As part of the ForestTECH 2016 event in New Zealand, Sean McBride from JNL Wairarapa Forests in the lower North Island, New Zealand detailed trials that had recently been undertaken on 2,000 ha of even age class forests in the company’s Tainui forest. Typically, pre-harvest inventories of 800 to 1,000 plots would be used. The inventory is usually over a short time frame and is required for wood flow planning.
The genesis for flying Juken forests with LiDAR came from an earlier ForestTECH event that ran in Rotorua with the reduction in inventory costs, a reduction in the number of ground plots required and the significant improvement in the quality of LiDAR data now being collected over the last five years were some of the key points for the business case by the company. The forest was flown and LiDAR used to collect stand information.
Results from both ground plots and harvest reconciliations from the trial showed LiDAR was able to predict close to 100% of the actual yield for total recoverable volume and provided better predictions than traditional ground based inventories. Yield prediction by log grade likewise was very accurate. LiDAR enabled the company to improve mapping of the forest accounting for gaps within the estate and cost savings of $40-50,000 were able to be achieved using LiDAR over traditional ground based inventories. Some of the results from the trial can be viewed on the attached presentation.
View the full presentation below:
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