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NEBRASKA'S FOREST PRODUCTS BULLETIN

TIMBER TALK

Lumber Market Reports
 
Northern

In the past, the domestic hardwood industry was reliant on growth in residential construction to drive business. That is still the case to some extent. However, painted finishes on cabinets, molding, millwork, and furniture have allowed a variety of imported species and non-wood products to take market share from valuable North American species. Too, imported finished goods continue to make headway in the US market. Therefore, the US hardwood industry is more dependent than ever on foreign markets. Vulnerability from that dependence has been exposed during China's economic downturn. Yet, the Northern region is more insulated from soft Southeast Asian markets than suppliers in the Southern and Appalachian regions. In much of the North Country, Maples are more prominent growing stocks than Red Oak and Ash. In areas where Red Oak, Ash, Cherry, and even Walnut are more plentiful, sales organizations are facing difficult times. Prices have eroded, and lack of profitability is a pressing issue. For some sales companies, industrial products are carrying the load. Demand for pallet lumber/cants, railroad ties, board road, and mat timbers is solid.

Southern

Sawmill production often increases enough during summer to strain buyers' handling capabilities for green lumber, which leads to tighter controls on receipts. But, concerns over lack of demand for Red Oak, Ash and White Oak from China are prompting even more cautiousness from yards involved with exports. Also, having confidence supplies are abundant allows kiln-dried lumber buyers to wait until materials are needed before purchasing. This circumstance increases competition for orders and drives down prices all the more. Sawmill operators cannot reduce log and timber prices fast enough to compensate for lower green and kiln-dried lumber prices. Profit margins are thin to nonexistent throughout the supply chain.

Appalachian

Log supplies vary across the region but are still generally low. Whereas log shortages in 2018 and the first half of 2019 resulted almost entirely from wet weather, current low supplies result as much from sawmills reducing log and timber prices as other factors. Sawmill production is down relative to last year and earlier this year. Moreover, a higher percentage of the cut is going into industrial products like railroad ties, pallet material, crane mats, and board road, all of which are in good to strong demand. Even so, most grade lumber items are in abundant supply relative to demand. Supply push back is especially prevalent with Red Oak and Cherry because sales are highly dependent on China. For most species, upper grades are moving better than the commons.

(Source: Condensed from Hardwood Market Report, August 1, 2019. For more information or to subscribe to Hardwood Market Report, call (901) 767-9216, email: hmr@hmr.com, website: www.hmr.com)
 
 
Hardwood Lumber Prices - Green 
 
Species FAS #1C #2A
8/19
15/19
2/19
11/18
8/19
5/19
2/19
11/18
8/19
5/19
2/19
11/18
Ash 980 1075 1090 1090 625 695 695 700 400 420 420 420
Basswood 795 810 810 790 430 440 445 440 225 225 225 225
Cottonwood 780 780 780 780 575 575 575 575 260 260 260 260
Cherry 1110 1235 1330 1420 590 725 800 885 335 385 420 445
Elm 670 670 670 650 420 420 420 420 290 290 290 290
Hackberry 530 530 530 530 480 480 480 480 295 295 295 295
Hickory 850 865 865 965 545 560 560 560 415 425 415 415
Soft Maple 1180 1140 1100 1100 760 760 760 760 460 470 470 470
Red Oak 825 960 980 945 560 635 680 690 515 535 545 545
White Oak 1725 1745 1685 1665 970 1000 1000 1020 550 560 560 560
Walnut 2315 2510 2800 2800 1300 1545 1775 1775 510 720 1050 1075
Note: Lumber prices quoted in $/MBF, average market prices FOB mill, truckload and greater quantities, 4/4, rough, green, random widths and lengths graded in accordance with NHLA rules. Prices for ash, basswood, northern soft grey elm, unselected soft maple, red oak and white oak from Northern Hardwoods list. Prices for cottonwood and hackberry from Southern Hardwoods list. Prices for cherry, hickory and walnut (steam-treated) from Appalachian Hardwoods list. (Source: Hardwood Market Report (HMR), the above prices are from the first issue of the identified month. To subscribe to HMR, call 901-767-9126; email hmr@hmr.com; or go to www.hmr.com.)
Hardwood Lumber Prices - Kiln Dried 
 
