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José Maria de Arruda Mendes Filho e Rodrigo Rocha de Oliveira

Directors of Lacan Florestal


Operational planning

In the current professional stage we find ourselves in, it is very good for the soul to comment on our achievements and success factors that, in our reality, have led us to improvements in tree growth. We always comment that the Forest Engineer must have two major concerns: Planning and Rain!

With regard to risks and damage to forests in times of drought and opportunities with sprouting, we have seen events (drought in São Paulo in 2014 and in Mato Grosso do Sul in 2020 and 2021, of more severe periods of drought, with less quantity or worse distribution of rainfall, which has impacted forest productivity.

Eucalyptus naturally presents good resistance to these variations, however the behavior of the different clones is quite varied. We have clones that showed a drop in the annual volumetric increase in the flatter areas, plateaus, where there is good infiltration of rainwater and in the dry period a deeper positioning of the water table. These same clones no longer missed the rain so much when planted in the lower parts of the property, as the roots found water even in the driest period. Other clones lost their annual production and even died.

Today we know that IPB2 is a clone that presents better growth results when planted at the lowest levels of the property. The difference in wood production from the same clone when planted in different conditions on the same property is significant.

IPB13 and VT01 felt the lack of rain, which means that when planted on a large scale they can result in a lack of wood produced IPB1, called by us in Mato Grosso do Sul as “Fixed Income”, always produces some volume in the different climatic adversities of the State. It is necessary to have a good grasp and knowledge of the genetic materials available in the region to plan what to plant. Since rainfall events are cyclical, we are expecting a period with good rains in the coming years. In this situation, we need to plant the right clone in the right place to obtain optimal increments.

Planting Zoning is a basic work that must be included in the initial planting planning. It is a tool with excellent economic results. In short, we have several actions that can reduce the drop in productivity when there is a water deficit:
1. Genetic Material: choose the most resistant genetic material possible and already tested in the region. A good basket of genetic materials is essential (balance between high, medium and low productivity materials). It is observed that IPB1 (formerly H13) produces less than many other clones in use. No matter what happens to the weather in Mato Grosso do Sul, it will not stop producing. Materials like IPB13 and VT01, be careful! They can cause large losses.

2. Planting Zoning: we already know that IPB2 (formerly H15) is good in lowlands and has different behavior in plateaus. Focus your planting on the lowest regions of the property.

3. Land Prospecting: farms with extensive plateaus may have greater intensities of dry trees compared to farms located in springs and which allow planting between micro-basins, when there is a water deficit.

4. Timely Fertilization: it is known that potassium causes certain resistance to eucalyptus when subjected to intense cold and water deficit.

5. Control of weed competition: adequate management of weeds, especially in periods of water deficit, prevents competition for water and nutrients.

6. A forest subject to good forest management that would produce, under normal rainfall conditions, around 42 to 45 cubic meters per hectare per year, under water deficit conditions will produce around 37 to 39 cubic meters per hectare per year; and forests that would produce 35 cubic meters per hectare per year will produce 24 cubic meters per hectare per year, that is, forests subject to good forest management, even with a water deficit, will still produce a good volume of wood.

Lacan has achieved very similar results between the first and second rotations, using conduction as management. The main argument of many colleagues is: “clone X does not grow well in our region”. Be careful as this may not be the main reason why a given forest, after harvesting, does not produce a good volume of wood. Every candidate tree for a clone showed good sprouting capacity to become a clone. Some details will make a difference to good wood production in the second rotation:

1. Implementation: a good sprouting begins with quality planning and execution of the first cycle of the forest. Forests with high uniformity (PVar 50 greater than 40), high survival after 65 days of planting (99%), will certainly bring good productivity results in the first harvest (with survival greater than 95% of the trees), and at the beginning of budding ( second rotation, with more than 90% of strain survival).

2. Harvest: The harvest team must be well aware that they are the “planters” of the next rotation. Damage to the stumps must be avoided, the wood must be removed from the interior of the plot and transferred within a maximum of 30 days after cutting and the wood must be transported within a maximum of 90 days after transfer. In other words, a CBT cycle lasting a maximum of 120 days.

3. Pre-harvest: soil analysis is essential to determine how much limestone the area should receive, as well as the initial fertilization required. The fight against ants will need to be impeccable, especially Quenquém, Acromirmex ants. They love to prune the new shoots close to the stumps, especially when they are in the early stages of exposure. Quenquéns leave almost no trace of their damage.

4. Post-harvest: cleaning the stumps so that they are exposed and encourages sprouting (increased survival and homogeneity of shoots), transfer to Ant Control, fertilization at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year, control of weed competition, sprouts leaving one or two boles per stump on the edges of plots and gaps (compensation), monitoring of pests and diseases, in addition to other possible precautions.

Each and every operation must be carried out with high quality. Mischief will not result in good production. Quality is a key factor in obtaining a good forest.