For the first time in Australasia, planting will be undertaken, after a postponement at the start of the planting season, in the Hawkes Bay this season by Pan Pac Forest Products. In other markets, planting machines have had to stop during day time and run at night to mitigate the risk of fires. Production has still been achieved, even during these limitations, in both Sweden and Canada.
As part of the ForestTECH 2023 series this year in November, early results from planting using the Plantma machine by Pan Pac will be able to be shared with forestry companies and tree crop managers for the first time on both sides of the Tasman. Programme details for the annual November forest technology series can be found on the ForestTECH 2023 event website.
Updates from other key markets include;
Timber has been on tour throughout 2023 with their first PlantMax X2 doing demos with many of the major companies and in collaboration with IPEF. Both pine and eucalyptus seedlings have been successfully planted. Their MidiFlex scarifier has been used in new ways and both hardware and software have had updates and they’re currently working on adding more (retrofittable) features to the machine to be able to do even more tasks in the same run, like subsoiling and fertilizing.
For a while now, it has been obvious to Holmen, a large Swedish Forest products business, that for a number of reasons they need and want to mechanize a large portion of their reforestation. According to Holmen’s evaluation of planting quality, where they’ve looked at planting spot, depth and straightness immediately after planting, PlantMax has the same level of quality as manual planters: 96%. Holmen has now formed a dedicated project group to work on different aspects of mechanization, from logistics to site planning and criteria for choosing the most suitable sites etc for mechanised planting.
During the fall of 2022 a second run of planting was done with JD Irving, planting 345,997 seedlings in just 3 weeks. The Plantma X machine has now been rented out for a production run with their own operators. The group have also made some changes to the MidiFlex scarifier to be able to handle more of the sometimes very heavy slash load, and moved the machine around to find out where the limits are re the quality of planting. JD Irving has already planted more than the 500,000 seedlings using the Plantma Forestry machine.
Further details can be found on the Plantma Forestry website
Source: Plantma Forestry