WoodWeek – 31 July 2019

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Greetings from your news team at Innovatek. We have several video-based news updates for you today from a development of a high tech shirt that could help forestry workers to the new T-Winch soon to be coming to New Zealand.

Coming to Rotorua and Melbourne in November, the latest FIEA ForestTECH conference series is now online and registrations are open. At recent ForestTECH events, new data collection technologies have been unveiled along with advances that have been made on processing and better interpreting the big data streams now routinely being collected out in the field. The task being grappled with by many forestry companies has been how best to sort through and use this collected data and convert it into something that’s usable for all stakeholders.

The focus for ForestTECH 2019 is “unlocking the true value of data”. Disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, the IOT, machine and deep learning, robotics, automation, daily satellite imagery, UAV’s and the use of virtual and augmented reality are now increasingly being integrated into day to day operations of most forestry companies.

With input from a wide cross section of forestry companies, tech providers and researchers, the ForestTECH 2019 programmes are now complete and online.

John Deere now offers Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) on the 1470G Harvester – the largest harvester model available in the John Deere line-up. The IBC technology, first introduced to the harvester category by John Deere in 2018, increases precision and accuracy during operation, boosting operator productivity.

Finally, insect infestation is becoming an increasingly costly problem to the forestry industry, especially in areas experiencing increased droughts and hot spells related to climate change. A new terahertz imaging technique could help slow the spread of these infestations by detecting insect damage inside wood before it becomes visible on the outside.

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Global log price index drops


Log trade volumes up but prices now down - Worldwide trade of softwood logs has gone up 52% in the past decade reaching an all-time-high in 2018. The increase in trade has to a large degree been driven by higher demand for forest products in China.

Despite an increase in log demand throughout the world, the GSPI Price Index, as reported by the Wood Resource Quarterly, has fallen the past year to just below its ten-year average.

Source: Wood Resources International


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Log export values held through June

New Zealand exported more logs and wood in June 2019, despite falling log prices overseas, Stats NZ said last week. In June 2019, the value of all goods exports rose $136 million (2.8 percent) from June 2018 to reach $5.0 billion.

Exports of logs and wood led the rise in exports, up $65 million (16 percent) from June 2018 to $472 million in June 2019. These commodities are the third-largest goods export group, behind milk powder, butter, and cheese ($1.1 billion) and meat and edible offal ($678 million).

The rise in logs and wood was led by untreated logs, up $55 million (20 percent) on a year earlier. The quantity rose 26 percent and unit values fell 4.6 percent.

“The average value of untreated log exports fell to $163 a cubic metre in June, down from a recent high of $177 in February,” international statistics manager Geraldine Duoba said.

New Zealand exports of untreated logs to China were worth about $3.0 billion in the past year, or 80 percent of the $3.8 billion in total untreated log exports.

Of New Zealand’s main export markets, China had the largest increase in exports, up $297 million (27 percent) from June 2018 to $1.4 billion in June 2019. The rise was led by beef, milk powder, and untreated logs.

“Strong growth in exports to China continues to offset a slowdown in the value of sales to other key markets such as Australia and the EU,” Geraldine Duoba added.

“China is New Zealand’s largest goods export market, making up 28 percent of all goods exports, and the fastest growing of our main export markets.”









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Hi-tech shirt for forestry workers

A shirt with built-in sensors could help reduce fatalities in New Zealand's forestry industry. Researchers at the University of Waikato are developing a hi-tech way to keep forestry workers safe on the job, with a 'smart shirt' the leading contender.

Using sensors on the front of the shirt to monitor heart-rate variability and others on the back to measure perspiration, the garment could detect when workers showed signs of fatigue or dehydration.

Engineering student Dylan Exton was looking at the positioning and function of the shirt's sensors. "You've got to make it comfortable and non-intrusive for anyone who wears it. You've also got to ensure the sensors are chargeable," Exton said.

"Right now, I have a mess of wires, but in the coming weeks I'll be plugging them into the computer to see how they behave." Exton said he took on the challenge of making a prototype shirt because he liked the combination of software and hardware required for the project.

