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Selecting Loblolly Pine Parents for Seed Orchards to Minimize the Cost of Producing Pulp

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Southern pine cooperative breeding programs currently emphasize genetic improvement of growth rates. When a deployment population, typically a seed orchard, is established, there is an opportunity to emphasize traits other than growth rate to maximize the profit of individual cooperators in the breeding program. We studied a Southeast Texas breeding population and developed selection indexes to optimize profits for Kraft and mechanical pulp mills. The relative economic weights for volume and wood density were 1:8.1 and 1:8.6 for Kraft and mechanical pulp mills, respectively. Choosing parents with these indexes increased expected profit per ton of dry pulp by 3.4% for both mill types. Expected gains in profit were 3.3% when parents were chosen based on wood density alone. If parents were chosen based solely on volume growth, expected gains in profit were only 0.3%--0.4%. For. Sci. 45(2): 213-216.

Keywords: Kraft pulp; deployment population; economic weights; mechanical pulp; relative economic weights; seed orchards; selection index

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Forest Science Lab, Agronomy Rd., Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, 77843-2585

Publication date: May 1, 1999

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