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Productivity, sawn recovery and potential rates of return from eucalypt plantations in Queensland

Leggate, W., Palmer, G., McGavin, R. and Muneri, A. (2000) Productivity, sawn recovery and potential rates of return from eucalypt plantations in Queensland. In: IUFRO Conference, The Future of Eucalypts for Wood Products, 19-24 March, 200, Launceston, Tasmania.

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Abstract

This paper reviews the results of stand mensuration and wood quality studies undertaken on various eucalypt plantations in Queensland as part of the State Government's Private Plantation Initiative. The paper discusses the productivity, wood properties and sawn product recovery of the plantations evaluated. Commercial returns have been calculated based on current cost/product data and estimates provided of the potential returns to both the grower and processor, when assuming improvements in genetics, forest management, harvesting systems, processing technology and also markets.

The analyses conducted demonstrated that the 21 to 41-year-old plantations evaluated yielded poor returns. Key factors limiting economic viability included low productivity, a high incidence of defects including end splitting and distortion of sawn timber, knots, kino veins and insect damage. These factors can be mainly attributed to the use of un-improved planting stock, inappropriate silviculture and limitations in processing technology. However, further analyses performed suggested that hardwood plantations can become a viable economic proposition if reasonable targets in productivity and wood quality can be achieved through research and development in genetics, silviculture and processing. The enhancement of the economics of hardwood saw log plantations between now and the first significant clearfell harvests is likely to be predominantly brought about by:
• at least 20 years of technological advancement in wood processing and harvesting systems;
• at least 20 years improvement in markets and
• at least 20 years for some silvicultural and genetic improvements to be imposed.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Forestry > Forestry management
Forestry > Exploitation and utilization
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:10 May 2024 04:53
Last Modified:10 May 2024 04:53

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