News Filed Under Forestry
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.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- George M. Hopper has been voted president-elect of the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hurricane Katrina slammed two year's timber harvest volume to the ground, but the forecast for the industry value still shows a slight increase over 2004.
Bob Daniels, forestry professor with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, is predicting the forestry value of production for the state to be $1.27 billion, a 1 percent increase over the previous year's value. This estimate is based on timber severance tax collections and timber prices through October.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sites are being established across Mississippi to downlink a regional forestry satellite conference from Feb. 7 through March 21.
Deborah Gaddis, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said landowners, Extension agents and others interested in forest management concepts can benefit from the 2006 Advanced Master Tree Farmer Satellite Shortcourse. The seven-week course will originate at Clemson University, and it will include regional and national forestry experts including two from MSU.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's Christmas tree growers were having a great year, and then Hurricane Katrina hit.
Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said frequent summer rains had trees growing very well until Katrina's heavy rain and strong winds blew many over. The following drought prevented some growers from being able to right affected trees.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A variety of Web sites are gathering names and contact information in an attempt to link landowners with timber on the ground with people who can help them salvage it.
Glenn Hughes, Mississippi State University Extension Service forester, said Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the standing timber in south Mississippi, and landowners are working now to salvage what they can. The salvage job is massive, but speed is critical in the recovery.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Landowners trying to decide if they should clear-cut Katrina-damaged timber stands or try to salvage what is left have some help with their decision.
Trey DeLoach, a Mississippi State University Extension Service forester at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said the Extension Service developed a set of guidelines to help landowners assess their timber stands.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With up to three year's worth of harvest timber destroyed or damaged, the odds of salvaging much volume or value are slim, and the clock is ticking.
Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said preliminary estimates indicate Hurricane Katrina damaged $1.3 billion worth of timber on 1.2 million acres.