Loggers and logging businesses play key roles in sustaining both Wisconsin’s forests and the wood-using industries that depend on them. Our intent in this summary isn’t to provide a detailed a analysis of the results we’ve posted, as we plan to do that in a separate print publication. However, we would make the following four observations that seem evident in our findings.
- There were fewer logging businesses in 2010 than in 2003. While this has resulted in some loss of logging capacity, businesses have gotten larger in terms of employees, equipment, and capital investment. However, overall productivity and profitability appeared to have been down slightly. Further analysis will need to sort this out.
- The distribution of harvest systems was mostly unchanged with cut-to-length systems most common both in number and cords produced. Hand-cutting is still a significant portion of all logging businesses despite low volume production, and likely will continue to be needed due to the different forest types found in Wisconsin.
- Those owning logging businesses continue to get older, with few new businesses coming on line. Whether the growth (in size) of businesses can continue to keep up is yet to seen, but even if they can new leadership will be needed as current owners retire.
- Biomass harvesting is on the fringes for most logging businesses, but loggers appear positively predisposed should markets emerge (and the pricing works, of course).
Posts in this series (with links)
- Harvest systems & production volumes
- Profitability & production capacity
- Factors affecting profitability
- Business demographics
- Employees and contractors
- Capital investment
- Distance and hauling
- Timber sales
- Source of timber supply
- Timber products and buyers
- Interest in biomass harvesting
- Survey methods and response