Other members of the team were working on finding the best way to manage and understand the stream of data from workers and the environment, Bowen said.

The project team leaders will be speaking at our FIEA Forest Safety & Technology Conference series in May 2020 (See www.forestsafety.events for more information.)



"How do we come up with an alarm that signals 'you're tired, you're dehydrated' from the combination of streaming data? There's a lot of complex data processing that has to happen as these smart shirts are going to be worn every working day and will produce continuous data," she said.

"It's not like working in a lab, we're designing for an uncontrolled environment. In the forest the data's noisy, bits of it can drop out, and people do unexpected or unpredictable things. It's a big challenge, but it's a great project because it's got all these moving parts."

Source: Stuff


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Bigger T-Winch coming ... with Kiwis in mind

The T-WINCH traction assist machine was unveiled to local logging contractors at the HarvestTECH 2019 event in New Zealand few weeks ago. With the first cab-free T-WINCH machine already working in New Zealand, a new and larger model has just been developed which should be well suited to markets like ours.

A forestry operation north of Gisborne has been operating the first European-made T-WINCH, a 10.2, for a number of months to provide winch assistance to a skidder tackling steep hills with a full load. ecoforst, the innovative Austrian company that produces the T-WINCH, has developed the larger 30-tonne model called the 20.2, and nicknamed ‘The Big One’ for big machine markets like New Zealand.

Local T-WINCH distributor, FORCO, believes New Zealand contractors may prefer ‘The Big One’ for tethering large tracked felling machines. Ian Wilton, Business Director with FORCO, says this larger model has been in development for some time and was originally called the 15.1, but further testing in Chile saw ecoforst add more horsepower, more strength and heavier guarding, prompting the name change to T- WINCH 20.2.

“Building on the launch of the T-WINCH 10.2 worldwide last year, with T-WINCH 10.2 number three out of the factory working in New Zealand, ecoforst will launch it’s much anticipated T-WINCH 20.2 in October this year,” says Ian. The T-WINCH 20.2 specifications are impressive, with a 414 horsepower engine, 560 metres of 26mm rope, 15 tonnes pulling force and up to 8km/h line speed.

The T-WINCH 20.2 is controlled with the same fully automated technology as used in the 10.2. It is compatible with any machine because no installation is required, simply hook on to any machine and begin operating. The remote handset, which stays with the operator, controls all T-WINCH functions. The operator sets the pulling force once and can work all day without touching the remote again, if the tethered machine moves away from the winch it will let rope out, if the tethered machine moves towards the winch it will pull rope in, all while maintaining the selected pulling force.

Alternatively, different pulling forces, potentially a lower pulling force for moving downhill and a higher pulling force for moving uphill, may be selected. The T-WINCH maintains both different pulling forces all day, changing between them automatically with the tethered machine direction changes. This function eliminates the need to adjust the force manually when changing direction.

Source: John Ellegard, NZ Logger

Check out the latest video of the new machine in action.


In the video the T-WINCH is tethering a 60-tonne loaded dump truck. Note: The T-WINCH 20.2 is called the 30.1 in Chile, the machine in the video has a low emission standard engine because in Chile the standards are low. The version coming to New Zealand will have a high emission standard engine and a larger track base.

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ForestTECH 2019 details now online

Every year, over 250 resource managers, remote sensing, GIS and mapping specialists, inventory foresters and technology providers from throughout Australasia (and more recently SE Asia) meet up at the annual ForestTECH technology series. Since 2007, it’s the one event every year that’s run in both Australia and New Zealand focussing on this particular part of the forestry industry.

“Compared to other parts of the wood supply chain, it’s been the sheer pace of change around the collection, analysis and reporting of data collected for the forest estate that has continued to drive interest and support for this particular technology series” says FIEA event director Brent Apthorp. “In recent years there has been a very short lag time (often less than six months) between the time research results are being relayed to forestry companies to the time that it’s being implemented operationally”.

At recent ForestTECH events, new data collection technologies have been unveiled along with advances that have been made on processing and better interpreting the big data streams now routinely being collected out in the field. The task being grappled with by many forestry companies has been how best to sort through and use this collected data and convert it into something that’s usable for all stakeholders.

