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Rapeepan Kantavichai, Auburn University, rzk0022@auburn.edu (Presenter)
Tom Gallagher, , gallatv@auburn.edu
Larry Teeter, , teeter@auburn.edu

 

Emerging markets for woody biomass for bioethanol production may create a demand for short rotation loblolly pine (Pinus Taeda) plantations. This study analyzes the economic feasibility of short rotation loblolly pine management for bioenergy in the Southeast, specifically in Alabama. PTAEDA3.1 (Burkhart et al. 2008) was used to simulate grow of the biomass plantations. Using a land expectation value reflecting a typical plantation management strategy as a benchmark, optimal rotation ages, planting densities and breakeven biomass stumpage prices were determined to demonstrate the potential efficiency of managing loblolly pine as an energy plantation. Results for two site indexes (65 and 85) and three discount rates are reported. Potential early productivity gains from herbaceous weed control were also evaluated. Our findings could be useful as a basis for loblolly pine management planning for biofuel in southern United States.