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Rebecca Barlow, Auburn University, becky.barlow@auburn.edu (Presenter)
John Kush, Auburn University School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences Longleaf Pine Stand Dynamics Lab, kushjoh@auburn.edu
Janice Dyer, Auburn University, frewjan@tigermail.auburn.edu
John Gilbert, Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Longleaf Pine Stand Dynamics Laboratory, gilbejo@auburn.edu

 

Times are changing and so is forestry in the South. No longer is timber production the primary emphasis of forest management as landowners look for diverse income opportunities. As a result of this change, agroforestry techniques such as silvopasture and forest farming are increasingly of interest to many private landowners. In addition, there is a continued interest in longleaf pine management across the South. Agroforestry practices are well suited to longleaf pine management and have the potential to generate periodic revenue beyond traditional forest management, while keeping the land forested. Land managers often hesitate to recommend agroforestry to landowners due to perceptions that there are limited management alternatives, and the economic benefits are unproven. Pine straw raking, however, has proven to potentially provide more income for landowners than timber without timber harvesting. Data from two studies, one old and one new, will be used to discuss these management opportunities for landowners and forest managers in the South. Preliminary results from a 4-year study comparing longleaf and loblolly pine in an agroforestry setting on an old field site in south Alabama will be presented. Initial findings indicate the slower growth of longleaf may cause a delay in the timing of cattle introduction and thus economic returns to landowners. Pine straw production has the potential to offset the delay in economic returns. A pine straw production model developed utilizing a long-term region-wide longleaf pine growth and yield dataset provides an estimate of bales available for a variety of stand conditions.