Plantations continue growth

EVIDENCE of plantations is growing in the South West as it becomes increasingly difficult to log existing forests.

Softwood plantations in WA, mostly in the South West and Great Southern regions, currently yield around 410,000 cubic metres a year of pulpwood, with much of the current production committed to panel producers.

According to recent Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics statistics on the forest industry, projections for the next fifteen years are constant with 500,000 cubic metres forecast to be produced annually.

The September quarter report states that the establishment of hardwood plantations for pulpwood in WA has increased significantly in recent years.

At present only around 50,000 cubic metres of hardwood pulp is harvested each year.

“However, annual production of Eucalyptus globulus plantations is projected to rise to around 1.23 million cubic metres in the next one to five years, and 2.66 million cubic metres in eleven to fifteen years,” the report says.

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