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November/December 2021 | Saulo Guerra

Brazil - Silviculture mechanization index survey 2020/2021



This survey conducted by the Cooperative Program on Forest Mechanization and Automation (PCMAF), led by Prof Saulo Guerra, and Dr Guilherme Oguri, which is part of the Forest Research Institute (IPEF), continues the original plan from 2015, which was subsequently reformulated in terms of methodology and objectives, resulting in its first publication that contained data collected between 2018 and 2019.

For this current edition, efforts were made to expand the representativeness of the results for the forest sector, which led to the participation of 20 forest companies, all associated with IPEF. This represents a 153% increase in the area planted with eucalyptus compared to the 2018/2019 edition. As of this edition, the report will also be published in two languages, Portuguese and English, in order to reach more readers located in other continents. A new chapter on mechanization and automation in commercial Pinus plantations was also included in a partnership with the Cooperative Program on Potential Pine Productivity in Brazil (PPPIB), led by Dr Mauro Schumacher. In this way, these biannual publications will allow readers to follow changes in mechanization for the main silvicultural operations carried out by forest companies and service providing companies, which in turn can help this sector define strategies to sell its products and services.

Overview of silviculture survey index findings
The survey focused on various silviculture technology areas such as Human Resources, Mechanized Resources, Implements and Mechanization Levels.

  • Human Resources - According to this recent publication, the Brazilian silviculture accounts for a total of about 15,000 employees being close to 3,000 employees involved in the operation, such as tractor operators, truck drivers, or staff who operate other machinery.
  • Mechanized Resources – it is estimated that there are 2449 tractors in total used in silviculture operations of which only 32% of the tractor fleet belong to forest companies. Furthermore, only three companies who have their own fleet whilst the remaining 17 companies use 50 service providers (contractors) to conduct silviculture activities. There are 32 tractor manufacturers, and they offer 189 tractor models in the market. However, it is important to note that about 72% of the entire fleet belongs to three main manufacturers.
  • It is important to notice the great difference in the application rates of implements across various companies and the silviculture mechanization index for Eucalypt and Pine plantation in Brazil.

For further details, download the complete 2020/2021 edition, in Portuguese and English, at the IPEF website: IPEF 
The presentation of 2020/2021 edition can be downloaded and watched at Nelson Mandela´s webinar “Evolving with Technology”: Evolving-with-technology- webinar