Hexagon adds forest monitoring of more than 5 million hectares in ten years

The company was one of the first in Brazil to offer customised technological solutions for the sector. In the last five years, the number of plots monitored has more than doubled.

Hexagon monitor more than 5 million hectares of forest

04 February 2022

Hexagon's Agriculture division, a global reference in agricultural and forestry technologies, already records the monitoring of more than 5 million hectares of planted forest worldwide. In 2021 alone, the company monitored about 670,000 hectares — approximately 54,000 forest plots. Five years ago, in 2016, the number was only 22,000. Hexagon was one of the first companies in Brazil to offer solutions developed especially for the forest products industry, which have revenues of approximately 98 billion, according to data from the Brazilian Tree Industry (IBA).

“When we started serving the forestry sector in 2004, managers adapted the use of technologies developed for the grain and sugarcane segments. The issue is that the forestry sector has many peculiarities and, therefore, needs tailor-made solutions," explains Bernardo de Castro, president of Hexagon's Agriculture division, with headquarters and factory in Florianópolis (SC).

Currently, Brazil is the world's largest pulp exporter and the second largest producer, with about nine million hectares of planted forests. Investments in projects to be completed in this area by 2024 total BRL 53.5 billion. "It is a sector that has enormous potential for gains from the use of digital innovations and, therefore, has been investing a lot in the adoption of technologies to increase its efficiency and profitability", emphasises Bernardo.

Benefits of technology for forestry production

Technologies developed in recent years allow you to collect data from forests and transform it into intelligent information, enabling optimised planning, efficient execution, accurate machine controls, and automated workflows. Examples are solutions for machine monitoring: with support for sensors and on-board computers installed in forestry machinery, it is possible to monitor and adjust processes while they are happening. The systems provide detailed reports with indicators of performance and behaviour of the machines, productivity, area worked, and distance travelled, speed, among others.

Management software, in turn, allows the analysis of this data to solve problems and improve processes, resulting in more productivity and profit. One item of analysed data, for example, is the total of inputs applied (in kg/ha)— whether fertilisers, herbicides, pest control or any other type of substance for forest implantation and maintenance. With this value, it is possible to evaluate if there was over or underdosage, what was the percentage of the deviation, if it will be necessary to do some reapplication action and so on.

With the support of this type of tool, as well as spray controllers, it is possible to reduce the use of agrochemicals and avoid waste. It is no wonder that the company's statistics also show that, while the total hours of productive work increased in the last five years — from 147 thousand to 212 thousand — the number of inputs applied was reduced by about 23%.