WEST MONROE, LA — After a number of years of market fluctuations, the Louisiana timber business is lastly beginning to see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel.
That is the optimism shared by forestry professionals in the course of the 2023 Forestry Forum held as part of AgExpo just lately in West Monroe.
Luke Stamper, a wildlife and forestry agent within the LSU AgCenter Northeast Region, stated the annual meeting brings growers, researchers, tax professionals and others collectively from across the area to share data and to ask questions.
“This 12 months, our discussion board theme centered round markets, which covers the areas which might be of most curiosity to producers,” he stated. “This included timber markets, carbon markets and housing markets, and we acquired updates on every of those market tendencies.”
Stamper stated among the main challenges that growers have had are being addressed now with the opening of a number of new mills within the state.
“It has been a severe problem for growers after they needed to surprise the place they’d have the ability to promote their timber,” Stamper stated.
The subject that continues to be fashionable 12 months after 12 months on the meeting is timber tax ideas.
Because rising timber is a reasonably long-term course of, an understanding of the property and reward taxes are crucial, stated Paul Spillers, a tax legal professional and tree farmer.
“There are three forms of timber possession, which embrace private use or interest, funding and enterprise, and we’ve every kind within the state,” he stated.
Jinggang Guo, AgCenter economist, stated excessive mortgage charges have been a driving issue within the worth of lumber for a number of years.
“When the mortgage charges are excessive, the lumber market shuts down,” he stated. “The worth of lumber is simply getting again to pre-Covid ranges.”
Buck Vandersteen, government director of the Louisiana Forestry Association, stated the timber business is rising and being acknowledged as a sustainable provider.
He stated Louisiana timber landowners are actually rising greater than 70% extra timber than is being harvested.
“We imagine the 4 new sawmills and the three green-fuel vegetation which might be coming in will use the surplus wooden that we’re rising, which ought to assist to stabilize costs,” he stated.
AgCenter Northeast Region director Melissa Cater stated this discussion board is just not solely worthwhile to the growers, nevertheless it’s good for the financial system of your entire area.
“Just right here within the Northeast Region, forest merchandise contribute a gross farm worth of a bit of over $89 million to the financial system,” she stated. “So it’s essential for landowners and others within the business to have entry to data like this.”
Others on this system mentioned forest genetics, what to anticipate from the timber market this 12 months and an replace on U.S. Department of Agriculture programming by way of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.