Image of height measurement
The global conditions for successful timber marketing are subject to faster and more radical changes than ever before. One reason for this accelerated change is the spread of information technology worldwide, such as the internet. This is why continuous efforts in research and development on production logistics, cost efficiency and forest product improvement must play an outstanding role for leading companies. Results achieved from research and development (R&D) investments will improve the company's placement in increasingly competitive forest product markets. 
In the forestry sector, wood production as raw material for a vast variety of forest products is the key activity that feeds the downstream processing sector. The production of timber is a complex task, involving an integration of various disciplines, ranging from natural resource managers to engineers, surveyors and administrative staff. 

Important R&D tasks involved in the up-stream processing of timber production can be grouped as follows:

Wood Production in Natural Forests and Plantations

  • refined multi-disciplinary forest resource assessments, including site classification, forest vegetation, wildlife surveys, recreation potential, and socio-economic surveys
  • improved forest management planning (e.g. forest zoning, harvest planning, silvicultural management)
Log measurement
  • optimised growth and yield prediction of commercial tree species through advanced growth modelling tools
  • improved infrastructure development (forest roads, camps, workshops and logyards)
  • advanced harvesting technologies that reduce or minimize forest damage (e.g. Reduced Impact Logging and Low Impact Logging Systems)
  • increased operational efficiency through advanced tree felling, winching, skidding, log trucking and wood tracking systems
  • higher wood utilisation efficiency in timber harvesting, transport and processing (reduced timber wastage)
  • improved silvicultural treatment methods to boost growth of commercial species
  • maintenance or enhancement of species diversity to reduce ecological and economic risks
  • establishment of integrated, highly efficient Forest Management Information Systems

Specific Research Needs in Plantation Forestry

  • detailed soil classification to identify site production potential, limiting factors and management options
  • nutrient analyses to optimise plant fertilisation needs and to reduce costs
  • proper site-species matching to ensure success and reduce risks
  • improved site preparation methods to increase survival rates and to optimise growth performance
  • plant reproduction technology (seed collection and storage, germination, vegetative propagation, tissue culture) to provide required planting material at optimum costs
  • planting methods to ensure a healthy crop establishment and development
  • timing and intensity of thinning operations for individual species and mixed stands

Specific Research Needs in Community Collaboration and Development

  • improved methods to address conflicting and/or overlapping resource use by different stakeholders, and reduce forest loss or degradation through unsustainable land use practices
  • develop and enhance approaches and methods in involving local communities living in or adjacent to managed forests (e.g. through collaborative or participatory forest management)
  • lend tenure conflicts and resolution

The actual R&D needs differ from client to client, depending on the existing knowledge and technology levels. This is why our services are based on specific needs analyses, providing solutions for individual research needs, or through development of complete, integrated R&D programme packages.
ifmc offers professional and uncompromising consultation services in any of these fields, for both natural and plantation forest management.