on steep land that has resulted in:

  • Mechanised felling increasing from 23% in 2009 to 57% in 2017

  • Serious harm injuries reduced to 1/6 the level they were in 2010

  • Cable harvesting productivity improvements of 30%

  • Harvesting machinery exports to Canada, USA and Chile