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Júlio César Tôrres Ribeiro

Industrial and Forestry Director at Cenibra


Planning budget and its consequences

“Forests are the real cellulose factories.” I don't remember when I heard this phrase for the first time, but it was impactful and, since then, my view of forestry has never been the same. In an analogy with the industrial unit, we also need to act at various moments in the forestry process, whether in a preventive, predictive, planned or corrective manner, to guarantee high productivity and wood quality. Failure to act at the appropriate times will result in losses in wood production.

The forestry budget begins with the definition of the best clones, or those most adapted, to the regions of interest. Technical prescriptions follow with recommendations for the sequence of planting or renovation, management and maintenance activities throughout the cycle. These activities are intrinsically linked to budget planning and the ability to manage resources effectively. In this context, the budget for forestry training plays a crucial role in optimizing the results of wood and cellulose production, ensuring the company's profitability and sustainability in an increasingly competitive market.

Budget planning, and its correct execution, allows the company to have more predictability about how much, when and how resources will be allocated for forest management. The correct quantification of these resources and the synchronization of operations is essential for the formation of productive forests and the consequent reduction in the cost of wood.

The maxim of "reducing expenses at any cost" demands a careful approach and critical analysis in any context. It is normally linked to only short-term decisions that can result in adverse consequences in the medium and long term of great magnitude. The correct timing of management practices, such as weed control, ant control and fertilization, directly influences the availability of resources for plants. When carried out at the wrong time, or not carried out at all, they lead to significant losses in wood production.

As an example, practical experiments conducted at Cenibra and other companies are cited, which demonstrate productivity losses of more than 40% of the Average Annual Increment if weed control in eucalyptus plantations is not carried out in the appropriate manner and at the appropriate time, making a critical and uncontrolled factor.

The decision to allow forests to suffer from severe competition from weeds after a certain planting age to reduce expenses is not uncommon in companies. Implementing weed control techniques at the appropriate time minimizes competition for nutrients and water, allowing trees to reach their maximum growth potential. It is essential for the company to know and quantify the losses in wood production generated by weed infestation.

The allocation of adequate resources in the budget to control leaf-cutter ants is also essential to achieve productivity close to the attainable potential of each area. Leaf-cutter ants are the most relevant pest in planted forests in the country as they impact their development and survival, causing significant loss of wood and, consequently, financial loss for the company.

Fertilization is also another key component that deserves attention in budget planning. Maintaining balanced nutrition for eucalyptus plantations is essential to maximize growth and, therefore, wood production. Investing in high-quality fertilizers and precise application technologies can result in significant productivity gains. The allocation of resources for this purpose must be estimated based on detailed analyzes of soil fertility conditions and the nutritional needs of the forest.

However, throughout this process, soil and water conservation cannot be neglected. The adoption of practices that prevent erosion and allow water infiltration, such as subsoiling, use of practices that maintain soil cover and the preservation and maintenance of areas with natural vegetation, is essential to guarantee the sustainability of eucalyptus plantations. long term. Budget planning must designate specific resources for the implementation of these practices, since soil degradation can compromise not only current productivity, but also future rotations.

Another concrete example is the decision to adopt the practice of coppice without adequate technical analysis and quality parameters. Although implementing this management can offer financial savings of 25% in forest formation costs, it is essential to carefully examine the balance between this savings and the possible loss of wood production, estimated at up to 10% if carried out correctly. If the decision to conduct coppice is not based on best practices, the loss of productivity can reach more than 30%. In this case, no financial benefit was obtained in the medium to long term, on the contrary, there was a deficit in wood volume.

An important aspect in cost management is the adoption of modern and sustainable technologies to increase operational efficiency and reduce production costs. In this context, the evolution of mechanization in forestry can greatly contribute in the short to medium term. Furthermore, it is essential to invest in training and qualification of employees so that they can perform their duties with excellence.

It is clear that the budget for forest formation must be treated as an investment, and not as an expense. To this end, the use of monitoring and modeling technologies contributes to the efficient allocation of resources throughout the growth cycle and so that decisions are made to avoid underutilization of this investment. It is essential to regularly monitor results achieved in relation to initial planning. This allows adjustments to be made when necessary and agile and accurate decisions to be made throughout the forest formation process.

When making decisions related to reducing expenses in the budget, it is crucial to carefully consider both the positive and negative impacts that these decisions may have. The “reduce spending” approach must be replaced by a rigorous and considered analysis of the financial and operational impacts of any spending reduction decisions on budget execution. This will ensure that the decisions made are sustainable and do not compromise the company's productivity and viability in the future.

In summary, budget planning plays a fundamental role in the efficient management of a eucalyptus plantation and cellulose production, ensuring the adequate allocation of resources in order to maximize profitability, promote sustainability and maintain competitiveness in the market.