News Filed Under Forestry
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Researchers may have found the secret to controlling a tiny insect that robs Mississippi landowners of an estimated 12 million cubic feet of pine forest each year.
Though only an eighth of an inch long, the Southern pine beetle is a big pest and difficult to contain. Scientists at Mississippi State University's Forest and Wildlife Research Center, along with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, have made a breakthrough with the discovery of an antibiotic-producing bacterium.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The mortgage crisis and high fuel costs are working against timber markets in 2008.
James Henderson, assistant forestry professor with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said prices for pine pulpwood were increasing early in the year, but higher fuel costs are pressing midyear prices downward, and pine sawtimber prices have been trending downward since the summer of 2007.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The biennial Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show is celebrating its 25th year of showcasing the newest technology and machinery used to advance the South’s timber industry.
With more than 6,000 people from 20 states and two Canadian provinces attending the last show in 2006, this year’s show, scheduled for June 6-7, promises to be just as popular.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Overall demand for wood products is down, but one segment of the industry is experiencing stronger demand.
Pulpwood prices are expected to reach, and possibly exceed, $10 a ton during the first half of 2008, which is almost double their level last summer, said Mississippi State University Extension Service forestry economist James Henderson.
“There is increased demand from the pulp and paper industry for pulpwood,” Henderson said. “This increase is being driven by two factors -- the weak U.S. dollar and the subprime mortgage crises.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The combined influences of a poor housing market and lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina kept the timber industry down in Mississippi, with the estimated value of forestry falling more than 8 percent to $1.1 billion in 2007.
In 2005, the year Katrina hit, the state posted a record-high forestry value of $1.4 billion. That value dropped to $1.2 billion in 2006 before falling further the next year. Despite the declines, timber retains its place as Mississippi's No. 2 agricultural commodity, behind poultry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's Christmas tree producers should see a $1.6 million holiday season, but there is room in the market for other growers to join the party.
Steve Dicke, forester with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state is expected to produce 49,500 choose-and-cut Christmas trees this year. This number is slightly down from last year, and significantly down from pre-Hurricane Katrina years.
By Andrea Cooper
College of Forest Resources
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wood products contribute $4.3 million to the Mississippi economy, but weather, insects and other destructive elements destroy one-tenth of the forest products produced each year.
Wood preservatives are used to protect against losses, but there are environmental issues and toxicity problems associated with these products.
By Andi Cooper
College of Forest Resources
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Part of the damage after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore across the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, was 5 million acres of broken timber.
The U.S. Forest Service estimated that the volume of damaged wood across the Southeast was enough to build 800,000 single-family homes.
Researchers at Mississippi State University are measuring the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the structure, performance, capacity and future of the region's lumber industry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- From the catfish in the smallest pond to the tree with the deepest root system, Mississippi's agricultural commodities are feeling the heat.
Catfish, poultry, livestock, field crops and timber are struggling through the hottest days of summer, much like the farmers who grow them. The damage from heat stress can be seen in a matter of minutes in some of the most vulnerable animals, catfish and poultry; in days or weeks with field crops or livestock; or in months or years in the case of timber.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi may not be far behind the Georgia and Florida wildfires if people are not careful during hot, dry conditions.
Charles Burkhardt manages Mississippi State University's timberlands located throughout the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University Extension forestry specialist is the Forest Landowners Association’s Extension Forester of the Year.
The organization, which is comprised of forest landowners in 17 southern states, selected MSU Extension professor Timothy Traugott for the 2007 honor.
During 22 years as an MSU Extension forestry specialist, Traugott has conducted almost 300 workshops and short courses for more than 8,000 Mississippi landowners.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's 2006 timber harvest value declined almost 17 percent from the previous year, and industry watchers do not expect much improvement in 2007.
Glenn Hughes, a forestry professor with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said a significant amount of Hurricane Katrina-damaged timber remains in storage -- wet-decked -- in lumber yards awaiting use.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Research by Mississippi State University scientists has yielded a new weapon in homeowners' battle with wood-destroying termites.
Terry Amburgey of MSU's Forest Products Laboratory and employees of the U.S. Forest Service were called to Hawaii by the U.S. Navy about 14 years ago to combat infestations of Formosan termites in wooden poles supporting communications antennas at a naval base.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Careful Mississippians know that the usefulness of a Christmas tree does not have to end with the holidays as the tree can serve other purposes after the decorations come down.
The National Christmas Tree Association calls Christmas tree recycling treecycling and states online that more than 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane-damaged trees that flooded the market and drove prices down are the primary cause for an expected 9.6 percent decline in Mississippi's timber harvest value.
Marc Measells, a research and Extension associate with Mississippi State University's Department of Forestry, recently predicted the state's timber harvest value at $1.3 billion in 2006, compared to $1.45 billion the previous year. He based his estimate on timber severance tax collections and timber prices through October.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Christmas tree growers are facing a new and welcomed challenge in the coming years: keeping up with the increasing demand for their fresh products.
Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said growers have been surprised by the recent surge of interest in live trees.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Christmas trees need special attention before, during and after their magical season under the lights.
Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said producing Christmas trees is labor intensive. Growers have to be good retailers during the holiday season, and good farmers during the entire year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's row crops, catfish, timber and cattle are all feeling the impact of the 2006 drought and heat.
Bart Freeland, a physical scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weather facility in Stoneville, said many row crops need at least 20 inches of water, and some can use almost twice that amount in a growing season.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A forestry timber tax specialist at Mississippi State University was named Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowner Association.
Debbie Gaddis, associate Extension professor in the College of Forest Resources, received the honor at the recent annual meeting of the organization in San Antonio, Texas.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina has flooded the timber market with trees as landowners try to salvage some of their investments. The storm of the century also provided insights into which species might hold up best in future hurricanes.
Bob Daniels, forestry professor with Mississippi State University Extension Service, said landowners with smaller tracts of timber have not been able to salvage as many trees as the owners of larger tracts.