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Stay informed on the latest forest industry news and market insights.
F&W is committed to helping landowners get the most out of their timberland – one of the best tools is current and relevant information. Through the F&W Forestry Report, our clients and subscribers gain an insider’s view on the latest market conditions, timber prices and legislation affecting forestry. Each quarterly report is packed with insights gathered from our participation in professional associations, academic research cooperatives and everyday work in the forest to give you an edge in the marketplace.

Exciting Changes Coming Soon

F&W has important news to share! The F&W Forestry Report is undergoing a redesign and beginning with the Spring 2023 issue, we will introduce a new and improved newsletter.In addition to more relevant content and information for our readers, we are redesigning timber price graphs to better show timber product prices in snapshots that make it easier to compare prices within and between regions. We will also address other design issues to make the overall newsletter more reader- and print-friendly.In addition to these design changes, we will convert the newsletter from print to digital-only format, allowing readers to receive the newsletter by email in a timelier manner.This redesign and conversion to digital will provide us the flexibility to offer more content and more detailed data, without being limited to eight pages. And, because we are eliminating all print and postage costs, we are also discontinuing the newsletter subscription fee to non-client subscribers.To ensure you don’t miss an issue, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

Good Times, Bad Times

While 2022 ended with a slowing economy, dour forecasts, and declining stumpage prices, sawtimber stumpage (standing tree) prices in the fourth quarter were still higher than they were before the pandemic, reports the head of one of the nation’s largest forest management companies.Marshall Thomas, president of F&W Forestry Services, writes in his company’s latest newsletter, the F&W Forestry Report, that the next six months may not be fun but forestry can weather the potential storm.“The trees are still growing, our land is not shrinking, and we still have one of the most robust markets for trees in the world,” Thomas said.“If there is a recession this year, all we can do is hope we get through it and that the economy rebounds in the latter part of the year and maybe next winter we will have the combination of demand and wet weather we need to test the upper limits of our stumpage prices post-COVID-19,” Thomas concludes.

Forest Management Trends In The U.S. South

The latest silviculture survey by Forisk Consulting marks ten years of data revealing interesting insights into how forests are actively managed in the U.S. South.Survey questions were used to collect data on site prep and regeneration, competition control, fertilization, thinning and final harvests, site index, property costs, inventory management, forest certification, and other forest-related products and services. The intensity and usage of these activities vary by region, which are driven in large part by local market conditions.The 2022 survey covered 24.6 million acres of forest land managed by timberland investment management organizations (TIMOs) and investment managers, forest industry and real estate investment trusts (REITs), independent owners, and forestry consultants, including F&W Forestry. Most participants own or manage more than 10,000 acres of timberland in the South, with non-industrial private forest owners’ lands reported by forestry consultants.

Weather Or Markets? Question Goes Unanswered .... Again

Last year, a booming economy, strong lumber demand, and wet weather resulted in marked increases in timber stumpage (standing tree) prices. But as we enter the last quarter of the year, La Niña weather conditions are favored for the upcoming winter, which could potentially have a negative impact on Southern timber markets due to dryer conditions but boost Northern markets because of wetter weather. “I was looking forward to seeing if the dry season downturn was due to weather or the economy, perhaps signaling if we could look for a continued upturn in stumpage prices,” Thomas writes in the fall issue of his firm’s newsletter, the F&W Forestry Report. “But with a cooling economy and a dry winter approaching, we may have to wait another year or two to see if recent Southern stumpage price increases will stick for the long term.”However, despite the weather, lagging economy, and declining timber markets, Thomas remains optimistic because prices are holding at higher levels than they were one or two years ago.“If we can just hold these higher levels, and wait for the economy to recover, maybe, just maybe, this will be the beginning of the next big rising price cycle,” Thomas wrote. TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FALL 2022 ISSUE, SUBSCRIBE NOW

Utilizing Drone Technology For Vegetation Management

A kudzu infestation in a client’s young pine plantation prompted an F&W manager to get creative to treat the site. T.R. Clark, regional manager covering Alabama and Georgia, shares that not only was kudzu taking over the two-year-old loblolly pine stand, but it also had a thick development of blackberry briars. The acreage needing treatment was not necessarily big enough to attract a helicopter crew and many of the areas where the infestation was the worst were along streamside management zones, where a helicopter would not be able to reach.Clark partnered with vegetation management company IVM Solutions, headquartered in Auburn, Ala., to get the site treated using UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone) technology. “They were covering a niche that has often been a real challenge in the past: tracts too small to attract aerial applications but that also possess hurdles to ground treatments,” Clark said. In this instance, the drone was able to reach crevasses, stay clear of briars and remain unintrusive to the pines, all while providing uniform coverage of the chemicals. F&W has been operating UAVs since 2016, utilizing this innovative technology to provide clients with a comprehensive range of services, including aerial maps, property inspections, harvest status checks, reforestation survival checks, and more. The UAV operated by IVM Solutions is larger and specialized to be capable of carrying solution, the spraying apparatus, and the onboard electronics to control flight and spray rate.TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FALL 2022 ISSUE, SUBSCRIBE NOW

Ag Land Values Rise Again In 2022

For the second straight year, farmers saw substantial increases in the value of their land, according to the latest survey of the nation’s rural real estate by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Ag land values reached a record high average of $3,800 per acre in 2022, up 12.4 percent over the prior year and the largest percentage increase since 2006. While the survey does not include bare forestland values, general trends in the agricultural sector are likely to apply to land devoted to growing trees. The survey breaks out values for cropland and pastures, both of which show similarities to the bare land value of forestland and can easily be converted to forests. These two categories also showed substantial increases—cropland increased 14.3 percent nationwide to an average of $5,050 per acre and pastureland rose 11.5 percent to $1,650 per acre.Factors likely contributing to the rise in values include higher commodity prices, competing land-use interests such as urban sprawl, and people seeking to invest in land as a safer alternative to the stock market during turbulent economic times.TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FALL 2022 ISSUE, SUBSCRIBE NOW

For media inquiries, contact Bates Associates: 770-451-0370, [email protected]