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News Filed Under Forestry

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.

September 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s timber owners are keeping a close watch on the national housing market with hopes that the worst economic times are behind them.

“Recovery in the U.S. housing market is key to Mississippi’s sawtimber markets, and it appears that the beginnings of a recovery are emerging,” said James Henderson, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Pending home sales and single-family construction have increased most months in 2009.”

Forest certification indicates that forests have passed certain evaluations to ensure the more sustainable production of consumptive and non-consumptive forest products. Jeld-Wen, manufacturer of windows and doors, offers certification for their many products, including the ones pictured here. (Photo courtesy of Jeld-Wen)
August 27, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forest Ecology, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- What can be “greener” than Mississippi forests? Find the answer when Mississippi forests and their products are managed with all of the environment’s best interests in mind.

Glenn Hughes, Extension forestry professor at Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources, said a growing number of wood product and forest managers are seeking official “green” certification.

July 30, 2009 - Filed Under: Environment, Forest Ecology, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians with timberland in production are looking at carbon as a new source of income, and they are learning to manage their land for the most profit while participating in efforts to lower greenhouse gas levels.

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, often called simply carbon, is one of several chemical compounds known today as greenhouse gases, or GHG. These gases occur both naturally and as byproducts of fossil fuel use in various transportation and industrial processes.

June 18, 2009 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Carbon trading has been around for about a decade, but with the increasing global concern regarding climate change, it is receiving even more attention.

Forest landowners have the potential to generate additional income by using their forest for carbon sequestration, a method providing long-term storage of carbon dioxide.

March 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Logging professionals throughout Mississippi have opportunities to take required core classes or earn continuing education credits and maintain their expertise.

To earn “trained” status, loggers must complete core classes in four educational areas. These classes cover the sustainable forestry initiative, logging and transportation safety, best management practices for water quality, and business management.

December 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The continuing decline in housing construction was supposed to decrease the value of Mississippi's timber harvest for the third consecutive year, but an increase in pulpwood demand kept that from happening.

November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Christmas tree adds joy and life to a home during the holidays, but thoughts of tree cleanup and disposal can dampen enthusiasm for a real one.

Consumers who do a little investigative work into recycling options can avoid these problems. Although Mississippi does not have a statewide recycling program for leftover trees, some communities do.

Mississippi Christmas tree grower Michael May examines a 4-year-old Leyland Cypress on his farm, Lazy Acres Plantation in Chunky. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The 2008 Christmas tree crop in Mississippi is shaping up to be a good one as growers finish their spraying, shaking and shearing in time for holiday shoppers.

“Christmas tree farming is labor intensive,” said Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Because the trees are a high-value crop, the standard in producing them also is high.”

October 6, 2008 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest, Insects-Pests

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.

July 18, 2008 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

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.

May 15, 2008 - Filed Under: Forestry

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.