FESA: Current research & publication updates – by Simon Ackerman and Diana Reitz

September 13, 2013


It is an exciting year for FESA and its research partners. A brief rundown of highlighted projects for the year ahead are as follows:

Silviculture and harvesting interface
Historically, these two parts of the supply chain have been viewed in isolation, with communication between the two parts often not effective. This is the first study of its kind done by FESA in conjunction with the ICFR, which hopes to address key issues that affect and improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness over the whole supply chain.

The study will involve interviews and consultation with key industry parties to identify current issues: any breakdown in the relationship between the two parts of the supply chain, and where positive interactions can be highlighted.

With the increased labour costs and the potential move to mechanised silviculture as well as the current mechanised harvesting, this study will attempt to ensure seamless transfer between the two disciplines. We look forward to establishing interaction with the silviculture and forestry engineering community to initiate a future of increased cooperation.

Small grower upliftment
James van Zyl, Simon Ackerman and Sally Upfold
The aim of this programme is to provide the necessary tools to small growers to produce and harvest high quality timber at a competitive cost. This will enable these growers and communities to have a sustainable income and become a viable timber resource to the South African forestry industry.

Part of the study will be to identify the requirements and tools needed, and establish programmes that educate communities and small-scale farmers to produce timber at a competitive cost. This project will also enable the grower to effectively manage the business side of the enterprise.

Handbook updates
The following handbooks are in the process of being updated and will be available soon:

  • Guidelines for Forest Engineering Practices in South Africa (previously published in 1999)
  • South African Cable Yarding Safety and Operating Handbook (previously published in 2001).

Handbooks still available
The following handbooks have been produced by a team of experts in the South African forestry industry. They are up-to-date and provide easy-to-read and applicable standards for small, medium and large growers in southern Africa. These two publications are available at reduced cost through the ICFR and are a must for a Forest Engineering reference book collection.

South African Forest Roads Handbook – R150
This handbook was compiled with all the information needed to plan, construct and maintain forest roads and networks. It encompasses international trends and environmental considerations that have been applied to southern African conditions and forestry standards.

South African Ground-based Harvesting Handbook – R250
Ground-based harvesting operations offer a challenging aspect to harvesting practitioners, planners and managers. This handbook guides the reader through all the aspects involved in effective ground-based harvesting, including safety, economic, social and ergonomic implications involved. The handbook covers all aspects of harvesting, from animals used in extraction to fully mechanised harvesting and extraction.

Contact details
Books are available through Simon Ackerman at fesa@icfr.ukzn.ac.za or 033 386 2314. For free downloads of other documents please go to: http://www.icfr.ukzn.ac.za/collaboration/fesa/fesa-publications/

Published in June 2013

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