Chuck Ross, author and founder of the Go Wood blog, received an email that summarizes this concept to a perfection.
"I'm a tree farmer in Southern Indiana and Central Kentucky. I think that one of the biggest problems that the NRDC and other environmental groups have in understanding forests is that they think of timber as being a natural resource instead of a agricultural crop. The only real difference between raising a crop of timber and a crop of corn is the length of time to maturity. By classifying timber as a natural resource instead of a crop, they set it up for being idolized instead of being used.
Markets for hardwood timber stumpage in my area are so bad, and have been for a long time, that I am starting to think that long-term timber management is not economically possible and is purely pie-in-the-sky. Stumpage prices for timber in Indiana and Kentucky are the same as they were 30 years ago, and inflation has increased more than 100%.
I'm in the process of seriously considering liquidating my holdings and putting my investment elsewhere. Even if wood demand tripled over night, I'm not sure if I would begin to get back what I've lost to inflation. What is your opinion as to what is going on in the marketplace, and is my assessment of timber economics correct?
Thanks..."Ross responded with great insight and bits of encouragement as well. I'd like to take my turn in doing the same. Here are some great pictures of timber/lumber crops. They are not just beautiful but truly and utterly useful and thus no one ever complains about the years these crops take to reach maturity.
|Alley Cropping USDA Forestry|
|North Carolina timber sales.|
|County Agent O.H. Phillips instructing about timber crops.|