Production Quality with Efficiency
From the time container nurseries in the southern United States began things have changed drastically. From methods to sow the crop to those used to ship it, the evolution of nursery practices are as wide spread as an artist color palette. Not that we in the nursery are artists but we do like to have a pretty picture or crop of seedlings come shipping time.
Sowing a container crop differs from nursery to nursery. It really depends on the size of your facility as to what equipment might be best. Smaller nurseries still hand fill their trays and hand sow their seed. Larger, more advanced nurseries use automated sowing lines. Automated sowing lines consist of a bale buster, tray filler, vacuum drum sower, capper, and water tunnel. The automated sowing lines increases production from an estimated 50,000 cavities hand sown per day to 450,000 plus per day. The automated filled and sown trays have a more uniform media compaction as well as seed sown in the middle of the cavity. This helps with better crop management.
Once sowing is complete the growing begins. Like sowing, the growing process differs in every nursery. The irrigation systems are fairly basic in some nurseries and very sophisicated in bigger operations. Small growers use the least expensive fixed irrigation system. This system tends to have patterns and is less uniform in water and fertilizer distribution. A boom or pivot system offers a highly uniform irrigation system.
As far as fertilizers, some growers prefer nine month slow release fertilizer to manage nutrients in their crops. Others use only water soluble fertilizers. A few use a combination of both. This combination gives you the most control. A short term slow release fertilizer gets a crop through early establishment and the prime time of root development. Then the grower will switch to water soluble fertilizer to grow and finish their crop.
Most nurseries have incorporated top clipping as a standard operating procedure. It allows for improved seedling quality, as well as a uniform crop. This technology is very customized to nursery operations but generally starts in early summer and continues into early fall depending on seedling development.
The goal is to have uniform seedlings with well developed root systems and balanced nutrition. Crop reports are developed on every seed lot that evaluates top height, root collar diameter, root development, and foliage nutrition.
Unlike sowing and growing, packing is more standardized. Most nurseries pack their seedling in boxes for shipping. This wasn’t always the case. Decades ago, the seedlings were left in the trays and carried to the field then pulled out of the trays as the seedlings were planted. Today nurseries pack based on customer’s needs with generally 250-300 seedlings packed per box.
There are big differences in nursery operations and we encourage customers to visit their nursery and see how processes work. This also devlops a good working relationship with a key partner to help in establishing a forest.]]>
Growing Pines in Changing Times
You may also contact Leslie Boby at email@example.com or Dan Geller at firstname.lastname@example.org. The SREF hopes to have videos from the meeting available soon.
By: Dr. Phil Dougherty, CFRAM/IFCO
Failure to not recognize that the environment and the world we live in have changed can be costly; especially in the forestry business. It is easy to fall into the mold of “we know what we have seen or have experienced” and accept that as reality. Failure to acknowledge that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) , the substrate that trees convert into sugars and then into wood, has increased substantially over a 30 year period and will continue to increase over the next rotation results in an underestimate of expected production from our forest lands. The same stand that produced 5 green-tons/acre/year of wood (GTons/ac/yr) in the previous rotation would now be expected to produce nearly 6 GTons/ac/yr during the next rotation just due to CO2 improvements. At a blended price of $20/Gton, this means that instead of growing $100/ac/yr of wood a stand planted today might produce $120/ac/yr of wood. In addition, changes in genetic quality of the seedlings available today and improvements in forest management technology over the past 30 years have further increased production potential.
Genetic Improvement Impacts:
Over the past 30 year period a minimum of two cycles of breeding, testing and selection of new loblolly pine genotypes has taken place. This, on the average, would be expected to increase annual production another 25%. Thus, deploying the new genetics in an improved CO2 environment would raise expected annual production to about 7.5 GTons/ac/yr or to an annual earning potential of $150.00/ac/yr. Tree improvement has brought even greater gains in the last decade with the commercialization of control-mass-pollinated (CMP) seedling production McKeand, Abt, Allen, Li, Catts & D Dougtherty, J Wright. The CMP process uses only the best male and female genotypes in an orchard to produce high yielding, high stem quality and more rust resistant seedlings. Use of CMP seedlings can raise production a minimum of 10% bringing the annual production potential to 8.25 GTons/ac/yr or an annual growth worth rate of $165.00/ac/yr.
 What Are the Best Loblolly Pine Genotypes Worth to Landowners; S McKeand, R Abt, L Allen, B Li, & G Catts, Journal of Forestry, 2006 -104:352-358
 Improved Returns on Forestlands; D Dougherty & J Wright; Tree Farmer 28:1 2009 42-46
Improved Silviculture Impacts:
Technological improvements in site preparation, weed control and nutrition management have enabled increasing annual production equally as much as improvements in genetics Fox, Jokela, Allen. Silvicultural improvements coupled with good genetic seedlings can raise annual production rates to near 10 GTons/ac/yr or annual growth worth rate of $200.00 ac/yr.
