Georgia is the nation’s leader in forestry, wood fuel, and pellet export. However, insect damage from Southern Pine Beetles (SPB) creates a significant loss in production. This infestation can effectively girdle a tree, causing its death. Fort Valley State University (FVSU) is using aerial drones to monitor and evaluate SPB outbreaks in Loblolly pine trees. Researchers will also evaluate heat spikes and vegetation loss associated with SPB will be evaluated as well as fuel analyses and pelletization quality. Predictive models will serve to inform foresters if salvaging damaged pine trees is economical.
Southern Pine Beetles and aerial drones at FVSU's website.
NIFA supports this research through McIntire-Stennis funding. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.