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Investments in Loblolly Pine Clonal Seed Orchards: Production Costs and Economic Potential

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Extensive regeneration of loblolly pine forests through plantations and direct seeding creates a continuing demand for forest tree seed. Partly to meet this seed demand and primarily to increase the economic value of regenerated stands, commercial seed orchards are being established to provide genetically improved seed. A cost model for estimating per pound seed production costs was developed consistent with the seed production process and the economic objectives of seed orchard owners. The cost model was empirically quantified with data from a 40-and a 100-acre loblolly seed orchard in the South and indicated gross seed production costs on the order of $7 to $20 per pound. Considering the growth rates of loblolly pine and current minimum expectations of rotation age harvest gain from using clonal orchard seed, investments at this cost level appear economically feasible from the stumpage grower's point of view.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor of Forest Economics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Publication date: 01 December 1967

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