News Filed Under Forestry
MISSISSIPPI STATE – An 8 percent increase in a billion-dollar industry is significant, but timber still fell from its long-held second place spot on Mississippi’s agricultural commodity list.
James Henderson, assistant forestry professor with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, is estimating the 2012 value of Mississippi forest products to be $1.03 billion, compared with $957 million the previous year. Final numbers using more complete data will replace the estimate in February.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Significant production levels and high market prices combined to give Mississippi’s agricultural commodities over $7 billion in total value.
Mississippi State University agricultural economists gathered preliminary data from crop production reports, world agricultural supply and demand estimates, industry resources and U.S. Department of Agriculture outlook reports. They predict a $7.3 billion annual value of the state’s top crops, excluding government payments. Final figures will be available in the spring of 2013.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Christmas tree growers were thinking about the holidays when Hurricane Isaac made landfall Aug. 28, knowing the winds and rains would bring additional work before trees would be ready for the 2012 harvest.
Stephen Dicke, Extension forestry professor at Mississippi State University’s Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said storm damage should not dampen sales of Mississippi’s Christmas trees.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show will showcase the newest technology and machinery being used to advance the South’s timber industry.
The event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 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., the Mississippi Logger’s Association and the Mississippi Forestry Association.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Seeing the forest and the trees is a lot easier with software developed by scientists at Mississippi State University.
Researchers at MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center have created the Mississippi Forest Monitoring and Information System, a forest inventory and information system that combines satellite remote sensing data and ground surveys. It is the first time forest-related satellite data and ground measurements have been combined on such a large scale in the United States.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A forest and wildlife management specialist at Mississippi State University has been named the national Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowners Association.
Don Bales of Purvis, a senior Extension associate in MSU’s College of Forest Resources and certified wildlife biologist, received the honor at the organization’s recent annual meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. His office is located in the MSU Extension Service’s Southeast District Forestry Office in Lamar County.
HAZELHURST – More than 200 Boy Scouts in the Andrew Jackson Council met at Hood Boy Scout Camp in Hazlehurst Feb. 11 for a workshop to help them earn their forestry merit badge.
Instructors from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, Mississippi Forestry Association and Weyerhaeuser Company taught the scouts about forestry resources, stewardship and the forestry profession.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer timber tax workshops Feb. 28 in Raymond, March 1 in Coffeeville and March 29 in Oxford.
Landowners, certified accountants, consulting foresters and loggers are invited to participate in the Income Taxes and Family Forest short course. Topics include changes to capital gains tax law, basics of basis, record keeping, timber sales income, recovery of reforestation costs, casualty losses, strategic tax planning, tax forms and information sources.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s agricultural commodities are predicted to reach a record-high value of more than $6.7 billion for 2011.
Mississippi State University Extension Service economists compiled the numbers from poultry, forestry, agronomic crops, catfish and livestock for the annual value estimate. If government payments are factored in, the state’s value of production reaches $7 billion for the first time in history.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Kudzu can grow a foot per day, and today it covers nearly seven million acres in the South.
Now listed as a federal noxious weed, kudzu was imported to prevent soil erosion and to feed livestock. The semi-woody plant covers large tracts of land from eastern Texas to the East Coast and as far north as Maryland. Kudzu climbs, covers and eventually kills trees, destroying the timber-producing value of these lands. It reduces land productivity by millions of dollars yearly.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Each year, many Mississippians must decide whether to buy a live or an artificial tree to celebrate the Christmas season.
John Kushla, Mississippi State University Extension forestry specialist at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, said artificial trees are usually less expensive than real trees and can last for many seasons, but real Christmas trees provide benefits that artificial trees do not offer.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Freshness is the key to quality Christmas trees, and with choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms scattered across the state, all Mississippians can get a great tree every year.
John Kushla, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, said locally grown trees can look great for weeks when they are put in water immediately.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Pine beetles are a threat when trees are stressed, but a cost-share program can help Mississippi private forest landowners keep trees healthy.
Andy Londo, forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said proactive management activities, such as periodic thinning, can increase overall forest health and reduce the threat of a Southern pine beetle outbreak.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The tornadoes that ripped through Mississippi this April damaged about 74,000 acres of forestland in 22 counties, racking up timber losses of more than $30 million. Most of that timber was uninsured, but the results of a survey conducted by Mississippi State University may help change that trend.
Steve Bullard was one of those uninsured. He owns 100 acres of timber in Webster County — 40 acres of 26-year-old plantation pine and 60 acres of mixed pine and hardwood.
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.