Welcome to The Forest Technology Blog!
I am a forester first, and a technology enthusiast second. Like many of you, I became a forester because I loved the idea of working in the outdoors, and I still do!
But, the longer I work in this profession and the more people I connect with, I’ve noticed that the way we continue to operate and interact hasn’t kept pace with similar industries. Most notably the Agriculture industry. The old adage “Forestry is a decade behind Ag.” doesn’t apply any longer. From a technology standpoint, I believe we are lagging further behind precision-based Agriculture. You may be thinking, “Well, Forestry is much different than Agriculture!”, and you’d be correct. We are different in some ways, but we also have many similarities. Here are a few.
Similarities Between Agriculture and Forestry
- Like Ag, we operate in an environment of increasing costs and flat or decreasing commodity prices.
- Like Ag, we operate in a global economy with increasing competition and decreasing profit margin.
- Like Ag, our lands are becoming more fragmented and developed.
- Like Ag, we have an aging workforce with fewer young people joining the profession.
- Like Ag, global demand for our finished products is expected to increase drastically in the next decade. By 2030, it’s estimated that the global population will be 8.6 billion people. (source).
- Like Ag, we take pride in our work, and are concerned with leaving a heritage and legacy.
- And finally, like Ag, we are connected with the land and desire to leave it in a better condition than we found it.
I hope you agree that these are some pretty compelling similarities. Precision agriculture has changed the Ag industry, and I believe the Forest industry is due to change also. The challenge for our profession going forward will be to determine what technology is needed, and how will we embrace it.
Hopefully, this blog will be fertile ground where we can look at some of these issues and identify technologies, processes, and ideas to address them.