Species FAS #1C #2A
8/19
5/19
2/19
11/18
8/19
5/19
2/19
11/18
8/19
5/19
2/19
11/18
Ash 1400 1490 1510 1490 935 1035 1095 1105 720 775 790 835
Basswood 1200 1220 1220 1200 730 740 740 725 485 485 485 485
Cottonwood 1025 1025 1025 1025 760 760 760 760 ---- ---- ---- ----
Cherry 1800 1950 1950 1975 1140 1275 1250 1260 680 760 835 870
Elm ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Hackberry ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Hickory 1460 1460 1475 1520 1080 1060 1095 1160 940 935 930 945
Soft Maple 1630 1565 1520 1520 1105 1140 1155 1155 800 800 800 800
Red Oak 1355 1490 1505 1530 935 1010 1030 1070 805 895 910 940
White Oak 2350 2350 2300 2250 1510 1550 1030 1590 1025 1075 910 1110
Walnut 3725 3825 3980 4200 2375 2550 2725 2875 1450 1625 1765 1925
Note: Kiln dried prices in $/MBF, FOB mill, is an estimate of predominant prices for 4/4 lumber measured after kiln drying. Prices for cottonwood and hackberry from Southern Hardwoods list. Prices for ash, basswood, northern soft grey elm, unselected soft maple, red oak, and white oak from Northern Hardwood list. Prices for cherry, hickory and walnut (steam treated) from Appalachian Hardwoods list. (Source: Hardwood Market Report (HMR), above prices are from the first issue of the identified month. To subscribe to HMR, call 901-767-9126; email hmr@hmr.com; or go to www.hmr.com.)
Ties (7x9) - Green
 
Region       8/19   5/19   2/19   11/18
Crossties       ----    ----   ----   ----
Northern - 8.5'       27.9 - 31.5     27.75 -3 0.5     27.5 - 29.75     27.5 - 29.75  
Appalachian (South) - 8.5'       30.5 - 35.5    30 - 35   30 - 34.5   30 - 34
Appalachian (North) - 8.5'       30.25 - 34.25   30 - 34   30 - 34   28.5 - 32
Southern (West) - 9'       31.5 - 37   31 - 36   30 - 34   30 - 34
Southern (East) - 8.5'       31.5 - 37   31 - 36   30 - 34   30 - 34
Pallet Lumber - Green
Dimension                 8/19                   5/19                2/19                11/18
4/4 x RW                405                          405                          395                          395           
5/4 x RW                420                420                410                   410
6/4 x RW                445                445                435                435
4/4 x SW                440                440                430                430
5/4 x SW                450                450                440                440
6/4 x SW                480                480                  470                470
Note: Pallet lumber prices quoted in $/MBF, average market prices FOB mill, truckload and greater quantities, rough, green, random widths and lengths graded in accordance with NHLA rules. Tie prices quoted in $/piece, average market prices FOB mill. Prices for pallet lumber from Northern Hardwood list. Prices for ties from the respective regional lists. (Source: Hardwood Market Report (HMR), above prices are from the first issue of the identified month. To subscribe to HMR, call 901-767-9126; email hmr@hmr.com; or go to www.hmr.com.)
Forest News

Wet Weather, Other Hurdles Continue to Slow Nebraska’s Forest Industry

Does anyone need some water? Nebraska’s forest products industry sure doesn’t.

Nebraska has a relatively unique timber harvest season, especially in the east where cottonwood logging runs the show. In the fall when crops come out of the field, chainsaws and skidders go into the bordering riparian forests or forested draws in search of mature cottonwood trees and logs to produce pallet lumber and shipping material. They have until the fields get planted again in the spring to harvest the timber.

In good years, a significant portion of cottonwood harvests occur within a 5-7 month period (October/November to April/May). Working in both dry or frozen fall/winter/spring conditions makes for productive harvests, busy sawmills, and good cash flow.
In bad years, contractors and loggers are left standing at the edges of wet fields, flooded river bottoms, and tall snowdrifts. In other words, the 2018/2019 winter timber harvest season was a bad one.

Long wet seasons not only impact the cottonwood harvests, but also the forestry work happening in Nebraska’s panhandle and north-central pine forests. Local snowfall reports for Winter 2018/2019 totaled more than 80 inches in some areas. That amount of snow, sprinkled in with some significant thawing and refreezing days, made getting into the woods nearly impossible at times.
When an exceptionally snowy winter is bookended by a wet fall and spring, it doesn’t leave much opportunity for the crucial work being done to manage Nebraska’s remaining pine forests. From a humanitarian point of view, it doesn’t leave much opportunity for businesses to generate revenue and employees to collect a paycheck.