The focus for ForestTECH 2019 is “unlocking the true value of data”. Disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, the IOT, machine and deep learning, robotics, automation, daily satellite imagery, UAV’s and the use of virtual and augmented reality are now increasingly being integrated into day to day operations of most forestry companies.

With input from a wide cross section of forestry companies, tech providers and researchers, the ForestTECH 2019 programmes are now complete and online.

A couple of key features of this year’s series are:

- A number of pre and post conference workshops have been set up for ForestTECH 2019 delegates in both countries. Check out the website for details. The focus for the workshops includes, using geospatial tools and workflows, new technologies for collecting high-quality 3D forestry spatial data using portable, handheld devices and technology advances around hyperspectral and thermal imaging for precision forestry operations. Note:, places at some of the workshops, because of the venue size, are limited so will be filled on a first in-first served basis.

- The number of presentations being given from major forestry companies and global technology providers from outside Australasia. Key presenters include; Northwest Management, USA, DroneSeed, USA, GreenValley International, USA/China, SKYLAB, Germany, Swift Geospatial, South Africa, Forestal Arauco, Chile and IDAF Forestry Consulting, Spain.

The ForestTECH 2019 series this year runs in Melbourne, Australia on 13-14 November and then again in Rotorua, New Zealand on 19-20 November 2019.

Registrations are now open. Details can be found on the event website; www.foresttech.events. Further information will follow.



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John Deere: Intelligent boom control available

John Deere now offers Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) on the 1470G Harvester – the largest harvester model available in the John Deere line-up. The IBC technology, first introduced to the harvester category by John Deere in 2018, increases precision and accuracy during operation, boosting operator productivity.

Available exclusively on the CH9 boom, with IBC the operator no longer controls each independent boom joint movement separately. Instead, the operator manoeuvres the harvester head and the IBC technology automatically guides the boom accordingly. Designed to suit the work cycle of the harvester, the movement and operation of the boom adjusts as the boom is taken to a tree, and when the tree is in the grapple. With IBC, work is more precise, efficient and enjoyable, and new operators are able to quickly learn how to operate machines.

Another key benefit of the IBC system is the improvement to the durability of the boom. The IBC system features electrical end damping for all the main boom movement directions, stopping strong blow-like loads in the end positions. As a result, work is more fluent and the boom structures and hydraulic cylinders last longer. Additionally, IBC increases the quality of harvested timber, as there are no wounds to the remaining trees.

“John Deere pioneered the IBC technology for harvesters, and we are excited to evolve that offering to include our large 1470G machine,” said Sakari Suuriniemi, product marketing manager for John Deere. “After using an IBC-equipped machine, the boosts to productivity and efficiency are undeniable, making IBC a must-have feature for any logging operation. Understanding the demands of the logging industry and the labour challenges, IBC allows operators – new or seasoned – to work faster, even in difficult conditions.”

Designed to handle difficult terrain and powered by a John Deere 9.0-liter Final Tier 4 engine, the 1470G Harvester is equipped to handle large timber. The stable design of the machine allows for the boom to work efficiently when fully extended. The standard Processing Power Control system optimizes fuel efficiency by coordinating the accurate processing level with the current work conditions and tree size. Another feature, Adaptive Driveline Control, improves the machine drivability and productivity by automatically adjusting engine RPMs to correspond with the engine load. Additionally, the cab on the 1470G automatically adjusts to the boom movements, while the levelling functions absorb any terrain conditions. This decreases machine vibration by as much as 50 percent during operation, increasing operator comfort.

To learn more about IBC and the John Deere 1470G Harvester, as well as the full line of John Deere Forestry Equipment, visit your local John Deere Forestry dealer or www.JohnDeere.com.



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SnapSTATS: Log export market volatility

Is the log export market always going to be subject to volatility?

History is the key - see the statistics for yourself.

