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How Forestry 4.0 is fueling the future of forests

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Posted on November 24, 2020 | Industry News

How technology is transforming the forest sector for good

 

Industry 4.0—the use of modern smart technology to automate traditional manufacturing and industrial practices—is a concept that’s familiar to most of us.

Almost every industry can benefit from the adoption of resources, technologies, and tools to improve efficiency, productivity, and reduce risks. What’s more, this “fourth industrial revolution” is also an emerging trend in the field, in plantations and forests. 

Join us to explore how the adoption of new, innovative technology—known collectively as Forestry 4.0—is poised to transform the forest sector for good.

Today’s technology revolution is powered by data. In the forest sector, millions of pieces of information are collected each day by machine sensors, autonomous weather stations, mobile apps, imagery processing, and other tools used. It is hard work to deal with the massive amount of information to make correct decisions and take advantage of a changing world.

The true potential of Forestry 4.0 lies in being able to capture, store, and organize all of this data in a way that helps producers make well-informed decisions about their forest investments. Connecting artificial intelligence algorithms and using big data analytics can support the landowners to apply corrections on their production or predict, in a better way, which results can be achieved at the end of the production cycle.

Better technology means better information, which can mean faster responses to forest threats.

From the land and plantation management point of view, the aerial imaging produced by drones can be combined with satellite imagery to evaluate the forest. Together, these technologies can look for information that can reduce the impacts caused by pests, diseases, and other threats.

Technology can also ensure a faster and more effective response in case of disasters such as forest fires. If a fire outbreak is detected, rapid identification and response can reduce the chance of the event becoming large and out of control.

For example, intelligent monitoring cameras, combined with intelligent anemometers and pluviometers can send alerts that identify the exact location of the fire, wind direction, and its intensity and how dry is the region where the fire starts, arming firefighting crews with the information they need to stop it from spreading.

Technology can also help before the fire. When first establishing a plantation, producers can use forest technology tools to calculate the appropriate spacing based on a number of topographical factors. Some forest management platforms also employ algorithms that collect and analyze weather station data—including humidity, rain, temperature, and wind—and are programmed to send alerts when the fire risk is high.

Technologies such as LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) allow you to transform 2D plans, maps, and images into 3-dimensional visualizations allowing you to plan the most effective road systems, production extraction, and other operations directly on your desktop / laptop. This kind of technology brings to your fingertips a high-level visualization of your plantations, directly from your office. 

By connecting this insight to artificial intelligence algorithms, it’s possible to evolve the forest inventory to the census level, bringing greater precision and detail of information to your investment.

Around the world, the heavy equipment industry has been investing massively in sensors and artificial intelligence. They’re combining human skills with the immense processing power of data to improve their operations.

In the forest sector, autonomous equipment can easily be introduced in the near future, especially when we think of controlled environments, such as storage yards.

Connectivity in the field can be a challenge in several regions of the world, either due to the low availability or the high cost for implementation.

Hopefully, this challenge is close to being solved. Several initiatives to democratize internet access in rural regions are underway. Once these obstacles are overcome, we will begin to see our forests not only as living organisms but also connected and constantly emitting data and information to our digital devices.

 

INFLOR’s role in Forestry 4.0

As a leader in bio-asset management, we’re very excited to see where all of these emerging technologies will take us.

Our forest management technology solutions can help you to deal with the abundance of data generated by the equipment or bring you more options, providing mobile apps to shorten the distance between field and office workers.

We can help you nurture your investment by giving you all the tools and data you need to safely conduct operations in the field, to gain better insights, and yield the best results. 

We welcome you to explore our full suite of solutions and technology services.

 

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