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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS FROM MULTIUSE AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES TO FAMILY FARMS Title: Stocking Rate Mediates Growth and Profitability of Mid-Rotation Loblolly Pine in West-Central Arkansas

item Burner, David
item Dwyer, J -
item Godsey, L -

Submitted to: Southern Silvicultural Research Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 22, 2010
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Growth and financial returns of 13 loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation designs (i.e., stocking rates in trees ha-1 [TPH]) at mid-rotation (14 years old) were measured to 1) determine loblolly pine growth responses, and 2) develop an economic model to estimate financial outputs. Plantations were unthinned and ranged from 490 to 2300 TPH. The financial model allowed costs, returns, growth, and production scenarios to be varied to calculate net present value (NPV) and years to "break even" with and without pine straw. Basal area generally was > 30 m2 ha-1, indicating need for thinning to optimize individual tree growth. Plantations with > 2000 TPH and no pine straw harvest had negative NPV and a relatively long break-even period compared to other plantations at a 5% discount rate. Pine straw harvesting nearly doubled NPV at about 1500 TPH compared to no pine straw, and substantially reduced years to break even at < 1500 TPH. Besides timber, an array of design-dependent agroforestry and forestry products could drive the selection of specific plantation designs: pine straw or biomass production at > 1800 TPH, and alley cropping or silvopasture in single-row (< 1000 TPH) and multiple-row plantations (< 1400 TPH). The model demonstrated the potential financial benefit for harvesting pine straw with timber, especially in regions of the south-central US where pine straw is an underutilized resource

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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