Graph legend – Change in price received by New Zealand businesses for logs for export market (2010 Q4 – 2018 Q4), % change from same quarter previous year

More >> https://figure.nz/chart/F0jZBij8PpbRbvHu-jopMud0Es3zWh3cP

Source: Figure.NZ


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Van crashed head-on with logging truck

Four people are dead, and another injured, after a van and fully laden logging truck collided in a Bay of Plenty forest on Monday morning.

Bay of Plenty district road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe said the four died after what he described as a "tragic set of circumstances".

He said a van containing four people "crashed head on to a fully laden logging truck".

WorkSafe has been notified of the Kaingaroa forest crash and is responding. Investigators will meet with Police to inform WorkSafe's next steps. WorkSafe will not provide updates on the investigation which will take some months. Our thoughts are with families and communities affected by the tragedy.


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Opinon: Peter Williams on climate science

Peter Williams: The science is never settled on climate change

OPINION: I'm sorry but my head hurts - I am so over the nonsense that is being propagated by politicians and policymakers about this thing that is now just referred to as "climate change."

Every day it is being foisted upon us. The world is in crisis. There is going to be a disaster, a catastrophe. The world is going to end. We have 12 years. We have 10 years. Some nutbag appeared on The AM Show yesterday saying it will end in seven years.

Prince Charles says we have 18 months left before it is irreversible and the world will end.

Why do we allow people to get away with this? Why is there absolutely no debate that these prophets of gloom may possibly be wrong?

Why is it that not just Stuff, but it seems all media in this country refuse to allow even a skerrick of evidence that CO2 may not be the cause of the earth's warming?

Those of us who ask questions, and do not accept what we are having forced upon us, are now being called deniers.

Note the phrasing, the use of language. As if words like catastrophe and crisis and emergency were not enough, those who are skeptical are now being called "deniers."

The last group of people to be called deniers were those who believe the holocaust didn't happen.

The thing is, we know the holocaust happened. We have physical evidence of graves, of concentration camps, of gas chambers and of people being loaded onto trains to go there and never be seen again.

How can people who ask questions about the changing climate and whether CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere be called "deniers?" The arrogance in the putdown is breathtaking.

Why are people not allowed to ask questions? Why are people not allowed to make observations about what they see in front of them outside every day? Why are we not allowed to ask about all those other predictions of 30 years ago which have not come true?

Why am I so worked up about this? I'll tell you why. We are being fed BS by our politicians, politicians from both parties who refuse to ask questions? Politicians and policymakers who use the phrase " the science is settled."

Science can never be settled. How can science be settled? It's like technology. Once we thought black and white TV was just marvellous. Then we went to colour, then to digital. The technology is always evolving. It's just like science. Scientists are still working towards a cure for cancer, a cure for diabetes. They haven't found the answer yet.

More >>

Source: News hub


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New imaging technique for wood

Terahertz imaging technique reveals subsurface insect damage in wood - New technique could catch insect infestation in individual trees at early stages.

Insect infestation is becoming an increasingly costly problem to the forestry industry, especially in areas experiencing increased droughts and hot spells related to climate change. A new terahertz imaging technique could help slow the spread of these infestations by detecting insect damage inside wood before it becomes visible on the outside.

"Our approach could be used to detect early-stage insect infestation on the trunks of trees, in imported wood or on wood products in an early infestation stage," said research team member Kirsti Krugener, from HAWK University of Applied Science and Arts in Germany. "This could help keep out damaging insects from other countries and stop infestation before it spreads throughout a forest." In the Optical Society journal Applied Optics, the researchers report how they used terahertz time-of-flight tomography to noninvasively identify wood samples with otherwise invisible damage from the typographer beetle, which infects spruce and other coniferous trees in Europe. They were also able to reconstruct the internal structure of wood samples.

"Detecting the boreholes of wood-destroying insects is typically done by manually inspecting the wood, and the infected area of the forest to be removed is then estimated," said Krügener. "To our knowledge, this is the first time a technical method has been used to detect insect boreholes."

Incorporating the new approach into a portable instrument could allow assessment of individual trees in a forest so that only infested trees would need to be removed. Because it does not damage the sample being imaged, the technique might also be useful for investigating mummies, studying and restoring art or for quality control in industry.

