SFF Project Summary

A practical set of web-based forestry decision-support tools for farmers and small woodlot owners

Project Title: A practical set of web-based forestry decision-support tools for farmers and small woodlot owners
Grant No.: 02/075

Contact Details

Name of Applicant Group: NZ Farm Forestry Association
Contact Person: Dr Euan Mason
Address: School of Forestry
University of Canterbury
Private Bag
Bruce Bulloch
NZ Farm Forestry Association
PO Box 1122
Telephone 1: 03 364 2584
Telephone 2:
Facsimile: 03 364 2124
Email: euan.mason@canterbury.ac.nz

Project Details

Status: finished
SFF Funding: 245,915
Total Project Funding: 212,712
Proposed Start Date: 2002-07
Proposed Finish Date: 2005-06
Region: Canterbury
Sector: Forestry
Sub-sector: Farm forestry
Topic: Decision management and support
Alternative land use
Land development opportunities

Final Report: Final Report [PDF versionPDF  410K ]

Farmers need forests, and they also need access to forestry knowledge that is too often hidden away in obscure reports or in researchers' heads. A project sponsored by the NZ Farm Forestry Association and funded primarily by the Sustainable Farming Fund of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is breaking new ground by making this knowledge more readily available to those who need it. The project had two components: a species selection tool for the high country of the South Island; and a forestry information storage system. The high country was chosen as a test case, as there was a good forestry knowledge base for the area and a small target farmer audience, well known to the researchers.

Species selection tool for the High Country

The high country species selection tool runs in an internet browser on the web, and so there is no messy installation in which users can get lost, and it doesn't matter what kind of computer you are running. Point your browser (Internet Explorer or Netscape are two common browsers) at http://www.forestry.ac.nz/euan/sppchc/sppchc.htm and you can try it out. The system has been designed so that knowledge of other species can be entered relatively easily, and so that it can be extended readily to other regions. A prototype with more species in it may be found at http://www.forestry.ac.nz/euan/sppchc2/sppchc.htm.

Tree Planter's Record System

"Tree Planter's Record System", a second tool developed as part of the project facilitates record keeping while ensuring that decision tools can use the stored records.Developers at Egressive Ltd., the NZ School of Forestry (University of Canterbury), NZ Forest Research and Southern Cypresses are responsible for the product, and it several versions have now been released to users. The software allows small woodlot owners to record important details about tree planting on their properties. These records can then be fed to decision-support "plugins" that help with a variety of decisions. The aim was to make the system easy to understand and use while facilitating the development of these plugins - which can work with the data entered by the user to yield useful recommendations, predictions, and prescriptions - from a variety of software developers. To get an expanded view of the system's capabilities please see http://www.forestry.ac.nz/euan/DSSIntro/