This is how MLR Forestal advances in the collection of the trees felled by Eta and Iota on their properties
Hurricanes Eta and Iota that made landfall in Nicaragua in November 2020 wreaked havoc on MLR Forestal’s plantations. Wind and rain were responsible for 25 thousand cubic meters of wood left on the ground. Now the task is to pick it up and process it.
In January 2021, Félix Jaime Silva, MLR’s head of forestry, estimated that gathering the felled wood would take all of 2021, however, the reality has been different. “It will take this year and a good part of the next because we have barely collected three or four thousand cubic meters. The problem is that there are areas where we only need get ten cubic meters, so we go in and out and move to another areas to extarct ten more and so on,” Silva details.
The mission of the team led by Silva is to obtain 2.3 meter logs, cut them to the dimensions requested by the sawmill, pack them and then load them onto trucks. The goal is to deliver 80 cubic meters per day to the sawmill.
The importance of mechanization
Until July, wood harvesting was only done manually, but now MLR Forestal has a skidder and two tractors to speed up the work. Silva explains that “a skidder is a machine that extracts the wood from where it is planted to the patios and we also have two Belarus tractors with their cart and a crane”.
Tractors help the process a lot because the wood is placed in their cart and they can go out to a more accessible place to load a truck. “The reason for using a truck is that the tractor is very slow. We have 4.6 kilometers of distance (to the company’s sawmill) and the tractor the most that could do in a day is about four trips and barely four meters per trip, while the truck takes between seven or eight cubic meters and is faster on its way ”, Silva points out.
Of the MLR farms the most affected were Waspado and Mutiguás. Currently, between 130 and 150 people work in the crews, due to the large amount of work to be done and the high demand for wood.