Volume 11, Issue 1, February 2022
From the Coordinator's Desk
Brady Self, Extension Forestry Specialist
Our Extension Forestry group is excited to start 2022 and is looking forward to helping you in whatever way possible this year. As mentioned last fall, after 18 years of service in the position, Dr. John Kushla retired at the end of December as our Northeast Mississippi Extension Forestry Specialist. He is currently in the process of moving to Florida to be closer to family and we wish him well in his endeavors. We are currently in a national search to rehire a Forestry Specialist to replace John for forestry outreach in the Northeast region.
Regrettably, another retirement announcement is in order. Dr. John Auel also retired at the end of last November. John served 26 years at Mississippi State in various roles within our Extension group, chiefly working with the logging industry. He will be missed. On the upside, he now works for the Mississippi Forestry Association as their Certification Programs Coordinator and will continue his work around the state in this new role.
We had a productive 2021 but are working well below 50 percent staffing now. Please be patient with us as we navigate the next few months and hopefully refill some of our vacant positions. Thank you for your continued support.
Teacher's Conservation Workshop 2022
Butch Bailey, Extension Associate
If you had just one week to take a group of school teachers and educators and teach them everything important about your profession, could you do it? That’s the mission of the Teacher’s Conservation Workshop (TCW). For over 50 years, the TCW has been “bringing the outdoors into the classroom” with active, engaging, and enjoyable activities designed to expose teachers to all aspects of the outdoors, forestry, and of course, conservation.
In the decades that the Mississippi Forestry Association has been sponsoring this workshop thousands of educators have taken advantage of this opportunity to gain insight into one of Mississippi’s most important industries: forestry. With over 65% of our state forested, timber pumps over $1 Billion dollars into our state’s economy annually. It’s vitally important that teachers have an understanding of this industry and the role it plays in all our lives.
The TCW lasts just one week, and in that time, the participating teachers engage in presentations from foresters, landowners, wildlife biologists, and other professionals. Most of the week, however, is spent outdoors. There are field trips each day to tree nurseries, private and public forests, active logging operations, sawmills, and many other locations.
Everything is hands-on and designed with two things in mind: learning about forestry and having fun while doing it. At the end of the week, teachers leave with dozens of lesson plans that are adaptable to almost any subject and any grade level.
In addition to the knowledge gained, participating teachers also receive 5.0 continuing education credits. The course can also be taken for academic credit towards a degree in education. The cost for this workshop is only $150, and there are many scholarships available, so most teachers end up having to pay nothing out of pocket.
Lumber Markets' Wild Ride Not Over Yet, Not by a Longshot
Shaun Tanger, Extension Forestry Specialist
Counter-cyclical price trends, supported by a premium in lumber futures and strange weather patterns, sustained an upward price trend in lumber from the end of 2021 into the new year.
What led to this run-up? According to experts, it’s not quite the same as those experienced in June/July of 2021 and those that occurred with the onset of COVID-19. From September 2021 to January 2022, prices more than tripled, the explanation being largely due to Canadian supply chain issues that caused added pressure on the other major sources of lumber. In November, a major storm hit British Columbia, washing out rail lines and major roadways. This was the last straw for already strained supply chains. Lower numbers of truckers and rail employees were available due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant at that time which served to further exacerbate problems with getting lumber to market.
Also, production in southeast markets through October 2021 was almost exactly on pace with the prior year. This combined with the discussed Canadian issues led to a wild ride in southern yellow pine (SYP) prices as well. This indicates there may be limits on the current production ability in the south for a combination of reasons.
Combine these factors and fires in the pacific northwest over the last two years and it’s created a very reactionary lumber production and trading environment. All parties are trying to avoid holding mispriced inventory or futures contracts, which is what caused a recent mass selloff.
Studies indicate that only 42 percent of total lumber production is covered by the futures market. However, many lumber buyers rely more heavily on recent prices and experience gained in trading networks developed over time. While some use futures as a basis for contracting, those that trade in the open markets will look at futures to decide if they should buy or sell. Others simply buy based on inventory needs and demand that they face in the present.
