The aim of this project is to explore the automation of tree selection, which consist of selecting which trees to cut in a forest harvesting operation. When selecting a tree, one must consider multiple characteristic of the tree: its size, its position relative to other trees, its health and many other things. We begin this endeavor by developing a method to precisely measure the diameter and the position of trees in a given area. To do this, a combination of a laser scanner and a camera will be used.
According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada produced 1.2 billion kilograms of chicken with chicken products worth $2.5 billion. Domestic consumption of chicken in 2016 was 32.5 kilograms per person. Canada exported over 5.3 million chicks worth over $13.4 million, mainly to the United States. That same year, 134.1 million kilograms of chicken meat and edible bi-products, worth $453.1 million, was exported to 60 countries, with the largest importers being the United States and Philippines.
Innovative agricultural methods may be able to provide affordable food and vegetables in Canadas North. In support of this, Choice North Farms has partnered with PolarPonics to develop a PoultryPonics facility that will reduce production costs by integrating chicken and hydroponic production with an automated composting system. To effectively do this, they will require optimal methodologies for composting chicken manure which will need a high-precision, high-frequency sampling device to measure the nutrient content of the manure solutions that are produced.
More than 41 percent of field crops produced in Canada are consumed within this country. However, there is little information available about the common consumption patterns of grain-based foods among Canadians as well as the health outcomes associated with different degrees of grain-based food consumption. Using the most recent Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) released in July 2017, this study investigates the data on consumption pattern of grain-based foods and contributions of grains to Canadian diet, health and wellbeing.
The Canadian bison industry is currently facing the issue of increasing production to meet increasing demand for bison products in a sustainable manner that improves the competitiveness and profitability of the industry. Bison retailers are currently being shorted product orders in excess of 25% on a regular basis, and demand for bison meat will only grow with the implementation of CETA and removal of the existing 20% tariff.
Pulp and paper producers would profit enormously from an advanced knowledge of the physical and mechanical properties of a fibre product based upon a measure of the pulp while it is still in process. This project aims to develop such a tool. Using a laser backscattering technique called Raman spectroscopy, will calibrate the molecular bar code it reads from an in-process pulp to accurately predict the properties of a paper or other fibre products that can be made from that particular pulp.
In nature, plants have evolved sophisticated defense mechanisms against insects, fungi, and other pests. When isolated, many of these chemicals have tremendous potential as natural pesticides, as they pose little threat to the environment, are non-toxic to the user, and are readily biodegradable. Recent research has determined a correlation between a novel compound found at significant concentration in a tree species abundant on the west coast of Canada, and increased resistance to leaf eating pests.
Steep slope harvesting with machines is a recent element of the forest industry, still experimenting with winch-assist machines and the different harvesting approaches that each comprises. The aim of this research topic will compare the productivity of six different winch-assist forest harvesting operations; three in New Zealand and three in Canada. The primary goal will be to establish the productivity for each operation, and relate the different stand and terrain factors at each harvest operation.
To responsibly manage forest resources in southwestern Alberta, it is important to understand the disturbance regimes they have experienced in the past, are experiencing now, and are likely to experience in the future. The Mountain Legacy Project has several thousand repeat photographs which show areas of the mountains and foothills of the Rockies a century ago and today. This project will develop methods to georectify those photographs (i.e. flatten the pictures onto a map) in order to analyze them in a spatially relevant way.
Forest tent caterpillars causes serious damage to hardwood forests across Canada, and outbreaks are currently on the rise in several provinces.
Recent research by our team and others suggests that while parasites and disease play a key role in ending outbreaks, predators attacking young caterpillars could be important in preventing the start of outbreaks.
This project measures predation on young caterpillars in outbreaking and non-outbreaking forests and identifies the predators responsible.