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BMP Material Costs

Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) are cost-effective and a widely accepted means of protecting water quality before, during, and after forest operations. N.C. Forest Service’s BMP Manual details specific tools and methods which can be used during forestry operations to reach compliance with the N.C. Forest Practices Guidelines (FPG) Related to Water Quality. Costs of implementing these recommended BMPs can vary widely due to site conditions. Identifying BMP material costs during preharvest planning can help approximate the profitability of timber acquisitions and could influence your harvesting method/plan.

BMP material costs can vary depending upon quantity purchased, seasonality of the material, and the area/region the purchase is made. Estimates can be made by previous personal experience, contractor bids, or spreadsheets. The Virginia Tech Road and Skid Trail Cost Method is a helpful spreadsheet that has been successfully used to estimate road, skid trail, and BMP costs. The spreadsheet provides cost ranges for common operational activities.

As a starting point for estimating BMP costs, the NCFS contacted approximately 100 stone quarries, farm supply stores, and other business specializing in erosion control across North Carolina and requested current material costs for several BMP materials recommended within 2006 NCFS BMP Manual. Cost inquiries were conducted in February, 2017. All BMP costs were separated by region (figure 1).

Map of North Carolina counties separated into the three regions used to report average cost of BMP materials
Figure 1. Map of North Carolina counties separated into the three regions used to report average cost of BMP materials.

Each BMP item cost was averaged among businesses within each region (Table 1 and 2). Material and equipment prices included in tables 1 and 2 are intended serve as a starting point and can be incorporated into the Virginia Tech Road and Skid Trail Cost Method spreadsheet. Please note that prices should be adjusted for your situation. Estimates of material costs continue to be updated as additional price information is obtained.

Table 1. N.C. Forest Service’s 2006 Best Management Practices Manual recommendations for seasonal grass seed application mixes and rates, and average regional prices.

  Application Mixes Rate Mountains
Avg. Cost*
Avg. Cost*
Coastal Plain
Avg. Cost*
Spring Creeping Red Fescue
Red Clover
20 lbs/ac
10 lbs/ac
1 to 2 bags/ac
$76.50 $71.60 $67.54
Summer German Foxtail
Browntop Millet
25 lbs/ac
25 lbs/ac
$23.66 $20.39 $20.50
Early Fall Creeping Red Fescue
Red Clover
20 lbs/ac
10 lbs/ac
1 to 2 bags/ac
$71.27 $69.46 $80.44
Late Fall Creeping Red Fescue
Annual Ryegrass
20 lbs/ac
10 lbs/ac
1 to 2 bags/ac
$130.34 $128.26 $140.33
Winter Annual Ryegrass 20 lbs/ac $15.60 $13.50 $14.71
*All prices were based on rates for a 50-lbs of seed or 1 bag of either oats, wheat, or rye.

Table 2. Average price for materials and equipment commonly used for implementing forestry Best Management Practices by region.

Material/Equipment Unit Mountains Piedmont Coastal Plain
Straw Mulch (1 Bale) $5.73 $5.41 $5.75
Straw Matting (8-ft by 90-ft) $44.10 $41.92 $48.63
Silt Fence (100-ft Pre-staked) $27.54 $26.19 $26.00
ABC-spec Stone (Non-delivered Ton) $19.79 $21.00 $24.82
2-3-inch Size Stone (Non-delivered Ton) $23.54 $26.49 $33.74
3-5-inch Size Stone (Non-delivered Ton) $24.46 $28.25 $37.75
6-8-inch Size Stone (Non-delivered Ton) $25.14 $29.13 $43.52
Geotextile fabric (300-ft by 12 or 15-ft) $329.17 $313.75 $313.75
30-ft Steel Bridgemat Set (3 panels) n/a $12,209.00 $16,127.50
25-ft Wooden Bridgemat Set (3 panels) $2,685.00 $4,000.00 $3,654.00
Plastic Road Surface Matting (1000 ft2) $3,000.00 $3,000.00 $3,000.00
Motor grader 138 hp (hourly rate) $200.00 $200.00 $200.00
Bulldozer 96 hp (hourly rate) $105.00 $105.00 $105.00
Excavator 80-125 hp (hourly rate) $97.50 $97.50 $97.50
Reference Conrad, J.L., W.S. Ford, M.C. Groover, M.C. Bolding, and W.M. Aust. 2012. Virginia Tech forest road and bladed skid trail cost estimation method. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 36(1):26-32.
This page updated: Friday, April 21, 2017 12:24

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