Economics of managing mesquite in north Texas: a sensitivity analysis.

Teague, W.R.
Ansley, R.J.
Kreuter, U.P.
Pinchak, W.E.
McGrann, J.M.
Rangeland Ecology & Management / Journal of Range Management Archives
Publication Year: 
This paper presents a comparative simulation analysis of the economics of prescribed fire and aerially applied root-killing herbicide treatment as methods for maintaining livestock productivity on rangeland in the Texas Rolling Plains. A "no-treatment" scenario is used as the base for comparison. In almost all the simulated scenarios both herbicide application and prescribed burning were economically feasible since net present values were > 0 and benefit/cost ratios were > 1. However, the net present values for prescribed fire were much higher that those for the herbicide treatment even with a lower increase in carrying capacity with burning. The cost of herbicide would have to be less than half the current cost of $57 ha(-1) before it would be economically competitive with fire in controlling mesquite. If cattle numbers were not increased after treating brush, burning had an even greater net present value and benefit/cost ratio advantage over herbicide treatment than if cow numbers were increased after treatment. Even if fences have to be constructed to implement adequate deferment for burning, the net present value and benefit/cost ratios of the fire option were higher than those for herbicide scenarios. This analysis indicates that there is an economic advantage to using fire wherever possible, and use of herbicides is restricted to those instances when fine fuel amount is < 1,700 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) when fire is not a viable option. The analyses indicate the economic response is most sensitive to the treatment effect on wildlife income.DOI:10.2458/azu_jrm_v54i5_teague
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
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Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management) serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, ecology, and use of rangelands and their resources. The journal is peer-reviewed and provides international exchange of scholarly research and information among persons interested in rangelands. The Global Rangelands collection includes REM content up to 5 years from the current year. More recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management, and may be available at your local university library.
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