- January 12, 2021 at 7:09 am #9932
Soon the planting season will begin, and with that the search for skilled people that can plant. Every year is the same in many parts of the World. Why is it that the mechanization of planting never reached a solution that lasts? Is it only because that cheap labor always turns up? Or, is silviculture too “expensive” to be interesting as it it gives no immediate income?
There are machines, no doubt, but are they good enough to stay? You can read about two of them in these articles:
- January 14, 2021 at 2:17 am #9939
One of the factors is amortization of capital….short seasons (In northern climates) means narrow windows to get the next crop in the ground and therefore less ability to amortize a major investment. In natural forests in western Canada there is also a lot of variability a machine has to contend with. Of course it depends if you are planting seed or seedlings mechanically.
Each jurisdiction in the world has unique challenges but perhaps a common one is the “we’ve always done it this way” attitude one has to break through to establish new paradigms.
- January 18, 2021 at 8:18 pm #9965
I agree with Ben’s views. In South Africa we have seen progress in the adoption of mechanised silviculture equipment over the past decade and its growing. I would say mainly due to increasing labour costs and labour availability issues. Despite the progress majority of the work is still done manually.
The silviculture working environment is considered relatively “low risk” compared to harvesting. Due to the safety risks associated with harvesting operations, mechanisation was accelerated.
• Seasonality of silviculture activities and the limited economies of scale makes it complex to invest in equipment which cannot be fully utilised.
• Diversity in edaphic factors, species and climatic conditions and many other variable makes it difficult to develop equipment suitable for the global markets.
• Silviculture activities also provide less labour intensive work compared to harvesting which is a better employment opportunity for people in rural areas where forestry is prominent.
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