- Busby, Rodney L.
USDA--Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, New Orleans, LA
The economics of herbaceous weed control using sulfometuron methyl (Oust) in young loblolly pine plantations was examined in this study. Numerous studies have shown that herbaceous weed control significantly influences early seedling growth, and there is some evidence that early gains have longterm impacts on stand development. The primary assumption in this study was that herbaceous weed control would accelerate stand development and thereby reduce the time it takes the trees to reach a given size. A variety of stand conditions and management options were used in examining the economics of herbaceous weed control. Costs were estimated for each option, and land expectation values were calculated. The differences in land expectation values with and without herbaceous weed control were calculated under the assumption that control with this herbicide would accelerate the rotation age by L, 2, or 3 years. The results show that herbaceous weed control using sulfometuron methyl (Oust) is profitable over a fairly wide range of conditions, given if the rotation age can be reduced by only 1 or 2 years.