Miss. offers dollars to thin against pine beetles

STARKVILLE, MS (AP) — Mississippi landowners whose stands of pine are thick enough to create a hazard for southern pine beetle infestations can get $50 to $75 an acre as an incentive to thin their trees.

Andy Londo of Mississippi State University’s Extension Service says the higher payment is for stands too young for commercial thinning. He says the $50 is to encourage landowners to thin now rather than waiting for pulpwood prices to rise.

The extension service says timber was Mississippi’s second-biggest agricultural commodity last year. The $1 billion harvest was behind only poultry and eggs, at $2.5 billion.

Louisiana’s forestry program manager, David Campbell, says Louisiana hasn’t had a major pine beetle outbreak for about 12 years. Louisiana landowners got $834 million last year for timber, pulpwood and other forest products.

The Associated Press