The company celebrates the National Soil Conservation Day to highlight the importance of good practices to preserve this natural resource
This Thursday, the 15th, we celebrate the National Soil Conservation Day, which draws our attention to the need to preserve this natural resource. And planted forests, such as eucalyptus tree forests, play a central role on this matter. In Bahia and in São Paulo, for example, Bracell’s actions are intended to provide for sustainable forest management to improve soil use, so that it is well preserved and remain rich in nutrients.
João Fernando Silva, Bracell’s Forestry Manager, tells us about some of these actions, which start with the production of seedlings obtained from genetic materials from selected and improved parent trees. The company has also developed the implementation plan – with the definition of use of soil in order to optimize the planting area and outline the areas to be protected.
Also, according to João, the soil goes through a mechanized preparation process through which only the planting line is prepared (subsoiled) – which method is called minimum cultivation. In addition, the company adopts the level planting method when planting in slopes, which maintains soil humidity and nutrients, mitigating the risk of erosion and leaching.
“Another important thing has to do with the conservation of soil chemicals. In order to do so, we are constantly adding nutrients to the soil, through mineral nutrition. Said conservation and improvement work is performed based on the complex and detailed analysis by our research department before new eucalyptus trees are planted. This way, we can assure that the soil gets all nutrients it needs and never gets depleted”, says João, adding that “Bracell actually improves soil quality in some areas, making it richer than the average soil quality in the region”.
He also points out the harvesting process of eucalyptus trees, based on harvesting planning and transportation, as an additional measure to protect the soil. This is because in this last stage of the process, barks, branches and leaves are left on the field to maintain soil fertility and to keep physical structure of the soil. “Bracell’s harvesting system, jointly with the minimum cultivation system, allow the remains left on the field to protect the soil from heavy rain that can break the soil down and cause erosion, as well as they create a layer on top of the soil that protect it from the sun, and, thus, against erosion, and maintain soil humidity”, he says.
Marcos Sacco, Senior Forest Operations Manager at Bracell, stresses out that the cultivation of eucalyptus trees increases soil biodiversity and fertility, especially in the areas with a historical of grazing and/or intense cattle-raising activities. “The techniques employed in the cultivation of eucalyptus trees, including after harvesting, preserve soil properties, as well as contribute to the conservation of water resources – which are essential to quality and productivity in the company’s facilities”, he says.
He adds that all of Bracell’s activities are based on scientific knowledge, through intense research, including involving national and international universities. “This knowledge is applied to forestry activities and shared among all companies in this segment”, he concludes.
To show the benefits of planted forests, Bracell produced a webseries to introduce the universe of eucalyptus tree cultivation and cellulose production, using a didactic and accessible language to all audiences. One of the themes of the webseries was “Eucalyptus and the Soil”. The animation, available at Bracell’s social media (Fabebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube channel), presents the company’s forest management activities that allow the soil of eucalyptus tree forests to remain fertile and preserved.
In addition to this video, people can also watch animation “Eucalyptus, stumps and sprouts”, which is about the importance of eucalyptus stumps that remain on the soil after harvesting, allowing planted forests to receive several rounds of plantations. It also shows how this practice makes forest activity sustainable and beneficial to the environment.
Bracell is one of the largest producers of soluble and specialty cellulose in the world, having two major operations in Brazil, in the city of Camaçari, State of Bahia, and in the city of Lençóis Paulista, State of São Paulo. In addition to its operations in Brazil, Bracell has offices in Singapore and sales offices in Asia, Europe and the United States.