*Forest machines cut 85 % of fellings in Norway
Preliminary figures from the enquiry of agriculture made by the Norwegian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2004 indicate that the degree of mechanization in Norwegian forestry has almost reached 90 % and that private enterprises do the felling.
Mechanization has increased rapidly. In 1999 forest machines felled 67 % of all timber and now the figure has increased to 85 %.
In the last 10 years mechanization of forestry has progressed so quickly and changes have been so extensive that many aspects of present Norwegian forestry have been deeply affected. The business has undergone dramatic structural developments in the last two decades, says Ivar Korsbakken, Managing Director of the Norwegian Forest Owners' Association.
The census also demonstrates that felling is done at longer intervals, but that more timber is felled on each occasion. 14 % of forest owners sold timber in 2003 and in 1999 the corresponding figure was over 20 %. On the other hand, average felled quantities have increased by more than 20 % in five years; from 302 cubic meters to 372 cubic meters.
The changed frequency and volume of felling indicate how forestry adapts to new external conditions. Obviously, it is more profitable to fell more on each occasion and then wait a little longer for the next time. It is important to make felling more effective, says Korsbacken.