Housing start fluctuations and an abundance of timber are limiting the ceiling on stumpage prices in Mississippi now, but expect the market to improve when sawmills begin stocking up for winter.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite a slow housing market and other lingering effects of the recession, Mississippi’s forests remain the state’s second most valuable agricultural commodity for 2017.
John Auel, an assistant Extension professor of forestry at Mississippi State University, estimates the value of forest products is $1.4 billion, which is a decrease of 8.6 percent from 2016. However, 2017 numbers are almost 40 percent higher than they were in 2009, when the industry experienced its lowest valued harvest of the 2007-2009 recession.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The combination of a middling timber market, a pine beetle infestation and wet weather is doing Mississippi tree farmers no favors this year.
Fortunately, a new sawmill in the state and the prospect of increased manufacturing gives reason for optimism long-term.
Biewer Sawmill began operations this year in Newton. Glenn Hughes, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said this indicates an upswing for the state’s forest product industry.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- New landowners can learn about managing timberland for profit during a five-part short course in May.
Forestland as an Investment will be offered May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Forrest County. It starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. each night. The Extension office is located at 952 Sullivan Drive in Hattiesburg.
ABERDEEN, Miss. -- Mississippi’s tree farmer of the year is now a regional finalist for the national version of the same award.
Bobby Watkins manages Coontail Farm, a 240-acre loblolly pine plot in Aberdeen used for timber production. The area also has a wildlife-friendly habitat for hunting and fishing.
During his tenure as an engineer at Boeing, Otis Bullock helped build machines that went into the air and to the moon, but he always had an interest in the trees that grew from the ground where he came of age.