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Value of Production Orchards Based on Two Cycles of Breeding and Testing

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As breeding cycles become increasingly shorter, it may not be profitable to install a production seed orchard at the completion of each cycle. Using a case study approach, we compare two mutually exclusive orchard strategies: skipping a third-generation seed orchard (while upgrading an existing second-generation orchard) versus establishing a third-generation orchard. Using net present value as a decision-making criterion, skipping a third-generation loblolly pine orchard is the better strategy when (a) genetic gain in height from third-generation parents is less than or equal to 7% over first generation parents, (b) annual demand for seedlings is less than 4000 ac annually, and (c) harvest in a third-generation orchard begins at least 11 years before it becomes obsolete. Foregoing a third-generation orchard saves establishment capital but carries a stringent commitment to accelerated breeding and testing. Acceptance of the risk associated with genetic gain projection is critical to the third-generation orchard decision. For. Sci. 36(1):156-168.

Keywords: Breeding-testing-selection cycle; Pinus taeda L; genetic improvement; seed orchard strategy; third-generation orchard

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Project Leader, Forest Economics, USDA-Forest Service, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Publication date: 1990-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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