The Forest Nutrition Research Cooperative, a forestry industry and university cooperative, was founded in 1969 to conduct applied research on forest fertilization in pine plantations in the South. In recent years, the program expanded its activities into silviculture (care of forest trees), remote sensing, growth and yield, and basic research on nutrient cycling in plantation forest ecosystems. The program has also expanded internationally, and conducts research on nutrition of pines and eucalyptus species in Argentina, Chile, and Columbia.
There are currently 25 members of the program, including U.S.-based industrial forest products companies, large pension funds, South American industrial forest product companies, large forest consulting companies, and a number of forestry suppliers. These companies own and manage more than 20 million acres of pine plantations in the southern United States, and 3 million acres of pine and eucalyptus plantations in South America.
"This new partnership will strengthen the existing connections between Virginia Tech and the forest industry," Fox stresses. In the past, there have been close links between the Forest Nutrition Research Cooperative at NCSU and the Growth Yield Cooperative at Virginia Tech.
The annual budget for the program will include projects involving graduate students and postdoctoral students in Blacksburg. It will also provide opportunities for exchange of graduate students between the two institutions. "This formal partnership will generate many opportunities for us at Virginia Tech because the strengths of the forestry program here compliment those at NCSU," Fox explains.
Written by Hilary Fussell, Public Affairs Assistant