Cut your Timber, not your profits – get expert advice before selling
By Virginia State University
If you are planning to sell timber, there are two important factors to consider. First, timber is a commodity, and demand and prices fluctuate widely. Second, if you are planning to sell your timber without employing a good consulting forester, you could be committing a cardinal sin.
“Selling your timber without consulting a forester is like selling your house without the aid of a Realtor,” said Dr. Jerry L. Bettis Sr., forestry specialist with the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) at Virginia State University (VSU). “You should never sell your timber without professional assistance.”
The Small Farm Outreach Program at VSU will hold three workshops on selling timber. The workshops will be held at the following locations:
Date: Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Location: VCE, Appomattox County Office
177 Morton Lane, Appomattox, VA 24522
Date: Oct. 9, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Location: VSU, Randolph Farm Pavilion
4415 River Road, Petersburg, VA 23803
Date: Nov. 6, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: VCE, Emporia/Greenville Office
105 Oak Street, Emporia, VA 23847
These workshops are free and open to the public. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration is open for the September event. Registration for the October and November events will open later this fall. To register, visit http://www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, click on the event and then click on the registration link.
At the workshops, Bettis will discuss important considerations and tips for selling timber, including how to find and select a professional, consulting forester. Foresters can advise on issues, such as timber appraisal, harvest planning, timber sale coordination, and boundary marking.
There is no daily market price report or government price support for timber. Therefore, sellers need to be active daily in the local timber market to understand timber prices. They also need specialized training to understand how to measure timber volumes.
Research has shown that selling timber with the aid of a good consulting forester earns 23 percent more per acre, 64 percent more per board foot, and 120 percent more on projected future income. With these kinds of returns, you can easily recuperate the costs of employing a consulting forester, which typically ranges between 8 to 12 percent of gross sales.
Bettis says to ask your woodland owning neighbors to recommend a consulting forester or you can also find a list of consulting foresters in your area by accessing www.dof.virginia.gov or calling (434) 977-6555. If you are planning to sell timber, it is strongly recommended that you get professional assistance, ask plenty of questions, and do not forget to regenerate your cutover land, he added.
If you have forestry questions, contact Bettis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 524-6967.