A Registered Forester Is Key to Maximizing Timber Profits

Uncertainty is present in all segments of today’s economy. The timber market is no exception. There is uncertainty among loggers, timber dealers and mills.
There seem to be loggers shutting down their equipment right and left these days. They either don’t have timber to cut or the mills have reduced the quota of timber they need. Timber buyers are having difficulty getting commitments from the mills because the mills are finding themselves with a growing inventory while the market is shrinking.
This results in lean and difficult times for everyone on the supply side of the timber industry. Unfortunately, the timber owner is on the low end of this totem pole. We have to take or leave the market we are in. Fortunately, there are some proactive steps a timber owner can take to get the most from their timber. Knowing the value of your timber is the first step to getting the best price for your timber in a good market as well as in a stressed economy.
Unless you have experience in the timber business you need a forester working for you.  That is where Georgia Farm Bureau’s forestry services come into play. As your independent forester we work for you, advising and directing you from our years of experience and knowledge of the timber industry. Our foresters can put you on a level playing field with timber buyers by identifying the products, species, value and volume of timber on your property. This knowledge will pay for its cost time and again.
Having your forester put you on a ‘watch list’ will help you avoid low ebbs in timber prices. We keep a long list of timber owners on our watch list. We have helped landowners pick the right time to market their timber products, thereby greatly enhancing their bottom line.
I had one client who wanted to sell a tract of pine sawtimber. While he was showing me his property, we looked at another tract that was on his low priority management list.  It, however, had lots of pine pulpwood that needed to be thinned. At the time, pine sawtimber prices were down and pulpwood was up. We recommended thinning what he considered his low priority timber and holding the sawtimber until that market improved.  He followed our advice and thinned the pulpwood. A few months later, sawtimber prices went up, and our landowner made a lot of extra money by heeding good advice and going with our recommendations.
In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to get competitive bids from the right buyers. Not all timber buyers are equal. Just like any other industry, some companies are more competitive than others. Even with the ability to out-compete the competition, a buyer must still be put under the right conditions to offer the best bids. I see it happen on a regular basis; I suppose it is simply human nature.
It’s more important than ever, that you engage professional assistance. You cannot afford to wing it any longer.  You must manage and market your timber aggressively with the help of an experienced forester.
Jim Griffith is Gen. Manager of Georgia Farm Bureau timber and real estate cos.
Georgia Farm Bureau News – April 2009

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  1. thinking about sell some timber and would like to find out about which is the best way to sell, my grandfather sold some back in the 70’s and had Clemson to come out and mark the timber and help put the timber up for bids. thank you