Most farms have woodlots that have been planted or are feral or have resulted from subdivisions or have sprung up over obstacles that prevent the farmer from using the land.
Wetlands or riparian zonesmight also have primed their growth andso too commercial logging operations where profitable diameters have been extracted or compromised by disease, leaving no choice but to divide the land for other purposes.
One distinguishing characteristic of a woodlot is that the parcel size or quality of wood on the parcel does not generally justify full-scale commercial harvesting, leaving many woodlots as private investments by individuals.
On the other hand, good forest management practices, even on a small scale, may create a sustainable source of products, which can significantly contribute to the aggregate inventory available to the farmer, especially so during the off-season.
Non-commercial woodlot related services include increased biodiversity, fire and windbreaks, shelter for livestock and recreation opportunities to name a few.
Planked material produced from woodlot grown timber represents a key commercial imperative for managing woodlots sustainably. Crates and pallet manufacturing and the production of construction materials hold important commercial benefit for the farmer. Firewood, charcoal production and beekeeping add further possibilities.
The harvesting of timber in woodlots represents one side of the coin. To ensure the capacity to transform the log into marketable timber represents the other.
Portable sawmills allows for beneficiation close to the harvesting site without having to move the felled log over long distancesbefore its planked. The low investment costs to get a portable mill also outstrip the high costs of setting up a formal mill.
Ensuring that the mill can handle the volumes thrown at it is also important, so too the need to rather invest in thin kerf bandsaw capacity which limits wastage.
Modularity or the ability to add on to the initial saw is also important. Increasing the bed lengths so that longer lengths can be processed is a key example of this.
Robust design, effective after sale service and spares backup and keeping blades in good nick are also key points to consider when investing in portable sawmilling capacity.
Wood-Mizer Industries, the world’s leading manufacturer of thin-kerf portable band sawmills can assist the farmer in unlocking the value of fallow woodlots.
A range of narrow band thin kerf blades manufactured by Wood-Mizer assist to keep running costs down and blades performing as they should.
The company’s service agent network across the continent carries a full inventory of all spare parts whilst trained technicians assist with initial commissioning and servicing.
Wood-Mizer is your Forest to Final Form supplier.Author: Etienne Nagel
PR manager, Wood-Mizer Africa