2018 Blogging Logging – Forest Health Guidelines (week 12)

To manage forest health concerns in the forests, guidelines are often developed to minimize the threat increasing the spread during timber harvesting. Specifically, Wisconsin had recently adopted guidelines for two disease threats: Heterobasidion root disease (aka, annosum root rot) and oak wilt. Heterobasidion affects conifers, while, as the name implies, oak wilts affects oaks, though […]

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2018 Blogging Logging – Products Harvested (week 11)

Wisconsin’s logging businesses produce a diverse array of forest products, but hardwood pulp has been the largest portion of the volume harvested: 44% in 2003 and 49% in both 2010 and 2016.  This dominance reflects continued demand from the region’s pulp and paper industry and abundant hardwood forests. In general, the distribution of harvested products […]

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2018 Blogging Logging – Timber Sales (week 10)

In total, logging businesses that responded to survey worked on over 3,000 timber sales in 2016. We estimate that their work affected over 125,000 acres with an average timber sale size of 42 acres. In comparison to the prior surveys (2003 [blue] and 2010 [red]), the distribution of timber sales by timber sale area in […]

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2018 Blogging Logging – Source of timber supply (week 9)

Various landownership categories contribute to the state’s timber supply. Where a logging business is located has a big impact on which lands they harvest from. However, other factors also figure into the decision, including the different expectations that landowners have for loggers (e.g., certified land can have more requirements, but fill an important market niche). […]

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2018 Blogging Logging – Seasonality and production (week 8)

The harvesting of timber and the scheduling of logging operations are determined by surrounding environmental conditions. In Wisconsin, extreme cold events during winter can impact equipment or make it impossible to operate. Regulatory practices can also impact the scheduling of logging operations. Logging equipment can adversely impact soil conditions and adherence to Best Management Practices […]

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2018 Blogging Logging – Sub-contractors (week 7)

One of the most common workforce issues in forestry is the aging workforce. The logging workforce story in Wisconsin has two novel and important components, the age of owners and employees and the use of subcontractors. A previous post discussed the demographics of the owners. The median age in 2016 was 56 years for logging […]

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2018 Blogging Logging – Timber Sale Distance, Fuel, and Trucking (week 6)

Transportation and how it is accomplished are important concerns for logging businesses. It is expensive to move logging equipment to the job site and to transport logs and other products to mills. Except for the smallest logging businesses, timber sale sites are typically located 31-60 miles away from the primary business location in Wisconsin. Interestingly, […]

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2018 Blogging Logging – Capital Investment (week 5)

As most people familiar with the logging sector know, capital investment is an essential component. Capital is needed for equipment and, for most businesses, the purchase of stumpage (i.e., the rights to cut standing trees). In the most recent questionnaire, we altered how we asked questions about capital investment, thus comparisons to prior studies isn’t […]

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2018 Blogging Logging – Business demographics (week 4)

Wisconsin loggers are the backbone of the wood products industry, a primary contributor to the Wisconsin economy and the sustainable management of forests in the state.  In the prior two surveys, we asked respondents to provide the business owner’s age, assuming that there was only one owner. Recognizing that this might misrepresent business structure, in […]

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2018 Blogging Logging — Profitability & production capacity (week 3)

Across all three surveys, loggers were asked to qualitatively assess their business’ profitability. Possible responses ranged from “very poor” to “excellent” with a mid-point indicating “average/broke even” (“good” and “excellent” are combined for analysis). In all three periods, approximately 10% of businesses reported “very poor” profits, while roughly one-third reported average (i.e., break-even) profitability. The […]

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