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News Filed Under Forestry

March 24, 2016 - Filed Under: Forestry

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- South Mississippi students will learn details about daily wood use when they visit the Mississippi State University Wood Magic Science Fair on March 31.

MSU Wood Magic will be an attraction at the Crosby Arboretum’s Wildlife Day, a one-day event that draws 200 to 300 participants annually.

Students from kindergarten to the eighth grade will learn all about the significance of wood in their lives. Teachers will receive resource materials and contact information for useful teaching aids.

February 12, 2016 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners who manage pine plantations can simplify tree thinning by using a new app created by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Guide to Thinning Southern Pines, or Pine Thin, was developed to allow landowners and foresters to quickly determine if a pine stand needs thinning by taking advantage of smartphone technology.

James Henderson, associate Extension forestry professor, said thinning is a way to maintain timberland growth rates.

Uncontrolled wild fires can be very destructive to people and wildlife. But not all fire is bad. Biologists and land managers recognize prescribed fire -- intentional, controlled and managed burning -- as a valuable tool for creating habitat for many plants and animals.
January 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Forestry, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It is becoming routine for the nightly news to broadcast video of enormous fires roaring through Western forests, destroying homes and devastating thousands of acres of trees.

January 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Forestry

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Landowners can learn about the use of prescribed fire to manage their property during a Feb. 19 workshop near Raymond.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council are partnering to offer the event to introduce landowners to the benefits of prescribed burning and how to safely do it.

Storage facilities, such as this grain elevator in Sunflower County seen on Dec. 15, 2015, are busy as Mississippi’s 2015 harvest is complete. Agriculture brought an estimated value of $7.4 billion to the state. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bonnie Coblentz)
December 18, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry, Catfish, Sweet Potatoes, Cotton, Corn, Peanuts, Soybeans, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Neither crop yields nor prices were particularly bad in 2015, but Mississippi’s estimated state agricultural production value still dropped to $7.2 billion, a 4.9 percent decrease from the previous year.

Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the decline in agricultural value has two causes.

Expect to pay anywhere from $7 to $10 per foot for a choose-and-cut Christmas tree this year. (File photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
November 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

SAUCIER, Miss. -- Christmas tree growers in Mississippi expect a 7 percent increase in sales this year, but unfavorable spring and fall weather may hurt future supplies.

Stephen Dicke, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said growers successfully controlled insect and disease problems this year. However, a wet spring followed by a dry summer and early fall caused some growers to lose up to half of their 1-year-old trees.

October 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Forest Ecology, Forestry

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Using prescribed fire is an important part of managing private timberland, but doing so correctly requires precision.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is helping to offer “Fire on the Forty: Applying Prescribed Fire on Private Lands.” This workshop is part of the sixth annual meeting of the Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council to be held Nov. 12 in Hattiesburg.

Tree farmer Cecil Chambliss thought Hurricane Katrina put him out of business, but 10 years later, he has changed his management practices and improved production on his Forrest County farm by replanting with longleaf and slash pine, which are more resistant to high winds than loblolly pine. (Submitted photo)
August 27, 2015 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As bleak as the outlook seemed for Mississippi’s forestry industry in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the state’s second largest agricultural commodity is slowly recovering.

Housing starts across the country climbed in July to their highest rates in almost eight years, but current overall average stumpage prices in Mississippi are hovering near where they were at this time in 2014 because of a timber surplus. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
August 21, 2015 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s timber industry is holding steady this year from 2014 as both the U.S. housing market and the demand for lumber continue to improve gradually.

State average stumpage prices for hardwood sawtimber declined sharply in the second fiscal quarter of 2015 from the first quarter, while pine sawtimber prices increased. Hardwood sawtimber is down compared to a year ago, while pine sawtimber is slightly higher.

Landowners interested in both timber investments and wildlife habitat must understand the trade-offs involved in managing property for dual purposes. (File photo/MSU Ag Communications)
May 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Forestry, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. – I was born and raised in the South, so it’s hard for me to imagine a world without trees.

Bottomland hardwoods, mixed oak and hickory forests, and pine savannahs are all iconic scenes of Mississippi’s wild lands. Trees are not only a beautiful fixture of the Southeastern landscape; they are also very important economically and ecologically. Whether you realize it or not, trees impact our lives in many ways. The houses we live in, the furniture we sit in and sleep on, and the paper products we use every day are all derived from trees.

Randy Rousseau, a Mississippi State University Extension forestry professor in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, examines pine seedlings in an MSU greenhouse Feb. 18, 2015, in Starkville, Mississippi. He administers a program designed to encourage landowners to invest in better seedlings so they can see for themselves that the results are worth the much higher initial cost. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Forestry, Timber Harvest

By Bonnie Coblentz
MSU Ag Communications

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A forest geneticist at Mississippi State University is encouraging landowners to invest in better seedlings, and he’s giving them free trees so they can see for themselves that the results are worth the much higher initial cost.

