Sawmod: A Tool For Optimizing Potential Profit From Beetle-Killed Southern Pine Sawtimber

Steven A. Sinclair


Currently the operators of small- to medium-sized sawmills have minimal information upon which to base processing decisions and profit estimations. This problem is further complicated when unusual variables, such as processing beetle-killed timber, are superimposed upon normal operating parameters.

SAWMOD (SAWmill decision MODel) is a computer algorithm designed to provide accurate information for decision-making. By using actual lumber grade yields, estimated residue volumes, current market prices, and readily obtainable production variables, economically optimal processing schemes may be derived from SAWMOD. Potential economic returns from conversion into lumber and/or chips for each log diameter within six log quality classes are considered. Estimates of total profit and break-even log cost FOB mill for each log quality class are provided by SAWMOD. These estimates are based on a given log diameter distribution and total log volume.

Structured to be individualized for a given sawmill and periodically updated, SAWMOD is a powerful decision tool that will help to continue progress toward a highest-value utilization of our saw-timber resource.


Sawmill;computer model;insect-killed;Pinus;softwood;Dendroctonus;operations-research

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