News Filed Under Forestry
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's timber industry may break its string of record years as preliminary figures show a slight decrease in value as higher prices couldn't completely offset reduced harvests.
The state's timber industry has a 1998 projected value of $1.31 billion, down about $3 million from 1997. This fraction of 1 percent decrease still put it above the 1996 harvest value.
By Jamie Vickers
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A drought, hurricane and fewer growers will not prove to be a problem for Mississippians who appreciate homegrown Christmas trees this holiday season.
"The 1997 production figures were up 6.5 percent from the previous year, and the sales from the choose-and-cut market were up 10 percent," said Dr. Bob Daniels, Extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University. "This is our third straight year of increases."
Last year 245,000 Christmas trees were sold in Mississippi at a value of $7.6 million.
By Amy Woolfolk
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Increased production and a new all-time record production value have given the Mississippi forestry industry a reason to celebrate.
As values and production increase, the economic importance of the forestry industry in the state continues to grow.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane winds took their toll on South Mississippi forests and urban trees, but the price was not as high as some feared.
"Most forest land and landscape trees dodged the bullet from Hurricane Georges," said Dr. Glenn Hughes, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Of course, if your are one of the homeowners who lost a treasured tree in your yard, you may not feel so lucky."
Hughes, who is based in Ellisville, said the hurricane-force winds apparently decreased quickly after landfall.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's timber industry is feeling the effect of Japan's economic crunch even though most Southern pine lumber rarely makes the voyage across the Pacific.
Dr. Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said Japan is North America's largest wood products trading partner, principally buying softwood lumber from the western United States and Canada.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Lowering weight limits on roads may not benefit taxpayers as much as it appears when it puts more log trucks on the road and causes timber prices to fall.
Mississippi law currently has set an 80,000 pound weight limit on roads. A harvest permit can be bought for $25 allowing a 4,000 pound tolerance above this limit. County supervisors can change the weight limit on county roads, and some are considering lowering it to 40,000 or 57,600 pounds.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many people have no trouble selling used cars, houses and even land, but when it comes to selling timber, it's not easy doing it right the first time without help.
Dr. Dannie Reed, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Choctaw County, said a managed timber sale is the way to sell timber and get the best price. This requires an evaluation of the timber, an advertised sale and sealed bids.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Low log inventories around the state last winter kept timber prices high, and landowners continue to respond by bringing more to market.
Dr. Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said wet weather was a key factor in log inventories this winter.
"Rainy weather kept logging and transportation operations difficult from late October through February, especially in Central and South Mississippi," Daniels said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Idle land does not benefit the owners, the community or the state, but recent forestry programs taught African-Americans how to profit from better management of their underused timberland.
An idea that originated with the Marion County Forestry Association resulted in programs that reached almost 300 minority landowners in three counties: Marion, Jefferson Davis and Walthall.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The forestry industry continued its record breaking pace in the state, setting its 10th record in 11 years with 1997's estimated value of $1.22 billion.
Dr. Bob Daniels, extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University, projected a 3 percent increase over 1996's forestry value. Pine prices and production were up, while hardwood saw a slight price increase and harvest decrease.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's total value of production posted an new record of $4.9 billion, an increase of 3 percent from 1996. Casual observers might think a 3 percent change means little happened in Mississippi's 1997 farm economy.
"Several row crops had significant changes in their total value this year, but that was largely because of planted acreage changes," said Dr. John Robinson, extension agricultural economist at Mississippi State University.
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
Not only is it kind of depressing, it is also a chore to take down the Christmas tree. To make matters worse, the room then looks bare.
My favorite Mississippi restaurant fights this dilemma by leaving the Christmas tree up all year. In February, it is a Valentine tree, followed by an Easter egg tree and on through various celebrations. It is also obvious to you now, that it is an artificial tree.
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
Dare to be different in your Christmas tree selection. Select a living Christmas tree that can be planted in your landscape when Christmas is over. This tree will serve as a special memory of holidays from years past.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Years of hard work are about to pay off for Mississippi's 140 Christmas tree growers.
Unlike the state's annual crops, farmers have a long wait before reaping the harvest rewards. Six-foot trees take about four years to grow.
Dr. Steve Dicke, extension forestry specialist in Raymond, said the enormous effort involved in growing trees has reduced the number of Mississippi Christmas tree growers over the years. The state had 450 growers in 1985 when the industry was in its infancy.
By Rhonda Whitmire
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's forestry industry set a production record in 1996 of almost $1.2 billion as actual figures released in July exceeded the previously estimated values.
"Mississippi's forest industry recorded an all-time high for timber production," said Dr. Bob Daniels, extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University. "Due to a strong fourth quarter, the figures were higher than originally estimated.
"The actual figures of $1.18 billion for 1996 were 7 percent higher than in 1995," Daniels said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Erosion is more than an unsightly nuisance because if left unattended, it can wash away vast amounts of soil.
Larry Oldham, extension soil specialist at Mississippi State University, said erosion is simply soil being moved by water or wind. Some degree of erosion occurs nearly everywhere.
"Anytime you scratch up the surface of the soil, you're going to have the potential for erosion if you don't put some type of cover over it," Oldham said.
By Allison Powe
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many Mississippians don't see the forests for the pines. Pine trees are not the state's only timber resource, just the most noticeable.
As Mississippians drive along state highways and see acre after acre of planted pines, some wonder if the state is losing its hardwoods. However, the majority of trees growing in Mississippi are oaks, hickories and other hardwoods.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Battling nature and people, trees that endure are genetically strong and environmentally lucky.
"Fire, lightning, construction projects, disease and insects are some of the main obstacles a tree must overcome to achieve a long life," said Dr. Andy Ezell, extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University.
Recent storms packing high wind gusts have taken their toll on long-standing trees across the state.
By Allison Powe
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Christmas trees have thrived under unusually good growing conditions this year, and the trees are ready to be harvested by spirited holiday enthusiasts.
Dr. Stephen Dicke, extension forestry specialist in Raymond, said Mississippi's trees have weathered well this year and are looking good. Growers are facing only a few problems, such as needlecast, in some areas of the state.
Starkville grower Jeffrey Krans said needlecast is a disease that causes needles to fall out and affects tree density.
STARKVILLE -- Final figures for Mississippi's 1995 timber harvest show southern counties continue to lead the state in production levels.
Dr. Bob Daniels, extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University, compiled the harvest data based on severance tax reports from the Mississippi State Tax Commission.