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Is the forest products industry important to Mississippi's economy?

In a word "yes." Forestry and the forest products industry are economically important to Mississippi in several ways:

  • About 65 percent of Mississippi's land is in forest. This is about 19.6 million acres according to the latest forest survey taken in 2006.
  • The value of Mississippi’s timber harvest has exceeded $1 billion each year since 1993 and reached an all-time record of 1.45 billion in 2005.

Mississippi's forest products industry consists of four major sectors:

  • Solid Wood Products, which includes pine and hardwood lumber, plywood, poles, oriented strand board, and other "composite" forest products.
  • Pulp and Paper, which includes fine writing papers, "liner-board" used for cardboard boxes, tissue and absorbent papers, and market pulp.
  • Wood furniture and related products, which consists mostly of upholstered wood furniture such as couches, love seats, and recliners.
  • Timber harvesting, which includes the harvesting and transportation sector.

According to a 2008 study by James Henderson and Ian Munn of MSU:

  • The total industry output of Mississippi's forest products industry generates an economic impact of nearly $17.4 billion annually.
  • The forest products industry accounts for $7.1 billion annually in value added economic impact for the state.
  • The Mississippi forest products industry contributes to 8.3% of all jobs in Mississippi. An estimated 123,659 full or part-time jobs have their "roots" in Mississippi's forest products industry. (This total includes direct, indirect, and induced employment).
  • In terms of wages and salaries paid annually, Mississippi's forest products industry generates a statewide economic impact of $4.4 billion.
  • In 2007, Mississippi's forest landowners, mostly private, non-industry owners, collected $630.8 million for their standing timber sold that year.

Timber is an important agricultural crop in the local economy of virtually every Mississippi County outside the Delta. In any year, timber will be among the top three most valuable agricultural crops in 65 to 70 counties out of 82 total counties in Mississippi.

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News

An overhead view of trees damaged by tornadoes.
Filed Under: Disaster Response, Coronavirus, Forestry, Forestry Impacts April 16, 2020

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.

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Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans, Poultry, Timber Prices December 18, 2019

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

Pine trees surround a small clearing in a Mississippi forest.
Filed Under: Forestry, Forestry Impacts, Marketing, Timber Prices, Forest Management, Timber Harvest December 18, 2019

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.

A man in a reflective vest leans over holding a bale of pine straw in one hand while using the other hand to spread pine straw on the ground.
Filed Under: Forestry, Forest Economics April 12, 2019

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.

 Forestry year-end harvest values from 1940 through 2017, 1940 = $27.3 million, 1950 = $117.5 million, 1960 = $66.8 million, 1970 = $122.6 million, 1980 = $525.5 million, 1990 = $737.5 million, 2000 = $1.3 billion, 2010 = $1 billion, 2017 = $1.4 billion
Filed Under: Forestry, Forestry Impacts, Marketing, Timber Prices, Forest Pests, Timber Harvest December 19, 2017

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.

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Portrait of Mr. Marc Measells
Senior Extension Associate
Portrait of Dr. Shaun Tanger
Assistant Professor
Timber Taxation, Forestry Economics, Forest Management, Forest Finance