A review of timber prices and a guide for woodlot owners in New York State CALS Impact Statement uri icon

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  • Abstract

    A review of timber prices throughout all forest regions in New York indicates that prices will continue to increase, with prices for some species increasing much more than others.

    Issue

    New York farmers and small woodlot owners often depend upon timber sales for income. Having a better sense of future timber prices will help owners make forest management decisions about the timing of logging and the choice of tree species to grow and harvest, and will provide a broad picture of expected revenue. Greater awareness of the environmental issues involved in logging will help forest owners negotiate fair contracts with loggers.

    Response

    We analyzed timber stumpage prices for five major tree species: black cherry, sugar maple, red oak, white ash, and red maple. The analysis covered all 12 forest regions in New York during the 25-year period from 1980 to 2004. The prices of four of these tree species grew faster than the rate of inflation. Black cherry and sugar maple saw particularly large price increases during the period studied.

    We prepared an extension bulletin that shows these results, provides a sample logging contract, and discusses the pros and cons of hiring a professional forester.

    Impact

    The new extension bulletin, "Timber Prices: A Guide for Woodlot Owners in New York State," is currently being distributed. We expect that Cornell Cooperative Extension agents will find it useful. It should also be useful to farmers and small woodlot owners as a guide for managing their forests more effectively, increasing income, and resolving environmental issues involved in logging.

    Funding Sources

    • Federal Formula Funds - Research (e.g., Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, Animal Health)

    Collaborators

    • Valuable information, review, and commentary was provided by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation and the procurement manager of Wagner Lumber Company.

    Key Personnel

    • Jerry Brian and Duane Chapman with Cornell`s Dept. of Applied Economics and Management