Nebraska’s weather is just one hurdle faced by the forestry and forest products industry. The struggling agriculture economy has had a significant impact on forestry. To get a better feel for the status of Nebraska’s forest products industry, simply talk to farmers and ranchers.
When farmers can’t get into their wet fields, eastern Nebraska loggers are struggling.

When farmers and ranchers are not buying new tractors, implements or pivots, sawmills who produce pallets and blocking for shipping equipment are struggling.

When farming and ranch income is low and there is little money to pay for forest management and improvement, forest contractors are struggling.

When outside, uncontrollable pressures restrict opportunities for any industry, the discussion often shifts to easing the regulatory pressures faced by the industry. Insurance costs, restrictive road weight limits and overly cautious threatened and endangered species policies all contribute to increased business stress, reduced market opportunities, and shorter operating windows. Ultimately, these pressures lead to reduced forest management, decreased forest health and missed economic opportunities for rural, small businesses.

If the industry continues to struggle into the future, it might be time to take a long look at what can be done to make Nebraska a “business-friendly” state for the forest businesses and the forest products industry.

 
NFS Hiring Foresters
Forester – Community/Rural Forestry (Northeast Nebraska)
NFS is seeking enthusiastic, qualified applicants to join our team of dedicated staff working towards improving the health, resiliency and sustainability of Nebraska’s trees and forests. Providing direct, technical assistance to stakeholders, the Forester (focused on providing rural forestry and community forestry technical assistance) will play a key role in providing the resources necessary for clients to achieve their tree and forest goals. For more information, click on the link below.
Northeast Nebraska
Forester – Forest Management/Forest Products (Valentine, Nebraska)
NFS is seeking enthusiastic, qualified applicants to join our team of dedicated staff working towards improving the health, resiliency, and sustainability of Nebraska’s trees and forests. Providing direct, technical assistance to stakeholders, the Forester (focused on providing forestry/fuels management and wood utilization technical assistance) will play a key role in providing the resources necessary for clients to achieve their tree and forest goals. For more information, click on the link below
Valentine, Nebraska
Great Plains Biochar Initiative
As the Nebraska Forest Service and GPBI partners continue to build a network of biochar enthusiasts and entrepreneurs throughout the Great Plains, we will be providing updates of project activities, outreach materials, events and biochar news articles.
 
This month, we are excited to release a new informational video discussing biochar as a product and some of the potential applications in the Great Plains. Visit the link below to view the video.
Biochar
Regional Biochar News
“Iowa State researchers studying slow-release fertilizer to feed crops, improve water quality”
Article
Upcoming Events

NFS Forest Festival Family Fun Night

Mark your fall calendar for fresh air and fun. It’s the Forest Festival Family Fun Night on September 13th in Plattsmouth, Nebraska! Get outdoors and reconnect with nature through FREE activities for all ages. Activities include:
- Campfire Building & S’mores
- Face Painting & Kids Games
- Barn Photo Booth
- Moonlight Hike
- Trolley Property Tours
- Lumberjack Games
- Makerspace
- Tree Climbing
- Insect Collecting & Display
- Archery
- Free Giveaways
- Picnic Areas
*Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED!
For more information, click on the link below.
Forest Festival Family Fun Night
Burr Oak Canyon Symposium
Calling all tree enthusiasts! Plan to join the fun of the Burr Oak Canyon Tree Symposium in McCook, Nebraska Oct. 17-18. For all tree stewards and general public, with a pre-conference workshop on tree planting and care, a variety of outstanding speakers covering several topics and wrapping up with a tour of a relict stand of oaks in nearby Burr Oak Canyon. To register, type "Burr Oak" under courses or call 308-345-8122
Register
For more information click the link below to contact Justin Evertson
Justin Evertson
Nebraska Forest Industry Spotlight
Afrank Acres Urban Forestry Services located near Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, specializes in supplying kiln dried dimension lumber and live edged slabs random length and thickness, to local and out-state woodworkers. Custom sawing may be done as time allows. 

Interest in forestry and logging led owner Sam Afrank to states like Wisconsin where he could put his natural talents to work, developing forestry skills as he went. Other opportunities included supplying Reese Wood and Sole in Columbus with American elm for boot soles used in the steel industry, a landscaping business in Columbus, and part interest in the original Clarks fiber mill. Upon deciding to purchase and return to the family farm his focus changed, but something inside would not let him forget his passion for forestry.

