An Interview with Forestation Engineer Valtteri Merima
Valtteri Merima has made a career as Forestation Engineer and excavator contractor for the last three years.
Valtteri had his first excavator operator experience engineering new forest growth with a Risutec planting machine in Finland. This set him firmly on a path for future career development. Starting with inverted mounding, which is the typical soil cultivation method in the Nordics, Valtteri would later build on this fundamental knowledge to tackle greater challenges in Europe.
The most important thing, however, was to make the employer happy, which Valtteri excelled at. At this time he’s exporting Finnish know-how to Germany having spent the last 3 weeks in Germany, in the Willinge region of Matthias Möller’s company. The original plan was to operate through May, now due to the opportunity that integrated forestation offers the Möller company, Valtteri will be operating through October to capture the additional value. Read on to learn why this was important.
Matthias Möller is a pioneer in German afforestation, with a strong will to invest in future development. In Germany, there was a great need to improve the efficiency of planting work, and after a short study, the right solution was found, namely the Risutec SKB-120 planter.
The assignment has not been without its challenges, Valtteri explains: “In the beginning of the assignment the working day was a bit splintered – since we were changing compartments often. Now, with more forward planning, we are working around the clock with 12 hour shifts. Working at night is not a problem.”
Thanks to Risutec’s irrigation system, Möller has extended his planting season. “First we were going to stay until May, now it looks like I’m going to stay over the summer.” Merima says that there is enough work to be done.
What are your thoughts on operating abroad?
Did you need to innovate given the circumstances?
Maintenance needs throughout your career
A common challenge in Germany is the passage of seedlings through the planting pipes. This is due to the fact that seedlings are not necessarily bred for mechanized afforestation. The seedlings are bushy-branched, and the pot breaks down too easily.