Cut-to-length harvesting in the Southeastern USA : value recovery and adoption by potential users
Conradie, Ian Patrick
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Cut-to-length (CTL) is not the harvesting system of choice in the southeastern USA although it is perceived to be more environmentally friendly and to have the ability to recover more value from stems. This study found that the value recoveries at three sites were respectively 92.6%, 89.7%, and 93.8% when the optimal recoverable value, as calculated by optimization software, was compared to the actual value recovered by the harvesters. The differences were mainly caused by the tendency of the harvesters to cut fewer but longer logs than the optimal solution, measuring error, and the downgrading of some out-of-specification logs to lower-value products. The primary reason why CTL has not been adopted by loggers as the system of choice in the southeastern USA appears to be the complexity of the equipment used to achieve this high level of value recovery.