Upon discovering his Son and Grandson were interested in pursuing a sawmilling business, Afrank Acres Urban Forestry Services became a reality. The trio uses all local wood saved from the burn pile. Sam explains that he just could not stand by and see all of that wood going to waste.
A Norwood HD36 Lumber Pro bandmill with hydraulics and computer networks allows the Afrank’s to make precise cuts according to requested specifications. Coupled with a custom-built 4,000 bd.ft. capacity dry kiln chamber and Nyle L200M dehumidification unit, a quality product may be produced.
The business keeps materials locally sourced with the majority of the wood milled and sold coming from within 30 miles of their location. For more information, contact Afrank Acres Urban Forestry Services at 308-358-0432 or through their Facebook page.
Trading Post
FOR SALE

Post Peeler
  • Morbark PS8 Post Peeler. Comes with 2 engines, 1 diesel and 1 electric. 8ft in-feed table with short return system. 33 ft of dead rolls with markers for trimming with a hydraulic bar saw. Markers for 6½, 7, 8 and 10ft posts. Several bunks and banding equipment included. 24ft triple axle trailer for hauling also included. In excellent condition. Video available. Call John Hahn. 308-430-0630(c); 308-638-7531(h) Hay Springs, Nebraska.

Mulch 
  • The city of Nebraska City has approx. 60 semi loads of single grind mulch $200/ semi load or $50/dump truckload. Shipping not included. Arrangements will be made to load. Contact: Marty Stovall 402-873-5515 or email mstovall@nebraskacity.com

Sawmill 
  • Mighty Mite bandsaw. 20 HP electric motor, tandem axles w/ brakes on one axle, 36” x 24’ log capacity, (have cut 46” beams) hydraulic operation includes winch, knees, taper, near arm, dogging arms, far arm, dogging spike, log loading arms, and electric clutch and blade lift. Includes automatic blade sharpener, setting machine, 12 used blades and 4 new blades. Excellent condition. Never been used commercially. $17,500. Contact: Gary Fisher, Crawford, NE. Phone: 308-665-1580; email: fisher@bbcwb.net.

Walnut Lumber
  • All dimensions. $3.00 per board foot. Falls City, NE. Contact: Bruce Walker at 402-245-2031.

Biochar Production Unit 
  • Biochar production unit mounted on 24 ft gooseneck trailer.  Burns 8 - 10 cubic yards of biomass per day producing up to 2 yards of high grade biochar and 1 Million BTU/hr of hot air. $50,000. Contact High Plains Biochar for more information 307-761-5508.
SERVICES AND MISC.
 
Portable Sawmilling Service
  • Offering portable sawmilling service, turning your logs into valuable lumber. Contact: Doug Patton, D&S Sawmill Services, Palmyra, NE. Phone : (402)-269-4866 or Email: dssawmillservices@gmail.com
Woodshop Services 
  • Millwork made from your lumber on my planer/molder. Chris Marlowe, Butte, NE 402-775-5000. Marlowepasture@nntc.net.
Sawmill Service and Supplies 
  • Saw hammering and welding. Precision knife and saw grinding. Contact: Tim Schram, Schram Saw and Machine, PO Box 718, 204 E. 3rd St., Ponca, NE 68770, 402-755-4294.
Used Portable Sawmills 
  • North America’s largest source of used portable sawmills and equipment. Contact: Sawmill Exchange, 800-459-2148, website: www.sawmillexchange.com.
WANTED

Wood Residue 

  • Slab wood, cutoffs, sawdust, mulch, bales, etc. Lincoln, NE. Call Scott Hofeling at 402-432-0806 or email scott@hofelingenterprises.com.


Logs and Slabwood
Cottonwood, cedar, and pine. 4-26” diameter and 90-100” lengths. Below saw grade logs acceptable. Contact: American Wood Fibers, Clarks, NE at 800-662- 5459; or email: Pat Krish at pkrish@AWF.com.
 

Cottonwood Logs 

  • Veneer-quality cottonwood logs, 16-36” diameter, 7’ and longer. Pick up service available. Contact: Barcel Mill & Lumber, Bellwood, NE 68624. Ask for Barton or Megan. Phone: 800-201-4780; email: bj@barcelmill.com.
The Trading Post is provided as a free marketing service for forestry industry. Only forestry-related advertisements will be accepted. Please submit written ads to the Timber Talk editor at least 15 days before scheduled Timber Talk publication dates. Ads may be edited to meet space constraints.
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