News Filed Under Forestry
MISSISSIPPI STATE – It’s not the heat or drought but the economy, specifically poor housing starts, that are causing grief for Mississippi’s forestry industry in 2011.
James Henderson, forestry economist and management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the slow economy is hurting the industry.
“There’s no good news for the pulpwood markets, and pine saw timber prices are the lowest they’ve been since the national housing construction downturn started in 2006,” Henderson said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – With most of the state needing rain and south Mississippi under exceptional drought, landowners are watching as their trees deal with stress.
Glenn Hughes, forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said dead or dying trees, both pine and hardwood, are becoming a common sight in south Mississippi. This concerns both homeowners and forest landowners.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Much of the flooded Delta was already planted for the 2011 season, and when it finally dries out, landowners will face challenges preparing it for planting.
Landowners of flooded acreage must manage a variety of issues, including oxygen-depleted soils, nutrient loss, soil compaction, debris removal and possible chemical contamination. Some acres may not be ready for planting again until next year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Financial incentives for property owners to plant and manage their lands for timber production have been around since the 1930s, but many private landowners in Mississippi do not know about them.
These incentives, called cost-share programs, were developed to offset the initial costs for site preparation, tree planting and forest stand improvement.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The overflowing Mississippi River is threatening the Delta’s trees, but with the proper care and maintenance, many can and will recover.
The Delta’s forests are exclusively bottomland hardwood, and the trees range from tolerant to very intolerant to flooding. For example, baldcypresses generally fare better than white oaks in flooding situations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Farmers in the path of the cresting Mississippi River floodwaters should take precautions to minimize effects of the flood, and high on that list is moving farm chemicals out of harm’s way.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is urging farmers, homeowners and those whose businesses deal with chemicals to beware of environmental issues that can result if flooding reaches them. Among the farm chemicals that should be moved are herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, fuels and treated seeds.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tornadoes that swept through Mississippi and much of the southeast April 27 caused an estimated $8.4 million of timber losses.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission compiled the estimate April 30 based on aerial surveys conducted after the storms. Russell Bozeman, director of forest protection and forest information with the commission, said the total affected area was about 26,240 acres. Of this, 15,564 were forested acres.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The estimate for this year’s forestry year-end harvest value is better than last year’s dismal showing, and if the forecasted improvement in the overall economy is accurate, this trend could continue for the next few years.
The preliminary estimate for forestry’s overall harvest value is $1.078 billion, which is comparable to 2008’s value of $1.079 billion. The harvest value for 2009 was $864 million, the first time in 16 years the value dipped below the billion-dollar mark.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi farmers are finding out not only what a difference a year makes, but also what a difference a decade makes.
Agricultural economists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service predict a record $6.9 billion production value for the state’s farm enterprises. The figure represents a 19 percent increase, or $1.09 billion, from 2009’s disastrous bottom line. After adjusting for inflation of agricultural prices, it is 45 percent, or $1.55 billion, better than in the year 2000. The previous record of $6.4 billion was set in 2005.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
VERONA -- With less than a month to go, Mississippi’s Christmas tree growers are counting down the days to what may shape up as a great year.
The trees mature enough for sale have good color and have filled out nicely, despite periods of dry weather statewide and too much rain in some areas of the state. Most species of Christmas trees grown in Mississippi take five years to mature, which makes one-fifth of a grower’s crop marketable each year if new seedlings are planted after the holiday season.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The summer’s drought has made lawns, woods and grassy areas into fire starters, creating ideal conditions for wildfires across Mississippi.
On Oct. 6, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour issued a statewide ban on all outdoor burning in response to “extremely dry conditions and fire danger.” The ban will remain until the conditions improve and the danger is abated. This action came less than a week after the Mississippi Forestry Commission issued a statewide Wildland Fire Alert.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Sept. 17-18 Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show will showcase the newest technology and machinery being used to advance the South’s timber industry.
The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days on the John W. Starr Memorial Forest off of Highway 25 near Starkville. It is sponsored by Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources, Hatton-Brown Publishers Inc., Mississippi Logger’s Association and the Mississippi Forestry Association.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A passion for the environment is drawing students to a recently redesigned economics-based degree program at Mississippi State University.
The Environmental Economics and Management degree combines courses in environmental economics, natural resource economics, environmental policy, ecology and environmental law. The EEM major was formerly an environmental and resource economics concentration under the umbrella degree Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Julian Watson decided to turn his erodible farmland into a tree farm, he had no idea that 24 years later he would be so widely recognized for his efforts.
Watson’s grandparents purchased the land in 1872. When Watson inherited it, he focused on trying to prevent erosion. The 1,100-acre parcel was washing away at a rate of 30 to 50 tons of topsoil per year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- After three years of depressed timber markets, prices are increasing because of strong demand for forest products and low inventories of logs following the year’s wettest months.
David Jones, assistant forest products professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the first half of 2010 showed a marked increase in demand for a number of forest products and price increases in most timber product categories.
MISSISSIPPI STATE — A forest management specialist at Mississippi State University has been named Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowners Association.
Stephen Dicke, Extension professor in MSU’s College of Forest Resources, will receive the honor at the organization’s annual meeting in Stevenson, Wash.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Natural and manmade fires are important forest management tools, and problems can develop when fire is eliminated.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – People interested in learning about the basics of tree planting and care have the opportunity to do so at workshops being held across the state in May and June.
The Urban Forest Workshops are sponsored by the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council and are free to the public. MUFC and Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel will lead the sessions and educate attendees about planting, pruning, selecting trees, preparing for a storm and replacing trees. The workshops will be held in various locations:
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University forestry specialists are advising landowners with timber damaged by the April 24 tornadoes to assess and remove injured trees promptly.
More than 62,000 acres of forestland in 10 Mississippi counties sustained damage from the tornadoes. A statewide assessment provided by the Mississippi Forestry Commission reports the value of timber damaged at more than $19 million.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some Mississippi forest landowners with timber destroyed by the April 24 tornado may be eligible to claim a casualty loss.
Debbie Gaddis, Mississippi State University Extension Service forestry professor, said the tornado destroyed many privately owned forestlands in the state. Those owners who can claim a casualty loss will receive a deduction based on the loss of fair market value or their basis in the asset, whichever is less.