News Filed Under Forestry
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.”
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 -- 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.
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.
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.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University undergraduate student and research scholar has won the Harold Weaver Undergraduate Student Excellence Award for his research on the flammability of hardwood forests.
Senior forestry major Zach Senneff of Caledonia, received the honor from the Association of Fire Ecology at the Large Wildland Fires Conference in Missoula, Montana.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A well-managed prescribed burn is an important tool in a landowner’s kit.
Yet news stories about wildfires often discourage landowners from using prescribed burning as a management tool. Prescribed burning is a useful and very valuable management option on public and private lands. Prescribed burning can benefit a variety of wildlife species and are necessary in fire tolerant ecosystems, such as longleaf pine forests and coastal savannas.
OAKLAND -- As the first woman to win the Mississippi Forestry Association Tree Farmer of the Year award, Patrice O’Brien is a testament to the impact women make on the agricultural industry.
O’Brien jumped feet-first into the agriculture business when her father passed away in 1982, leaving the family farm, Twin Oaks Farm in Oakland, for her and her siblings to manage.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A 66-year-old piece of forestry equipment on display at Mississippi State University is being restored by the company that built it.
The Logger’s Dream is a 1948 log loader manufactured by Louisville, Mississippi-based Taylor Machine Works. The equipment has been on display at the biennial Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show at the university’s John W. Starr Memorial Forest since 2005.
J. D. Massey of Starkville was the loader’s original owner and operator. His son Paul donated the loader to the equipment show.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Markets for Mississippi’s sawtimber and pulpwood are bouncing back from the economic recession, but the industry is not improving across the board.
“Slowly but surely, markets for sawtimber are beginning to grow again after the sharp declines seen after the collapse of the U.S. housing market and the ensuing recession,” said James Henderson, associate Extension professor of forestry at Mississippi State University. “But the closing of the International Paper mill in Courtland, Ala. will have an impact on north Mississippi’s pulpwood markets.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University scientists have created a new software program to help foresters and landowners manage hardwood timber.
Emily Schultz and Tom Matney, forestry professors in the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, developed the software and user’s guide based on 33 years of research.
The free software provides expected yields and future growth values for the red oak-sweetgum forest mixture that is widely distributed across Mississippi river bottoms.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mississippi Forestry Foundation is investing in the lives of students at Mississippi State University.
The foundation, a nonprofit division of the Mississippi Forestry Association, created two endowed scholarships in the College of Forest Resources through the “Infinite Impact: The Mississippi State University Campaign.”
The foundation’s membership previously supported one of the most coveted scholarships in the college, an annual $2,500 award. The most recent gifts are in addition to that annual scholarship.
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State University and its leaders earned national recognition recently for promoting and maintaining healthy trees and inspiring faculty, staff, students and community members to conserve.
The Arbor Day Foundation named the university a Tree Campus USA. The program honors campuses that implement proper urban forestry management principles and promote environmental stewardship.