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


Emerging markets for woody biomass for bioethanol production may create a demand for short rotation loblolly pine (Pinus Taeda) plantations. This study objective is to derive flexible management plans and optimal silvicultural practices for plantations that include a biomass thinning. Flexible harvest decisions were evaluated annually with choices of do nothing, thin for biomass, thin for pulpwood, final harvest for biomass, or final harvest for sawtimber (at a later age) to maximize expected net present value using stochastic dynamic programming. We demonstrate flexible harvest policies changing based on distributions of product prices and planting densities. Results can provide practical guidelines for forest landowners deciding whether or not to plant for biomass products in the present, given the uncertain future of biomass price.