Strategies for improving establishment and productivity of hardwoods planted on marginal agricultural lands in southern IllinoisThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Low inherent productivity, frequent flooding and changing landowner objectives are rendering much acreage in southern Illinois marginal for row crop production. Owners of these lands are attracted to reforestation by tree planting incentive programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which covers costs associated with site preparation, planting and stand establishment. Continued participation of these lands in set aside programs is often limited by poor survival and slow growth, forcing landowners to return these lands to agricultural production. Further, well-established and productive stands will more likely encourage landowners to retain the stand for the duration of a commercial rotation upon expiration of CRP leases.