March 20, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Livestock, Beekeeping, Forestry

BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University experts met with agricultural producers and industry professionals recently to exchange ideas about educational programming and research for 2015.

About 100 participants attended the annual Coastal Research and Extension Center Commodity Advisory Council meeting to discuss priorities with MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station specialists, researchers and agents.

Ben Carr of Ackerman, left, helps his brother Pete, cousin Max Hudson of Louisville and sister Carrie move their grandfather's Christmas tree to the edge of his yard for wildlife cover on Jan. 7, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
January 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- According to the National Christmas Tree Association, American consumers purchase nearly 30 million real trees annually from one of more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms. Real-tree enthusiasts cite three main reasons for their yearly choice: tradition, fresh pine scent and appearance.

Selecting a real tree is also an environmentally friendly choice. Real Christmas trees are 100 percent biodegradable and can be recycled in a variety of ways.

The National Christmas Tree Association offers these little-known facts about real trees:

Mississippi 2014 Estimated Value of Ag Production
December 19, 2014 - Filed Under: Catfish, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Agricultural Economics, Forages, Beef, Poultry, Swine, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite low prices for many commodities, the overall projected totals for Mississippi’s crop values should top $7 billion for the third straight year and essentially match the record set in 2013.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said his preliminary estimate of 2014’s agricultural production values, excluding government payments, is over $7.7 billion.

Leslie Burger, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, teaches children about animals that inhabit Mississippi forests. (Photo by MSU College of Forest Resources/David Ammon)
December 12, 2014 - Filed Under: Community, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University hosted approximately 4,000 children, teachers and visitors Oct. 6-10 at the annual MSU Wood Magic Science Fair.

“We had another successful fair,” said Rubin Shmulsky, head of the MSU Department of Sustainable Bioproducts. “It was a fun-filled, busy week when children traveled from all over the state to learn about forestry, sustainable bioproducts and wildlife.”

Christmas tree producer Don Kazery Jr., left, discusses agricultural practices on his Hinds County farm with Stephen Dicke, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, on Nov. 6, 2014. Harsh weather conditions in 2014 and several years of high demand reduced the number of trees available in heavily populated counties. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
November 14, 2014 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

RAYMOND -- Consumers who want Mississippi-grown Christmas trees to deck their halls should shop early for the best selection every year.

“Choose-and-cut Christmas tree production in Mississippi is fairly flat because there are growers each year who retire,” said Stephen Dicke, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Growers still in the business are producing more trees each year, but demand in heavily populated counties is much higher than the supply of trees.”

October 16, 2014 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Longtime outreach efforts by the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s forestry department received significant attention when it won a national award.

MSU Extension Forestry won the 2014 Family Forests Education Award presented by the National Woodland Owners Association and the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs. George Hopper, dean of the MSU College of Forest Resources, accepted the award Oct. 8 at the Society of American Foresters national convention in Salt Lake City.

Mississippi State University Sustainable Bioproducts department head Rubin Shmulsky tells students at the 2013 Wood Magic Fair sawmill station about lumber manufacturing. (College of Forest Resources/File photo)
September 26, 2014 - Filed Under: Forestry, Wood Products, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wood is a major part of Americans’ daily lives. In fact, wood consumption in the U.S. is five and a half pounds per person per day. This is just one of the fascinating facts fourth graders will discover about wood when they visit Mississippi State University’s Wood Magic Science Fair.

MSU will host about 4,000 children, teachers and visitors Oct. 6 through 10. They will learn about forestry, sustainable bioproducts and wildlife.

September 15, 2014 - Filed Under: Forestry, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The newest technology and machinery used to advance the South’s timber industry will be demonstrated Sept. 19-20 at the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Held at the John W. Starr Memorial Forest off of Highway 25 south of Starkville, the show is sponsored by Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources, Hatton-Brown Publishers Inc., the Mississippi Loggers Association and the Mississippi Forestry Association.

Guy Ray, president of Pleasant Lake Plantation, looks over grasslands on the property on July 31, 2014. He has implemented numerous conservation land management practices to make the Leflore County, Mississippi, plantation a model of sustainability and functionality. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
August 11, 2014 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Farming, Timber Harvest, Natural Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Conservation land management practices have made the Pleasant Lake Plantation in Leflore County a model of sustainability and functionality.

Pleasant Lake has about 1,700 acres near Greenwood. The plantation includes about 500 acres in row crop production, 600 acres in timber, 110 acres in Conservation Reserve Program grassland, along with a 50-acre lake and lowlands that are prone to flooding.