The Forest Modeling Research Cooperative (FMRC), (formerly the Loblolly Pine Growth and Yield Research Cooperative), was established in 1979 for the purpose of developing loblolly pine tree growth and stand development models that are sufficiently flexible to account for the effects of intensive cultural practices and with output sufficiently detailed to allow for analyses of a full range of utilization options. The Coop is currently developing models that account for thinning, fertilization, varietal plantings, site preparation, and pruning treatments on tree and stand growth. Impacts of these treatments on wood quality are also under investigation. In addition to traditional wood products, we are developing modeling capabilities for management systems that include emerging product markets such as carbon credits and bioenergy. Finally, the FMRC is evaluating and developing methodology for assessing forest resources through the incorporation of auxiliary information in alternative estimation approaches. While loblolly pine continues to be a primary focus, the FMRC embraces a broader mandate and scope of modeling and forest assessment work that includes other species, production objectives, and regions.
Full members of the Coop are organizations owning, investing in, or managing forest land for wood production in the United States and South America. Members help establish research priorities and provide annual operating funds for research and support of field trials. In return, members receive research results, software developed by the Coop and technical support. Full member dues are based on acres managed with a floor of $6,156 and a ceiling of $24,732 annually. Affiliate members are individuals needing advanced growth and yield prediction capabilities. They provide financial support equal to one-half the floor dues of full members and receive research results, software and technical support. The Coop hosts an annual meeting each year.
Given our broader mission, we are seeking new cooperators who would benefit from partnering with us. Major benefits to members of the FMRC include:
- Advice from the Coop staff with solving “in-house” growth and yield related problems, including customization of growth and yield models, local testing of models using independent data, and support for information technology needs that interface with growth and yield models.
- Research results from pertinent growth and yield analyses. These results are made available through a series of formal Cooperative Reports, an Annual Meeting, occasional workshops, and growth and yield prediction software. Members provide input into the research and products of this Cooperative.
- Data collected by the Coop during the period of membership. Legacy Coop datasets can also be purchased.
- Participation in workshops, meetings, field trips and related activities with a group of professionals working on growth and yield prediction problems. These “networking” opportunities follow from formal and informal activities of the Coop.
- Identification of possible future employees. Much of the work of the Coop is accomplished by graduate students; members have an opportunity to become acquainted with the capabilities of this cadre of talented students.
- A voice in externally funded (USDA, NSF, etc.) projects that are complementary with the goals and ongoing work of the Coop.
Those wishing to become members of the FMRC are asked to make an initial three-year commitment with an annual assessment based on plantation acres owned or under management. New members are being accepted with starting dates in 2023.