 The Evolution of Pine Plantation Silviculture in the Southern United States; T Fox, E Jokela, L Allen, US Dept of Ag, Forest Service, Chapter 8: 63-82
1/ An eleven-year old CMP stand planted at less than 300 tpa on a wide row spacing that has greater than 85% potential high quality sawtimber trees.
2/ A one-year-old fall planted container loblolly pine stand located in S.E. Georgia that has received advanced silvicultural treatments. It averaged four feet in height at the end of year-one. In the 1970-1980 era this amount of growth would have taken between two-three years to achieve.
3/ A seven-year-old stand of prime-superior OP family growing in south Alabama. This stand would have 55-65% high quality sawtimber stems and very low risk to fusiform rust and breakage due to forking or large ramicorn branches.
Stem and Wood Quality Impacts of Fast Grown Wood:
This age-old question always comes up: will wood growing this fast be useful for anything? The truth is, future stands will be considerably better than previous rotation stands if the correct genetics and silvicultural practices are coupled. A recent review of wood density changes McKeand, Jett, Byram suggest that there is no evidence of significant changes in wood properties with the faster grown wood. Stands derived with new genetics that have greater branch size control, better straightness, less forking, less large ramicorn branches and less fusiform rust will have a greater percent of the trees that have high quality sawtimber potential and even pole potential logs. More-better is always good.
The net effect of improvements in growth environment, genetics, and silviculture is that the annual growth potential of an average acre in the SE USA has at least doubled! Indeed, it can be costly to assume nothing is different from the results you may have experienced in the past. It truly is a new day in the forestry arena. To efficiently capitalize on the new opportunities in forestry may require consulting with a professional forester that is current on the latest genetics and technology available and aware of the many silvicultural adjustments that need to be made when establishing todays’ high production forest stands.
 Good Wood; McKeand, Jett, Byram; Forest Landowners, 2014 73: (2) 14-19
The following observations are my own comments and based on the many excellent speakers’ presentations.
The conference had over 580 attendees from all over the world. This is a strong indicator of interest in our forest of the U. S. and particularly of the Southeast U. S. It was very evident that lending institutions have interest in loaning money on timberlands as dozens of them were represented.
The interest in Southeastern U. S. timber from Canadian companies continue to be a driving force in the future saw timber market. They are very optimistic with their future projections for wood markets. The continued housing market improvement is big in their projections as well as export markets of wood. 2/3 of the new middle class will be outside of the U. S. and these are the biggest segments of the housing buyers.
The wood pellet market has continued to expand and now offers a huge impact on the use of small timber market for landowners. The Drax Company after completion of their newest wood to energy operation will be the largest user of wood in the world.
In addition to this conference, I recently toured the new Klausner Sawmill near Live Oak, Florida and they are taking wood and sawing lumber. They expect to be using over 250 loads of wood per day within the next 12 months. They are a very efficient and modern mill with very few personnel to run the operations. They are also planning a pellet mill at the site.
These new entries in the market are all concentrating on high efficiency operations to operate their companies. Forest owners have the same opportunity and can maximize production per acre with great management using the right forest professional, the right silviculture, and the right genetics. Great efficiencies will continue to be the winners.
R. Wayne Bell
Chief Operations Officer
International Forest Company]]>
Are tree farmers inherently different than other farmers? Successful farmers plant and cultivate the best genotypes available for the product they wish to produce. Tree Farmers should be not different. Today more than ever before detailed information on genetic improvement of Loblolly and Slash pine is available directly to clients. International Forest Company (IFCO) is a full member of the major tree breeding cooperatives in the Southern US and we deliver that knowledge through easy to understand genetic gain sheets.
Selection for genetic gain in southern pines is product focused. All material is rated for level of productivity gain over unimproved seed lots. Increase in volume growth alone will have a significant effect on the profitability of pine stands; for this reason gain in volume growth is the most commonly sought metric of genetic gain. At IFCO we back up our high volume producing families with other desirable traits (characteristics) such as stem straightness, reduced forking and rust resistance. These form traits insure that a larger proportion of harvest volume is sold into the highest value products.
PRS and Star Rating Sheets
Data from each of the breeding cooperatives is clearly described and illustrated on the respective genetic gain sheets. East of the Mississippi River PRS sheets are available for the improved Loblolly families that IFCO sells. For Western Gulf region Loblolly, IFCO provides Star Sheets with genetic gain estimates and deployment recommendations. For Slash pine, IFCO’s proprietary Star Sheets provide gain estimates and deployment recommendations across the entire planted range of the species.
We invite you to request genetic gain sheets from IFCO or any other seedling provider that you use. Let our staff guide you through the decision on which families to plant, based on the location and objectives of your future timber stand.
Click on the link below for a preview of a Loblolly Pine PRS information sheet:
Loblolly PRS CP047
International Forest Co.
