The economic feasibility of modifying six conventional harvesting systems to recover logging residues for fuel and fiber

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1979

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Abstract

This analysis provides a relative ranking of six Southern harvesting systems in terms of the costs, capitalization, and operational feasibility of incorporating a Trelan Model C-14 portable chipper or a residue baler to recover logging residues for fuel and fiber on three Southern stand types. The six systems were also considered under six cutting regimes to allow for the varying management objectives employed by woods managers in the South.

The Harvesting Systems Simulator was used to perform the analyses. Data was collected from members of the American Pulpwood Association and equipment manufacturers in the South to use as input for the simulations. Each combination of system, stand, and regime was considered in terms of eight factors designed to express system performance.

Results of the analysis indicated that logging residue recovery was economically feasible in many Southern harvesting systems. As long as conventional products are merchandized and the flow of those products through the harvesting system is not interrupted, residue recovery will be profitable on most southern stand types.

Clearcutting fqr energy and thinning for energy were not economical on any stand due to the loss of revenues from conventional products. As woody fuel prices go up, this situation will change.

Results· showed that the machine energy required to produce the residue energy was minimal for all systems on all stands and in all regimes. This indicates that residue recovery is not only economically feasible but energy efficient as well.

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