So now we have a situation where prices have cooled a bit as everyone watches for developments, but also are going into prime building season so producers will want to build inventory to fulfill orders. If lumber participants aren’t well prepared, then we should see another run-up on prices as those who have not used lumber futures to mitigate price swings are going to have to build inventory in the coming months. This will drive prices higher as cash prices chase future expectations of demand and producers try to keep their inventory adjusted accordingly. This cycle will continue until the underlying fundamentals adjust. What do I mean by underlying fundamentals? Higher interest rates (to slow credit issuance), home buyers pausing builds (due to low availability of home products), and new lumber supply (more sticks of wood) coming online. Until then expect volatility to be the norm.
Mississippi Timber Price Report - 4th Quarter 2021
Marc Measells, Senior Extension Associate
The Mississippi Timber Price Report provides a picture of timber market activity across the state showing regional and statewide stumpage prices for common forest products. This report should only be used as a guide to help individuals monitor timber market trends. The average price should not be applied as fair market value for a specific timber sale because many variables influence actual prices individual landowners receive.This report and previous historical timber prices are available by contacting your local county Extension office
3rd Quarter 2021 Stumpage Prices/Ton (Source: MSU Extension)
NOTE: Prices vary widely across the state; average prices presented here may not reflect your local market.
The majority of Mississippi saw below normal rainfall during most of the quarter, with local areas receiving higher than normal amounts in October. Steady demand for wood products and supply constraints across the region factored into price increases this quarter. Housing starts decreased from June to October but increased in November. The unemployment rate has continued declining. As unemployment rates and the overall economy continue to improve, timber markets should recover. However, increasing inflation rates are expected to last well into 2022. Prices during the 1st quarter should see increases due to the normal wetter weather and as new mill expansions and openings start accepting deliveries. These new mills and mill expansions will provide more competition for our standing trees. However, Mississippi still has an overabundant supply of standing timber.
The 4th quarter statewide stumpage prices for pine products are in Table 1 and hardwood products are in Table 2. Figures reflect 10-year statewide average price trends. Compared to the 3rd quarter, statewide average prices changed (-12.9% to 22.6%) during the 4th quarter with pine poles and pine pulpwood stumpage prices declining. Prices varied for some product classes across regions. Some regions had much larger price changes due to weather conditions. Prices for dimensional lumber increased this quarter. However, the oversupply of standing timber across Mississippi continues to depress stumpage prices. The good news, companies continue to make progress on expansion and new mill construction projects. Many will begin production in 2022. This added production capacity will benefit many landowners within the procurement radius of those mills.
Pine Poles - $31.36 Oak Sawtimber - $45.05
Pine Sawtimber - $23.55 Mixed Hardwood Sawtimber- $30.22
Pine Chip N Saw - $12.43 Crossties - $21.15
Pine Pulpwood - $3.13 Hardwood Pulpwood - $8.03
Delta Hardwood Notes: Will Flooding Kill My Trees?
Brady Self, Extension Forestry Specialist
There is continued concern regarding damage to hardwood stands after flooding events that occurred in the Delta over the last few years. The issue of flooding's effect on bottomland hardwoods is complex. Damage severity and mortality of flooded trees relate back to multiple factors. Some of these include flood timing and duration, water temperature, site topography, water movement, stagnation (oxygen content), flood tolerance of tree species, tree age, tree health, repetition of flooding, etc.
While generalizations can be made regarding the influence these factors have on individual trees, they are interrelated and simultaneously impact tree health, damage, and possible mortality. We cannot cover all factors here, but typical responses to flooding follow common-sense expectations. Typically, flood damage and mortality are least during months when trees are dormant (late November through February). It follows a trend of increased damage the further outside of the dormant period that the flooding occurs, with the greatest damage resulting from summer-fall flooding. Also, the longer flood waters stay over tree root systems, the greater the likelihood of damage. In addition, slower and hotter water is typically more damaging with otherwise stressed trees responding more negatively. Finally, tree species that were not matched to site conditions at planting are more likely to be damaged or killed during flooding.