For more information about this program contact your local Louisiana Forestry Department:
Dist. 1 318-949-3225 Haughton, LA
Dist. 2 318-345-7595 Monroe, LA
Dist. 3 318-992-1400 Trout, LA
Dist. 4 337-639-4978 Oberlin, LA
Dist. 5 337-948-0230 Opelousas, LA
Dist. 6 985-543-4057 Hammond, LA
Texas Leaf Cutting Ant
You may also contact the Texas A&M Forest Service in Lufkin, TX 936-639-8170 or Austin, TX 512-339-6329]]>
Imazapyr Site Prep
Table 1: 2 lb. acid equivalent:
|PLANTING DATE||HERBICIDE SITE PREP TREATMENT DATE**|
|Herbicide product rates per acre*|
|October||48 oz.||40 oz.||NO||NO|
|November||52 oz.||44 oz.||40 oz.||36 oz. (NO)***|
|Dec-Jan||56 oz.||48 oz.||44 oz.||40 oz.|
|Feb-Mar||64 oz.||56 oz.||52 oz.||48 oz.|
|Longleaf and Slash Pine|
|October||44 oz.||36 oz.||NO||NO|
|November||48 oz.||40 oz.||36 oz.||(32 oz.) NO***|
|Dec-Jan||52 oz.||44 oz.||40 oz.||36 oz.|
|Feb-Mar||60 oz.||52 oz.||48 oz.||44 oz.|
|*Imazapyr product formulations containing 2 lb. acid equivalent imazapyr per gallon such as: trade names (manufacturer): Chopper, Chopper Gen2 (BASF Specialty Products), Polaris SP (NuFarm), and Rotary 2SL (Alligare LLC).|
|**Do not plant within 60 days of a 48 oz/acre or greater (2 lbs. ae/gallon) imazapyr herbicide application.|
|***Do not plant within 45 days of a 32 or 36 oz/ac imazapyr rate when rainfall amounts for the area are lower than normal, soil moisture is not adequate for planting, and competing vegetation is less than 1 foot tall.|
Table 2: 4 lb. acid equivalent:
|PLANTING DATE||HERBICIDE SITE PREP TREATMENT DATE**|
|Herbicide product rates per acre*|
|October||24 oz.||20 oz.||NO||NO|
|November||26 oz.||22 oz.||20 oz.||18 oz. (NO)**|
|Dec-Jan||28 oz.||24 oz.||22 oz.||20 oz.|
|Feb-Mar||32 oz.||28 oz.||26 oz.||24 oz.|
|Longleaf and Slash Pine|
|October||22 oz.||18 oz.||NO||NO|
|November||24 oz.||20 oz.||18 oz.||(16 oz.) NO**|
|Dec-Jan||26 oz.||22 oz.||20 oz.||18 oz.|
|Feb-Mar||30 oz.||26 oz.||24 oz.||22 oz.|
|*Imazapyr product formulations containing 4 lb. acid equivalent imazapyr per gallon: trade names (manufacturer): Arsenal AC (BASF Specialty Products), Polaris AC Complete (NuFarm), and Imazapyr 4SL (Alligare LLC).|
|**Do not plant within 60 days of a 24 oz/acre or greater (4 lbs. ae/gallon) imazapyr herbicide application.|
|***Do not plant within 45 days of a 16 or 18 oz/ac imazapyr rate when rainfall amounts for the area are lower than normal, soil moistrue is not adequate for planting, and competing vegetation is less than 1 foot tall.|
The two larger plots (background pines) were planted on P (phosphorous) deficient soils and P applied.
The two smaller trees in the foreground were planted at the same time on P deficient soils and no P applied.
The following information is provided by University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources: David Dickens, David Moorhead
The success of a pine plantation depends on many factors; the soil test phosphorus (P) level is one of those factors. Phosphorus fertilization is likely to be beneficial on some Coastal Plain soil such as:
Visit http://www.forestproductivity.net/fertilization for more information.]]>
Give yourself the best opportunity to maximize growth and yield with IFCO seedlings.
We believe that doing business with an open hand and sharing information builds trust between the forest industry and the landowners who grow it.
IFCO participates in over six research and genetic cooperatives and is committed to bringing what was once only available to the elite to every landowner.
IFCO specializes in cross zone hybrid testing and orchard improvement to ensure that the highest quality seedlings are delivered to our landownders.
IFCO hand-packages each seedling and ships directly from our fields to the landowner.
Production Quality with Efficiency From the time container nurseries in the southern United States began things have changed drastically. From methods to sow the crop to those used to ship it, the evolution of nursery practices are as wide spread as an artist color palette. Not that we in the nursery are artists but we […]
May 19, 2015 by IFCO
Recently the Southern Region Extension Forestry (SREF) in partnership with the Georgia Forestry Commission, the University of Georgia, International Forest Co. (IFCO), the University of Florida and the PINEMAP project held a workshop in Tifton, Georgia. The topic was “Growing Pines in Changing Times” providing information about ways to reduce risks and increase profits for […]
May 6, 2015 by IFCO
Georgia State Conservationist Terrance Rudolph of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced there is additional funding for financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications are taken year round and where as the initial fiscal year 2015 sign up concluded in December 2014, anyone else who wishes to […]
April 29, 2015 by IFCO