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News Filed Under Forestry

Through the years, Julian Watson has helped other Mississippi tree farmers through his participation in Mississippi State University Extension forestry programs. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi Farm County magazine/Glynda Phillips)
July 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Forestry

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.

June 4, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Timber Harvest

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.

Stephen Dicke
May 27, 2010 - Filed Under: Forestry

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.

Ten Southern states have passed laws to define prescribed fire burning as a legal activity with ecological and social benefits that does not constitute a public or private nuisance. (Photo by MSU Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture/Wes Burger)
May 20, 2010 - Filed Under: Environment, Forestry, Natural Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Natural and manmade fires are important forest management tools, and problems can develop when fire is eliminated.

May 13, 2010 - Filed Under: Urban and Community Forestry

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:

Timber was heavily damaged in Choctaw County. This photograph was taken near the Weir community on April 30. Photo by Scott Corey.
May 4, 2010 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Timber Harvest

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.

April 30, 2010 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Environment, Forest Economics, Timber Harvest

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.

April 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Urban and Community Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Citizens interested in learning more about community and urban forestry have the opportunity to do so at a free workshop May 6.

Trees in Our Community: A Northwest Mississippi Community Forestry Workshop also provides training for the Urban Forest Master certificate. Sponsored by the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council, the workshop will be at the Starkville Sportsplex at 405 Lynn Lane in Starkville. The session lasts from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. with a break for lunch.

March 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biotechnology, Forest Ecology, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Each year, replacing deteriorated wood in U.S. homes costs billions of dollars, but research at Mississippi State University is helping protect homeowners’ wallets and the environment.

“Since 1988, scientists in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center have been studying the development of totally organic biocides,” said Tor Schultz, MSU forest products professor.

The southern pine beetle kills an estimated 12 million cubic feet of the Mississippi's pine forest annually. (Photo by USDA/Erich G. Valley)
March 11, 2010 - Filed Under: Forestry, Insects, Insects-Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A new program at Mississippi State University is looking at new ways to stop a pest that kills an estimated 12 million cubic feet of the state's pine forest annually.

Research efforts usually focus on early-detection methods and control mechanisms for the southern pine beetle. But MSU experts believe preventive measures will better control this destructive pest.

Alonzo Gibson, a furniture-manufacturing employee with Fulton-based Max Home, has benefited from specialized managerial training developed by Mississippi State University's Franklin Furniture Institute. (Photo by Ronnie Cook)
February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Forestry, Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many furniture manufacturers have indicated their desire for formal manager education and training within their organizations, and Mississippi State University has responded to this need by designing specialized training.

In the furniture industry, first-line supervisors are responsible for managing workers and coordinating all of the activities to make, ship, sell and deliver thousands of pieces of furniture, but there is little formal education and training available to them.

New housing starts dropped off sharply because of the current economic downturn. The decline in demand for lumber caused the 2009 timber harvest value to fall below the billion-dollar mark. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
December 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Timber Harvest

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE –The overall value of Mississippi’s 2009 timber harvest failed to reach $1 billion for the first time in 16 years, but unlike other crops, extreme weather was not the reason.

The estimated 2009 harvest value for timber is $817 million, down a steep 24 percent from 2008’s value of $1.08 billion. Blame one of the worst years ever for forestry and forest products on the dismal housing market.

Decorated Christmas tree with gifts under it.
December 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees, Family

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Consumers of a decade ago had few disposal options for real Christmas trees, but today they can be recycled into other natural products.

Andrew Ezell
November 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A 24-year-veteran faculty member is the new head of the Mississippi State University's forestry department.

Andrew Ezell will assume his new duties Dec. 1, leading the only 4-year forestry degree program in the state.

"Dr. Ezell has a wealth of experience in research, Extension and teaching," said George Hopper, dean of the College of Forest Resources and research center director. "His experience working with private landowners is extensive, and he will be an asset to the university and the state in his new role.”

Trees at the Swedenburg Christmas Tree Farm in Columbus appear to be in good shape for the 2009 holiday season. Many Mississippi growers expect sales to increase because of travel cutbacks and plans to stay home. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
November 6, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Christmas tree growers will probably see their sales increase again this year as more people stay home to celebrate the holidays.

Current economic problems have forced many people to tighten their budgets, resulting in less travel. Families who stay home still want a festive celebration, and natural Christmas trees offer a traditional touch.

Jim Ed Owen, left, and Terry Owen, far right, of Wiggins, learned the craft of logging and the importance of stewardship from their father, Walt. The brothers have operated their own business for more than 11 years. (Photo bb Leighton Spann)
October 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Forestry, Timber Harvest

WIGGINS – Two brothers in the logging business for more than 11 years have proven that high production and multiple crews in the woods are not a prerequisite for standing out among one’s peers.

The Mississippi Forestry Association recently named Terry and Jim Ed Owen of Wiggins as the group’s “Outstanding Logger of the Year” for 2009. The brothers grew up learning the logging business from their father, who ran a successful operation. They decided to branch out on their own in 1998.

Old Cove is a 350-acre area in Webster County containing animal and plant diversity similar to that found in the Appalachians. (Photo by Aaron Posner)
October 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Environment, Forest Ecology, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A 350-acre area of deep ravines and bluff ridges in Webster County is being preserved to protect its plant and animal diversity that resembles that of the Appalachian Mountains.

The Appalachian Mountains stretch from Alabama to Canada with foothills in northeastern Mississippi. Some 100 miles from these foothills is an area in central Mississippi known as Old Cove. The land is owned by Weyerhaeuser Co. and is home to mature hardwoods, rock outcroppings, reptiles, amphibians and many plant species.

September 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Community, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – About 4,000 fourth-graders and their teachers from across the state will be at Mississippi State University in late October for the annual Wood Magic Science Fair.

The goal of the Oct. 19-23 fair is to introduce students to the benefits of forestry, forest products and wildlife to the state. The Wood Magic Science Fair is sponsored by MSU’s College of Forest Resources and the Department of Forest Products. It is held at MSU’s forest products complex.

September 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Timber Harvest

HATTIESBURG – Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $888 million in timber damage to Mississippi’s forests in 2005, and an upcoming Mississippi State University panel discussion should help landowners cope with the next big hurricane.

Glenn Hughes, forestry professor with the MSU Extension Service, said about 80 percent of the timber loss occurred in a 10-county area from Hattiesburg to the Gulf Coast. The panel discussion, “Hurricane Katrina: Impacts on Forests and Lessons Learned,” will address some of the hurricane-related issues facing forest owners.

September 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Although the economy is sluggish throughout the country, a new study shows Mississippi’s forestry industry is staying strong.

Forestry production ranks second in the state, behind poultry, generating $1.08 billion in revenue in 2008 and providing $17.37 billion to the state’s bottom line. A recent Mississippi State University report shows just how much of the state’s economy is rooted in the 19.6 million acres of forestland.

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