Worker productivity and herbicide usage for pine release with manual application methods
Abstract. Productivity, herbicide usage, and costs of manually-applied pine release treatments were examined with linear regression analysis and compared. Data came from a replicated study in a 3-year-old loblolly pine plantation in Alabama’s Piedmont. Brush sawing had the highest labor costs but lowest total treatment costs. While of the herbicide treatments, the lowest costs were directed foliar sprays when rootstocks exceeded 4,100 per acre and streamlining only around pines in the dormant season when below this density. Spotgun applications in a grid pattern had the lowest labor costs when rootstocks exceeded 2,800 per acre, which could be cost-competitive with directed foliar sprays on low hexazinone rate sites. Streamline basal sprays applied in the dormant season were less costly and more labor efficient than growing season streamlining. Prediction equations are provided, but the cost-return of these. treatments can only be judged after future pine response are evaluated.