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Short-Rotation Woody Biomass as a Crop on Marginal Lands in Iowa

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There is increasing interest in producing woody biomass on marginal lands in Iowa, but there is little information about its economic feasibility. To address this issue, a study was initiated in 1995 to analyze growth of certain fast-growing tree species, clones of hybrids, and selected clones, which will be referred to as entries, on marginal lands. Three entries, including the “Crandon” clone (Populus alba × Populus grandidentata), the “Eugenii” clone (Populus × canadensis), and silver maple (Acer saccharinum), were established in test plantings on three land types—bottomland, steep slopes, and upland agricultural land—across the state. Trees generally were measured annually. Two types of yield models were developed to predict biomass per hectare over time for the three aforementioned entries. Crandon had the highest rate of biomass production on all land types. Economic analyses were conducted on the three entries, and Crandon produced the highest economic return on all land types.
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Keywords: Crandon; entries; fast-growing trees; land-type–specific model; site-quality–specific model

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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