We do not have enough space to discuss all variables that should be considered when evaluating the likelihood of flooding damage in your forests, but for more information, please read MSU Extension publication #3452: Effects of Flooding on Southern Bottomland Hardwoods.
Upcoming Workshops/Events Spring 2022:
NCX Carbon Market
The enrollment period for the Spring Cycle of 2022 for the NCX Carbon Market is now open. If you're interested in learning more about carbon markets and your land, talk with your consulting forester and visit NCX's website to sign up for your free landowner account.
Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program
The Mississippi Forestry Commission is now accepting applications from ALL COUNTIES IN MISSISSIPPI for cost-share funds related to the Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program. You can find more information about the program at this website.
Federal Reforestation Tax Deduction and Amortization Program
If you have conducted any reforestation activities over this past tax year (January 1st to December 31st) make sure to determine if you can recover any of those costs through the Federal Tax Reforestation and Amortization Program. Discuss options and any questions you have with your consulting forester, tax advisor, and/or accountant.
"Income Taxes and the Family Forest" Short Course
March 1, 2022; Forrest County Extension Office, Hattiesburg, MS
Registration: $35 individuals, $50 for couples - Space limited
For more information and to pre-register, please call 601-545-6083 by February 22.
Introduction to Prescribed Burning Workshop
March 4, 2022; Spirit Hill Farm, Holly Springs, MS
Registration: $5 - lunch provided
For more information and to pre-register, please call 662-562-4274 or email email@example.com by March 1.
Tree Identification Workshop
May 2, 2022; Union County Extension Office, New Albany, MS
Registration: $10.00 per person - Covers materials and refreshments
Great for families! For more information and to pre-register, please contact 662-534-1916 by April 25.
2/21 LOWNDES - Lowndes Extension Office, 6:00PM - Hardwood Timber Management
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-328-2111 by February 18.
2/22 MONROE - Monroe Extension Office, 6:00PM - Deer/Turkey Management and Wild Hog Control
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-369-4951 by February 21.
2/22 WARREN - Hinds Community College, Vicksburg Campus, 6:00PM - Forest Management, Harvest Deferral Credits and Carbon Markets
For questions or to RSVP, please call 601-636-5442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by February 18.
2/24 PONTOTOC - Pontotoc Extension Office, 6:00PM - Upland Hardwood Management Part 1
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-489-3910.
2/24 UNION - Union Extension Office, 6:00PM - Forest Fragmentation Management
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-534-1917.
3/1 LAFAYETTE - Lafayette Extension Office, 6:00PM - Upland Hardwood Management Part 2
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-234-4451.
3/3 GRENADA - Grenada Extension Office, 6:00PM - Know Your Mississippi Forestry Commission
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-226-2061.
3/3 PANOLA/TALLAHATCHIE - MSU Extension Building 394 HWY 51, Batesville, 6:00PM - Small Game and Turkey Management
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-563-6260 or email email@example.com by 3/1.
3/7 CALHOUN - Calhoun Extension Office, 6:00PM - Mississippi Forestry Commission Programs
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-412-3177.
3/10 YALOBUSHA - Yalobusha Extension Office, 6:00PM - Wild Turkey Management
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-675-2730.
3/11 SWMS - Southwest MS Community College, Summit, 6:00PM - Snakes of Mississippi
For questions or to RSVP, please call 601-888-3211.
3/31 OKTIBBEHA - Bost Buildling (MSU Campus), 6:00PM - Carbon Markets
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-323-5916.
4/7 TATE/DESOTO - Location TBA, 6:00PM - Timber Market Update
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-562-4274.
4/12 HINDS - MS Cattleman's Association. Office, Jackson, Time TBA - Growth and Yield Modeling
For questions or to RSVP, please call 601-857-3242.
5/9 MONTGOMERY - Kilmichael Baptist Church, Kilmichael, 6:00PM - NCX Carbon Program
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-283-4133.
5/10 CALHOUN - Calhoun Extension Office, 6:00PM - Weyerhaeuser Bruce Mill Operations
For questions or to RSVP, please call 662-412-3177.