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A decision support system to help foresters predict and reduce damage and costs due to large pine weevil, Hylobius abietis.
Hylobius can cause extensive feeding damage to young trees used to restock clearfell sites but damage is often highly variable. Previously it has not been possible to predict damage and so insecticides have been routinely used to protect the trees to try to safeguard this valuable young crop. However, on clearfells where Hylobius numbers are low this treatment may be unnecessary and conversely when numbers are very high the treatment may be unable to protect the trees. Both of these situations result in losses in valuable resources.
Reduced costs of restocking achieved primarily through reduced insecticide use and reduced beat ups.
The Hylobius MSS can be used to help decide on the:
The real power of the Hylobius MSS is that it is being developed to determine the effects of changes in management strategies both alone and in combination on a site-specific basis. It reduces the risks inherent in management practices based on assuming ‘average’ severity and duration of Hylobius attacks.
Basic site information, site operational costs (defaults available) and Hylobius monitoring data are input to the system. Once entered users can either investigate:
The Hylobius MSS is available by annual subscription.
A condition of access to the Hylobius MSS is that users/user groups first undergo training in Hylobius monitoring and the use of the web-based system (see below).
Subsequently, Hylobius MSS users must register and pay for access to the system and this will also ensure subsequent software and technical support. During registration each user (or user group) will have to inform Forest Research of the number of sites they wish to manage using the system during the following year.
Once subscription has been confirmed a username and password will be issued and these are required to log onto the system for entry and retrieval of clearfell site management information from the system servers.
Once registered on the system you access the system.
General training courses to learn how to monitor Hylobius populations and use the Hylobius MSS software are jointly run by Forestry Commission Learning and Development and Forest Research Centre for Forestry and Climate Change. These generally take place annually in April/May and July just prior to the times when population monitoring should be carried out. Details of upcoming courses can be found on Forest Research’s events pages. Courses cost approximately £80 per person (based on 2008 charges).
We hope to develop on-line training documentation in the future.
The billet monitoring element of the Hylobius MSS can also be offered by Forest Research Technical Services Unit.
Act now to register your interest in using the Hylobius MSS softwarewhich is now available by annual subscription.
Contact the Forest Research Hylobius MSS Team to subscribe or discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.
To register and subscribeor todiscuss your requirements and answer your questions contact:
Forest Research incurs costs associated with managing, running and delivering the system to users. The costs incurred by Forest Researchinclude ‘fixed’ costs such as administration and server charges and ‘variable’ costs such as software support and technical support which will be variable dependent on the level of uptake of the system by the users. The total cost will be the sum of ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’ costs.
To keep costs low for users the proportion of the ‘fixed’ costs allocated to individual users will be based on the predicted number of subscribers in the first year and then the actual number of subscribers in subsequent years. As uptake of the system by the forest industry increases this should lower the ‘fixed’ costs over time for individual users. As ‘fixed’ costs tend to be higher than ‘variable’ costs the greater the number of sites managed by individual users (or user groups) in a given year, the lower the impact of the fixed costs in that year. The benefit of this is that it translates into a lower overall cost/ha as the number of sites that are managed using the system increases (see table of subscription rates).
Forest Research reserve the right to vary annual subscription charges. Any changes to these charges will be dependant on the number of groups using the system in the previous year and the changes to Forest Research’s fixed and variable costs associated with running the system. New charging structures will be advertised on these web pages and will normally be updated annually in March.
The benefits of a web-based system include: reduced production and distribution costs, easy upgrading of software (i.e. inclusion of newly developed features without the need to redistribute), centralised secure data storage and easy feedback mechanisms and access to support for the registered users.
Forest Research has developed the Hylobius MSS over a number of years and has absorbed the system development costs. However, now that this stage is complete, there will be a modest subscription charge to cover administration, maintenance of servers, subscriber accounts and help facilities required for delivery to end-users. Managers will quickly recognise that the cost savings from the improved management of Hylobius using the system should more than offset the subscription charges.
Subscription charges for use of the system are shown in the table below.
|Number of sites managed||Total cost|
|0 (access only)||£220 + VAT|
|1 to 5||£444 + VAT|
|6 to 10||£660 + VAT|
|11 to 15||£876 + VAT|
|16 to 20||£1080 + VAT|
|21 to 30||£1512 + VAT|
|31 to 40||£1932 + VAT|
|41 to 50||£2364 + VAT|
Indicative Cost/ha is £27.75 + VAT for a single site, £5.55 + VAT for 5 sites to £2.96 + VAT for 50 sites (assumes average clearfell is 16ha.).
The more clearfell sites that are managed by the user (or user group) the lower the overall cost/ha of managing clearfellsusing the Hylobius MSS. This can be calculated from the table (total cost/ (no. of sites x average size)) and is explained on the FAQ.
Customers should consider how many sites they wish to manage within the Hylobius MSS and purchase sufficient for their requirements. Additional sites can be purchased at any time, but will be payable at rates in the table above and not considered additive to purchases made in previous years (or within year).
If more sites are purchased than used in a single year these will be carried over to subsequent years indefinitely but where no additional sites are purchased in the year a charge may be levied for continued access to the system (see 0 sites in the table) to cover annual charges when there has been no activity on the account for over 1 year.
The system will automatically prevent further clearfell entries once the purchased subscription limit has been reached.
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