Mississippi loggers struggle in 2009

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi logging companies are

struggling to survive the decline in new home construction, but the

state's timber harvest remained steady in 2008 due to an increased

demand for plupwood.

Although the final value of the 2008 timber crop will not be

available until February 2009, a preliminary estimate indicates the

crop was worth $1.16 billion, a 5.7 percent increase from its $1.1

billion value in 2007.

However, unlike the state's timber harvest, Mississippi logging

companies felt the full blow of declining housing starts.

Some firms went out of business in 2008, while others left


John Auel, Mississippi State's Extension logging education

coordinator, says since 1996 more than 50 percent of the logging

companies in Mississippi have moved away from the state.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)