‘Innovative Harvesting Solutions’ A Step Change Harvesting Research Programme

Authors: Keith Raymond*
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2010, Issue N.Z.J.For. 55(3) 2010, pp 4-9, Nov 2010
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: A new research programme outlines a pathway for the New Zealand forest industry to realise substantial productivity gains through improved harvesting technologies, as Future Forests Research Harvesting Theme Leader Keith Raymond explains. Summary Cheaper and more effective methods for harvesting trees on New Zealand's steep country are vital if the forest industry is to remain internationally competitive and to grow. By overcoming the limitations of current practices there is potential for the industry to improve its profitability and realise its goals to double in size over the next 30 years. Total direct and indirect benefits of developing a viable solution could exceed $1 billion per annum by 2040. The forestry sector and the New Zealand Government have both identified steep country harvesting as the key bottleneck in achieving greater profitability in forestry today. They have identified that, after a long period of no Government investment in harvesting research, a concerted collaborative research effort between industry and government is required to improve productivity, reduce harvesting costs by at least 25%, lower the cost and social impact of accidents and make harvesting jobs safer and more desirable for workers. The harvest machinery industry in New Zealand must also grow substantially to future-proof the growth of the industry.
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