An application developed and implemented by Metsä Group utilises the versatile open spatial datasets available in Finland and artificial intelligence in the estimation of growing stock data. Thanks to the application, reliable estimations of growing stock and felling site data can be made for wood trade purposes, even without a forest visit.
Metsä Group’s new application will benefit forest owners, because wood trade offers will be more accurate than before. Wood trade is based on the estimation of growing stock data. Wood trade income will continue to be based on the exact wood volumes measured by the harvester.
“The forest specialists will demarcate the felling site for which they are preparing the wood trade offer, on a digital map, and the application will define the site’s growing stock data such as the percentage of log wood, sturdiness per tree species, quality and diameter distribution. The AI-based estimation of growing stock data is based on extensive and diverse public spatial datasets which are complemented by our own material, such as measurement data from our harvesters and data collected from the log-measuring devices of our sawmills,” says Olli Leino, Director, Digitalisation, Metsä Forest.
“Our own personnel put the application into practice, from the initial idea to the finished solution, in a couple of years. It has just been introduced in regeneration felling purchases throughout Finland. We are working on an extension for the estimating of growing stock in thinning stands. Furthermore, the accuracy of the existing algorithms will also continuously improve through machine learning,” Leino explains.
According to Juha Jumppanen, EVP of Metsä Forest, the forest specialists in charge of wood purchasing are those who will most benefit from the new application.
“Metsä Group is building the world’s most modern sawmill in Rauma and a bioproduct mill in Kemi. Our wood supply in Finland will grow significantly, and we’re recruiting new personnel. The use of an application that estimates the growing stock data frees our forest specialists from fieldwork to serve our owner-members and offer sustainable forest management guidance, instead.”
“In wood supply, we have been a forerunner in taking advantage of digitalisation. We were the first operator to introduce electronic wood trade in 2015, for example. We want to continue on this path in the future as well.”