Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
According to the Swedish Timber Measurement Act, measurements affecting payments for wood fuels to landowners must be accurate and precise. In this regard, moisture content is an important quality parameter for wood chips which influences the net calorific value as received and thus the economic value. As standard practice moisture content is determined with the oven-drying method, which is cumbersome to use for deliveries to facilities without drying-ovens, which in turn necessitates that samples are taken elsewhere for measurement. An alternative solution is to use a portable moisture meter. Our aim was to evaluate the precision of a handheld capacitance moisture meter. Accuracy and precision of a capacitance meter was determined in the lab and a calibration function was made. Thereafter, the calibrated moisture meter was compared with the standard method for moisture content determination of truckloads of chips. The capacitance meter showed a moderate accuracy by underestimating moisture content by 6.0 percentage points (pp), compared to the reference method, at a precision of ±3.8 pp (CI 95%). For chips with M > 50%, both accuracy and precision decreased. Calibration increased the accuracy in the follow up study by 3 pp for chips with M < 50% but could not be made for wetter chips. The oven-drying method and the capacitance meter can provide equally accurate estimates of mean moisture content for chips with M < 50% if a larger sample is taken with the latter. It should be possible to use capacitance meters to measure moisture content even when used to calculate payments depending of the needed accuracy. A calibration function for each assortment is needed.
A team of 2 experienced workers was time-studied and their heart rate recorded under 4 days in clearcutting of a highly self-pruned Pinus patula Schltdl. & Cham. plantation. Task work and bonus payment systems were compared, but there was no difference in production rate, only the workplace time was extended from 2.3 h/d in task work to 3.9 h/d in bonus payment. The heart rate was 115–116 P/min in felling, 105–109 P/min in debranching and 109–114 P/min in bucking. The average heart rate in timber cutting was 108–109 P/min. Work load index was 34–37%, and the workers did not show any symptoms of accumulated stress. The production rate was 3.2 m3/h, (WPT, crew), which corresponds average piecework rate, the comparable walking speed being about 6.0 km/h. There are possibilities to increase the daily task by ergonomic grounds.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
Standard methods of welfare economics are used in a market simulating framework to evaluate policy measures designed to increase future timber supplies. Forest management cost-share programs are examined using this methodology. The differential regional impact of cost-share payments is considered, as is the distribution of these benefits between stumpage producers (owners of forest land) and stumpage consumers (producers of forest products). Previous estimates of the welfare gains that would result from a higher level of forest management cost-share payments in the southern United States are revised to account for the loss of public revenue resulting from lower future prices. A methodology for comparing alternative policy instruments is discussed, and a preliminary, qualitative comparison is made between the use of cost-share payments and alternative policy measures.