Forest Products News

Celebrate Wisconsin’s Working Forests

Forest Products Week (celebrated on October 18-24, 2020) recognizes the people who work in and care for our forests, the businesses that create forest products and the many ways forest products contribute to our lives. In addition to celebrating the positive impact of Wisconsin’s forest products sector on the state’s economy, Forest Products Week recognizes the myriad forest products ingrained in our daily lives.

Facts to celebrate:

  • Forest products contribute $24.4 billion annually to the state’s economy.
  • Forests directly provide more than 60,000 jobs for Wisconsin residents with a payroll of $4.2 billion.
  • Forestry is the number one employer in 7 counties.
  • Every forestry job supports 1.7 additional jobs in the state.
  • More than 1,200 forest products companies in Wisconsin make products we use every day – from paper products such as food packaging, fine writing paper and tissue paper, to lumber used for homes and furniture.
  • Emerging forest products such as mass timber, nanocellulose and biochemicals are beginning to unlock innovative uses for wood that may help the state’s industry further diversify in the future.

The Wisconsin DNR-Division of Forestry is proud to help Wisconsin’s forest industry build and maintain strong markets while ensuring that forests remain a vital part of the state’s economy and culture for future generations. To learn more, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for “forest businesses.”

Forest products session for educators

Forest Products Specialist Logan Wells  will visit with Wisconsin educators at noon on October 8, 2020 on the theme of “Celebrating Wisconsin’s Forest Products.”  The webinar, offered by LEAF (Wisconsin’s K-12 Forestry Education Program), is open to anyone but advance registration is required (registration link).

In his presentation, Logan will explore products made from forests in Wisconsin and the importance of markets to sustainable forestry. He will also discuss global marketplace impacts and other changes impacting the industry, how Wisconsin producers are adapting to change, and share information about innovative products on the horizon.

Forest Products Week is the third week of October, so start planning now to showcase how vital forest products are to Wisconsin.

Forest Products Services Program Hosts Webinars

In June 2020, the Wisconsin DNR Forest Products Services program hosted two webinars related to forest products utilization and the sustainability of Wisconsin wood products. Overall, these webinars were targeted to educate attendees on Wisconsin’s forest products industry and the benefits of using wood and were aimed at promoting new and emerging technologies and products. 

The first webinar – “Wood: Sustainably Grown, Locally Available” – was hosted on June 16. The primary objective of this webinar was to promote the diverse application of Wisconsin’s oldest grown, locally available, and environmentally friendly material – wood. Architects, designers, consumers, and other interested individuals participated in the webinar.

The second webinar was held on June 24 and was titled, “Biochar Production Technologies.” During the webinar, speakers provided information on biochar production systems and technological solutions that can help manage wood residue issues in storm-damaged areas, municipal wood yards, and at wood-manufacturing facilities, while also generating value-added biochar. The webinar expanded on previous outreach, which highlighted the basics of biochar and its potential applications in Wisconsin.

To view recordings of these webinars, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestManagement/videos.asp and select “Forest products utilization and marketing” from the drop-down menu.

Opportunities for US softwood lumber in Pakistan

In early September, the Wisconsin Wood Marketing Team and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Products Services program partnered with the Softwood Export Council and Northeastern Lumber Manufacturer’s Association to host a virtual trade seminar with US softwood manufacturers, US building material brokers, and Pakistani wood buyers. The seminar had 28 people in attendance, with the majority being lumber purchasers from Pakistan. Participants from Pakistan gained valuable information about the benefits of using US softwood products and current market trends for wood products in Pakistan.

Continue reading “Opportunities for US softwood lumber in Pakistan”

DNR hosting June 16th wood products webinar

The DNR Forest Products Service Team will host a webinar titled “Wood: Sustainably Grown, Locally Available on June 16, 2020. This webinar is intended to promote the diverse application of Wisconsin’s oldest grown, locally available, and environmentally friendly material—wood. Architects, designers, consumers and anyone interested in learning about Wisconsin wood products should consider attending.

Following these two presentations, there will be time for questions with the presenters:

  • A New Age of Wood: New Products Create New Opportunities by Jim Bowyer, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, and a specialist in wood-based bio-products and environmental life-cycle assessment.
  • Wisconsin Wood Resources and Wood Products by Scott Bowe, Professor and Wood Products Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

Event Date: June 16, 2020

Time: 10:30 a.m. Central Time (US and Canada)

Registration: Please register in advance for this meeting using following link:
https://uwextension.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkfuqtrToqH9T3xTpRI8qg1jGc7BsShW0H 

 

Pandemic relief grant for small Wisconsin businesses

If you are a small business owner in Wisconsin looking for some financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the “We’re All In Small Business” grant might be a good fit. The grant program—funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act—can provide $2,500 in grant money to assist in covering the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory. The grant is available for up to 30,000 small businesses in Wisconsin.

To learn more about the program, please check out the “We’re All In” Small Business Grant webpage on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) website. Here’s a link to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the grant program. The WEDC has representatives available to provide guidance to small business owners whose questions are not answered on the FAQ page.

Annual forest resource reports

By Brian Anderson, forest inventory analyst, Rhinelander, 715-499-3291

Every year, the forest inventory data from the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program is assessed to track trends in Wisconsin’s forest resources. This information is summarized in several reports. The Wisconsin’s Forest Resources report gives a broad overview of the current state of —and trends in — Wisconsin’s forests over time, including easy-to-read figures and tables. Furthermore, it provides links to other more detailed tables, including acreages of forest types and timberland by attributes such as county, stand-size class, and ownership.

In addition to the resources report, all major species in the state are summarized. The summaries include key trends, including changes in volume, and tree numbers by size and diameter class. The summaries provide details on where specific species grow, by both state region and habitat-type group. Managers and industry personnel will also find pertinent information, such as net growth, mortality, and harvest removals over time. Finally, key health issues are summarized for a given species and projections are given for growing-stock volume over the next 40 years.

Check out the statewide summary, species reports, and other specific data tables in our Annual Reports and Publications hub.

Hardwood log scaling

This article, written by DNR forest products team leader Collin Buntrock (contact him in Rhinelander at 608-286-9083) and DNR forest products specialist Scott Lyon (contact him in Green Bay at 920-360-3722), discusses log scaling and explains what separates the three commonly-used methods of scaling hardwood logs in the U.S.  It also explores common defects and provides the accompanying formulas for calculating appropriate deductions for each defect: https://p.widencdn.net/wfabyu/Hardwood-log-scaling 

Wood stove tax credit extended

By Sabina Dhungana, DNR forest products specialist, Madison, 608-220-4531

According to the ENERGY STAR program, the federal government has extended a tax credit to homeowners who purchase a biomass stove to heat their existing home or water. The Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credits have been retroactively extended through 12/31/2020. Biomass stoves burn wood and residues (including wood pellets), agricultural crops and trees, plants, grasses and fibers. To qualify for this $300 credit, stoves must have a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent and meet 2020 clean air standards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Find more information about this renewable energy credit here.

Biochar 101 and potential applications

By Sabina Dhungana, forest products specialist, Madison, 608-220-4531

The Forest Products Services program in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service hosted a webinar highlighting the fundamentals of biochar.  Biochar is an emerging forest product that is derived from woody biomass and other organic feedstocks. The use of biochar has gained considerable interest in the agricultural field, and it presents opportunities for utilizing available biomass sources. Topics covered in the webinar included: Biochar markets and uses, biochar production systems, and applications in vegetable growing.  The webinar has been archived and can be viewed here.