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Timber Talk

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Forest Markets Weekly Newsletter
The National Association of State Foresters' Forest Markets Committee releases a Weekly Newsletter full of all things Forestry and Forest Products Industry related. Each week’s newsletter has articles about: Forest Markets, Housing, Working Forests, New Products and Technology, and Renewable Energy. This week’s newsletter contains several articles on softwood lumber and the continued rise in Cross-Laminated Timber(CLT).  See the complete newsletters here.   

East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA) Newsletter
Here is the East Central Ohio Forestry Association March 2018 Newsletter. As always, it gives reports from their previous meeting, as well as a schedule of upcoming events. Their March newsletter discusses the upcoming ECOFA Annual Banquet on April 4th, and the rescheduling of their next presentation by Barry Browne.

Northeast Ohio Forestry Association (NEOFA) Newsletter
Here is the February 2018 edition of the NEOFA newsletter. It contains information about their next meeting topic, which will be a presentation on forest birds by Jeff Harvey. Jeff is president of the Audubon Society/Mahoning Valley and is the owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store in Boardman, Ohio. There is also a review of last month’s presentation by Ryan Clester on invasive trees and other plants.

Muskingum River Woodlands Interest Group (MRWIG) Newsletter
MRWIG has distributed their January/February 2018 newsletter. Read here to see their upcoming schedule and other news, which includes their March program on growing Shiitake mushrooms, and a recap of their Winter Tree ID field day held in January.

Having Problems Recovering Your Oil & Gas Lease?
It seems that private landowners can have a difficult time recovering their oil & gas leases, even if the well appears to have had no activity or output for far more years than is required by the conditions of the lease. OFA member Barry Browne and his wife Rosa recently sat in my office and explained some of the abuses by oil & gas companies and the courts, in their attempts to recover control of their mineral rights. Barry is also a member of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO), and has recently registered to have an exhibit booth at the OFA Annual Meeting on February 28th. Barry also will be speaking on this topic at the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA) meeting on March 7, 2018, at 7:00 PM at the Dover Public Library. Take advantage of one of these two great opportunities to talk with somebody that has been in the trenches on this private property rights issue for several years.

How Does Biochar Improve Soil?
For a couple years now, biochar, the material left after burning organic materials such as wood chips in a low oxygen environment, has been getting more and more attention. Is this a product that can be made and marketed here in Ohio to relieve some of the pressure on wood residuals? Maybe. It seems that every week I am seeing a new article touting its benefits in several arenas. You can read a blog post from the Soil Science Society of America espousing biochar’s ability to improve, or even decontaminate, soils.

Monthly Housing Starts Data & Commentary
Following are two links to the Virginia Tech - U.S. Forest Service housing market commentaries for December 2017.  These files contain in-depth data and comments on the U.S. housing market. Part 1: Main ReportPart 2: Economic Conditions Report. The housing report is a free service of Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the U.S. Forest Service.  The reports are intended to help gauge future business activity.

USDA Declares War On Spotted Lanternfly
In an earlier Timber Talk Newsletter, I reported on the invasive insect, Spotted Lanternfly, that has shown up in western Pennsylvania. One of its favorite host trees is Ailanthus, an invasive tree from China. The insect also attacks many fruit and high value lumber trees. USDA has recently announced a plan to target $17.5 million towards controlling this invasive pest in Pennsylvania. Read more on this announcement in the article The Morning Call e-newsletter. 

From The Hardwood Leader – The Big Picture – Following is “The Big Picture” from the March 2018 Hardwood Leader, produced and distributed by Hardwood Publishing Inc. This “Big Picture” summary discusses the business climate for 2018.

Most mills say they are more busy than profitable, with log and green lumber prices tracking up at least as fast as KD prices. Though the recent stock market corrections remind that recoveries aren’t always linear, provisions of the new tax law continued to boost small business optimism in Jan. Federal regulations will continue to abate,

offering a more supportive business climate for hardwood firms to expand, and many have signaled plans to do so this year. While booming demand and higher prices instinctively trigger higher production, better long-term returns may come to those who look first for increases in productivity/efficiency that will increase margins and competitiveness beyond the current cycle. In fact, increasing throughput in 2018 will be challenging given log and labor issues, and “full capacity” for many mills will be defined by one or both of these limiting factors rather than the equipment at their disposal.

Hardwood lumber exports this year may not exceed the record levels of 2017, but only because log exports will. Lumber demand in Asia and Europe will continue to grow, but the sustained surge in log exports to China will limit U.S. sawmill production of key species like Red Oak, Ash, Walnut, Cherry, Hickory, and White Oak, and keep lumber prices firming.

Brad’s Safety Comments
When working around logging, sawmill, and farm equipment, we often look at those large pieces of powerful equipment as being able to safely get cars, trucks, and other equipment, safely and easily unstuck from muddy, wet, or frozen conditions. This FRA Safety Alert shows that there are a lot of things that need to be taken into account to keep people and property safe when using powerful equipment. Check it out and use it as training info for your employees.

Dovetail Partners February “Outlook” Newsletter
The February issue of Dovetail Partners “Outlook” newsletter discusses the book written by Dr. Jim Bowyer, “The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise”. This edition can be viewed here"The Outlook" is the monthly e-newsletter of Dovetail Partners, Inc, a 501c3 non-profit corporation

Kentucky Forest Industry Association (KFIA) February 2018 Newsletter
For those interested to see some of the same, as well as different, issues that our forest industry members in neighboring Kentucky are dealing with, read the KFIA December newsletter. Thanks to former OFA president, Rob McCarthy for forwarding us this information.

Upcoming Events:

  • LSC Meeting – Tuesday, 2/27/18 – 5:00 PM – Dublin Embassy Suites, Dublin, Ohio
  • OFA Annual Meeting Registration – Tuesday, 2/27/18 – 4:00 PM – Dublin Embassy Suites, Dublin, Ohio
  • OFA Annual Meeting & Tree Farm Luncheon – Wednesday, 2/28/18 – 8:00 AM – Dublin Embassy Suites, Dublin, Ohio
  • OFA Executive Committee and Board Meetings - Thursday, 3/1/18 – 8:00 AM and 10:00 respectively– Dublin Embassy Suites, Dublin, Ohio
  • 2018 Ohio Woodland, Water & Wildlife Conference – 3/7/18 – Mid Ohio Conference Center – Mansfield, Ohio

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