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Is the forest products industry important to Mississippi's economy?

In a word "yes." Forestry and the forest products industry are economically important to Mississippi in several ways:

  • About 65 percent of Mississippi's land is in forest. This is about 19.6 million acres according to the latest forest survey taken in 2006.
  • The value of Mississippi’s timber harvest has exceeded $1 billion each year since 1993 and reached an all-time record of 1.45 billion in 2005.

Mississippi's forest products industry consists of four major sectors:

  • Solid Wood Products, which includes pine and hardwood lumber, plywood, poles, oriented strand board, and other "composite" forest products.
  • Pulp and Paper, which includes fine writing papers, "liner-board" used for cardboard boxes, tissue and absorbent papers, and market pulp.
  • Wood furniture and related products, which consists mostly of upholstered wood furniture such as couches, love seats, and recliners.
  • Timber harvesting, which includes the harvesting and transportation sector.

According to a 2008 study by James Henderson and Ian Munn of MSU:

  • The total industry output of Mississippi's forest products industry generates an economic impact of nearly $17.4 billion annually.
  • The forest products industry accounts for $7.1 billion annually in value added economic impact for the state.
  • The Mississippi forest products industry contributes to 8.3% of all jobs in Mississippi. An estimated 123,659 full or part-time jobs have their "roots" in Mississippi's forest products industry. (This total includes direct, indirect, and induced employment).
  • In terms of wages and salaries paid annually, Mississippi's forest products industry generates a statewide economic impact of $4.4 billion.
  • In 2007, Mississippi's forest landowners, mostly private, non-industry owners, collected $630.8 million for their standing timber sold that year.

Timber is an important agricultural crop in the local economy of virtually every Mississippi County outside the Delta. In any year, timber will be among the top three most valuable agricultural crops in 65 to 70 counties out of 82 total counties in Mississippi.

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Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Mr. Marc Measells
Senior Extension Associate
Portrait of Dr. Shaun Tanger
Assistant Professor
Timber Taxation, Forestry Economics, Forest Management, Forest Finance