Through constant innovative technologies over the past decade, forestry is a safer and more sustainable industry.
There is no doubt that technology is revolutionizing the forestry industry.
Forests are crucial for a healthy climate, absorbing around 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and preserving biodiversity. However, maintaining productive forestry practices and reducing environmental impact is a delicate balance.
Thanks to technology, the industry has ramped up its sustainability efforts to prepare for an eco-friendlier future.
Forestry technology is constantly evolving and improving, but let’s go through some of the most exciting innovations transforming the industry today.
1. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Drones
LiDAR is a remote sensing technology used in many different industries. In forestry, it’s used to measure timber volume, assess risk and improve overall forest health. LiDAR drones are an impressive and increasingly valuable tool that provides detailed forestry maps as and when required.
As a rapidly developing technology, LiDAR drones’ range and capabilities make them one of the most effective technologies implemented by the forestry industry. With the ability to span vast areas, these can effectively survey large forestry landscapes and enable workers to efficiently manage inventory, observe wildlife and detect and prevent pest and fire risks.
Through GPS and high-quality cameras and sensors, LiDAR drones collect data and imagery quickly and accurately. With no room for human error, data can be inputted into forestry software to map with precision and make quick and productive forestry management decisions.
2. Smart Soil Sensors
Soil Sensors measure the physical and chemical properties in forestry soil to detect and monitor soil conditions and enhance forestry management.
Imbalances in soil moisture, temperature, PH, and nutrients can disrupt growth and create optimal conditions for soil-borne pests. Soil sensors collect valuable information that we can track over time to spot changes in soil quality, whether large or small.
Although soil sensors have been around for some time, smart soil sensors have changed the game. Data can be sent through to devices such as tablets and smartphones in an instant, helping forestry managers accurately assess forest health and fertility. With this information at hand, we can make quick decisions and mitigate risk.
3. Timber production technology
Safe, efficient and sustainable timber production is ultimately the goal for many in the forestry industry. Environmental awareness has influenced today’s logging technology, dramatically minimizing waste.
Producing high-quality timber with minimal by-products reduces waste that may result in forestry sediment. Ultimately, improvements in timber production technology have helped to lessen the environmental impact of forestry and construction.
Through innovative sawmill technologies, such as swing-blade sawmills, cutting smooth ready-to-use timber is easier and safer than ever before. With no need to resurface timber, millers can cut quality timber from any size or shaped log and significantly reduce their sawdust quantity.
4. Forestry Robotics
Forestry robotics is still in the early phases of development, but they’re a promising technology with huge potential. Robotic harvesters, log loaders and unmanned ground vehicles are currently being perfected. When they reach the broader market, they will significantly reduce the time it takes to manage many manual forestry practices, such as harvesting timber. Outshining traditional machines, robotics will improve the forestry industry’s overall efficiency, accuracy and safety.
It’s no secret that the forestry industry has faced long-standing labor shortages. Robotics is set to resolve this and boost productivity at the same time.
Using GPS to guide the machinery, robotics will access hard-to-reach areas and autonomously plant, prune, thin and extract trees. As many forestry fields are notoriously dangerous, removing the need for manual labor means forestry managers can redistribute workers into less dangerous roles and create a safer working environment.
5. Digital Forestry Management Solutions
Digitization has enhanced communication, planning and forecasting within the industry. Through integrated digital solutions, forestry management can streamline every process.
Today’s digital forestry solutions can adapt to different business models, supporting all forestry managers in running a competitive and profitable operation. Through one system, forestry teams can take care of budgeting and financial management, inventory tracking, harvest and transportation management, labor distribution and much more.
With everything you need to strategize to the finest detail, digital solutions help the forestry industry work smarter and more efficiently.
The future of forestry is looking brighter than ever as technology continues to advance. Having already come leaps and bounds, forestry technology is transforming the industry into a more sustainable sector one innovation at a time.
Forests are essential for human life to thrive. From neutralizing carbon to regulating rainfall trends, forests are a precious natural resource. The better we manage our forests, the better we can protect them.