News Filed Under Forest Economics
Curtis VanderSchaaf joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service in the southwest region as a forestry specialist with regional and statewide duties. He also is a faculty member in the MSU Department of Forestry.
Although construction costs are through the roof timber prices have not kept pace, and Mississippi forest landowners are waiting for improved markets. Shaun Tanger, a forestry economics specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the recent increase in construction costs is a demand-side phenomena.
Mississippi’s timber industry was not excused from market volatility due to COVID-19 this year, but its final value should land just short of where it was at the end of 2019.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- One of Kim Hancock’s routine jobs is assisting 4-H’ers in Jones County with their livestock projects. On Easter Sunday, she was helping some of those same young people and their families sort through the rubble of what was once their homes.
Thirty-two counties in Mississippi reported damage from a tornado outbreak April 12 that resulted in 12 fatalities, many injuries and catastrophic destruction to residential, commercial and agricultural property.
In 2019, Mississippi’s agricultural industry faced the prospect of dipping below $7 billion for the first time in eight years, but federal payments pushed its value up enough to post a slight gain over 2018.
The estimated value of Mississippi agriculture in 2019 is $7.39 billion, a 0.2% gain from last year’s $7.37 billion. Included in the total is an estimated $628 million in government payments, the largest amount of federal assistance Mississippi producers have seen since 2006
Mississippi’s timber industry remained its second highest producing agricultural commodity again in 2019.
Coming in with an estimated production value of $1.15 billion, timber followed the state’s poultry industry, which generated an estimated value of $2.78 billion in 2019. Timber’s value of production is estimated by monthly severance taxes collected by the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
Times are tough for pine tree producers. Sawtimber prices have declined sharply over the past decade, while supplies have steadily increased -- an unfortunate scenario that has left many landowners looking for alternative sources of income.