Seeing beneath the surface - The terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum lies between microwave and infrared regions. It is used for applications such as the full-body scanners found in many airports because it doesn't harm people or materials being examined and can see through materials such as clothing, plastics and plant material.

Terahertz time-of-flight tomography works much like ultrasonic measurement in that each interface within the wood sample reflects a certain amount of the terahertz radiation that is detected and analysed in respect to its time-dependent order. Each subsurface tunnel made by the insects leads to a new interface on which the radiation is reflected.

More >>



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Pesticides protect valuable flora

Landmark report shows value of pesticides to New Zealand's land-based industries - The New Zealand Institute of Economic Development today released a landmark report, showing that New Zealand’s economy would lose up to $11.4 billion without crop protection products – and that crops would lose 30 percent of their value overall.

The report covers forestry, pasture, horticulture, field crops and vegetable production.

Agcarm chief executive, Mark Ross, says that the report highlights the importance of the crop protection industry to New Zealand’s economy.

“Not only does the industry have an important part to play in supporting the economy, it is also vital for producing safe food and protecting our environment. It develops tools to manage biosecurity incursions which damage our native species and crops,” says Ross.

Crop protection products have a far-reaching impact on our land-based sectors. Without them, many industries would face significant losses. Horticulture, for example, would lose 75 percent of the value of its crops. A severely reduced kiwifruit production would have resulted from the deadly 2010 PSA outbreak. Vegetable growers face losses of around 88 percent. In many cases, it would not be possible to grow commercial quantities of crops without these products. In other cases, yields would be much lower and the economic impact of this would be substantial.

The industry is committed to the responsible use of crop protection products – from researching the best ways of managing damaging pests and diseases, through to safe use and disposal. This includes ensuring that any waste plastic containers are recycled and repurposed through the Agrecovery programme.

Our industry focusses on stewardship and ensuring that there continues to be a variety of new products to offer pest control solutions for growers and farmers. Agrichemicals that are more environmentally-friendly, more effective and more targeted allow farmers to better control target pests, while protecting human health and allowing beneficial flora and fauna to prosper. and a summary of the report can be found at agcarm.co.nz

The report, just published, is entitled, ‘The Importance of Crop Protection Products for The New Zealand Economy’ can be downloaded using the link below:

More >>



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Jobs



Buy and Sell



... and finally ... some imported humour

Some funnies from America ...

My first grade daughter and her friend both needed new boots as winter approached. The friend got in the car one morning and finally had gotten her boots. "Tina," I commented, "I see you got new boots! Where did you get them?"

"At the store," she answered.

"Which one?" I asked.

She began looking at her new boots and after a pause said, "Both of them!"

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I think my wife is selling drugs!

Yesterday I was running a little bit late for work and the phone rang. I answered it. Before I could say anything a male voice on the line said, "Hey, honey is that DOPE gone yet?"

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The Jewish Elbow

A Jewish grandmother is giving directions to her grown grandson who is coming to visit with his wife.

"You come to the front door of the apartment. I am in apartment 301. There is a big panel at the front door. With your elbow, push button 301. I will buzz you in. Come inside, the elevator is on the right. Get in, and with your elbow, push 3. When you get out, I'm on the left. With your elbow, hit my doorbell."

"Grandma, that sounds easy, but, why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow?”

"Whatta mean ... you better not be coming empty handed?"

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I'm selling my pet python on eBay. A bloke just rang up and asked if it was big.

I said, "It's massive."

He said, “How many feet?"

I said none!. "It's a bloody Snake"!

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A man called his mother in Florida, "Mom, how are you?"
"Not too good," said the mother. "I've been very weak."
The son said, "Why are you so weak?" She said, "Because I haven't eaten in 38 days."
The son said, "That's terrible.
Why haven't you eaten in 38 days?"
The mother answered, "Because I didn't want to risk having a mouthful of food if you rang."


That's all for this week's wood news.

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John Stulen
Editor
Innovatek Limited
PO Box 1230
Rotorua, New Zealand
Mob: +64 27 275 8011
Web: www.woodweek.com

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