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Economic analysis of short and ultra-short rotation forestry

Economic analysis of short and ultra-short rotation forestry

Resources and conservation 10(4): 255-270

A model for determining a long-run optimal stationary harvesting cycle (rotation) for short rotation forestry is presented. The model uses a linear complementarity approach and is adapted from recent work in the area of economic growth theory. Use of the model in analysis of the effect of tree spacing on production cost and woody biomass production pattern allows identification of least-cost production systems and research and development needs. Analysis of two types of short rotation plantations, one with relatively large spacings within and between rows and the other involving very dense planting, is presented. The approach of planting cuttings at very high density (up to 64 cuttings per square meter) results in trees growing in a manner similar to tall grasses and hence it is termed the ‘wood-grass’ approach. This wood-grass system, which would be the leastcost system when the cost of planting stock is reduced through mechanical production and new high productivity planting equipment is developed, shows promise of acceptance by farmers as an annual crop. Revenues from the production of wood-grass would be realized annually and because the coppicing stumps would be small, land used for the production of wood-grass could be converted readily to the production of other crops, offering a high degree of crop flexibility.

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Accession: 015569816

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DOI: 10.1016/0166-3097(84)90020-8

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