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Title: How to Determine When Your Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Pine Plantation is Ready to Thin

Author: Londo, Andrew J.; Traugott, Timothy A.; Dicke, Stephen G.; Roberts, Scott D.;

Date: 2002

Source: In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 159-162

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The CRP program was initiated in 1986 by the United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Agency, to protect topsoil from erosion. There have been 308,000 acres of CRP pine plantations established in Mississippi, and 1.2 million acres of CRP plantations have been established nationwide. Many of the CRP pine plantations in Mississippi will soon be ready for the first thinning. Timing and frequency of these first thinnings should be determined by site quality and landowner objectives. However, first thinnings are all too often considered to be a source of income for private landowners, and not a stand improvement tool. While income is a positive result, most landowners in Mississippi want to produce higher value sawlogs rather than low value pulpwood. Timing the first thinning too soon or too late can decrease site productivity and subsequent longer term financial returns for the landowner. The method presented here was developed to assist landowners and foresters in deciding when a first thinning should take place in CRP pine plantations in Mississippi. It is based upon five factors: 1) stand density, 2) natural pruning height, 3), average tree diameter, 4) heights of dominants and codominants, 5) and basal area growth rate. The decision of whether to thin or not is based on these characteristics, rather than on current pulpwood prices. This method provides a sound, unbiased means for foresters and landowners to decide the optimum time for the first thinning of young loblolly pine plantations.

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Londo, Andrew J.; Traugott, Timothy A.; Dicke, Stephen G.; Roberts, Scott D. 2002. How to Determine When Your Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Pine Plantation is Ready to Thin. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 159-162

 


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