The winter of 2013/2014 has not relieved shortages in roundwood production. By any account this winter is proving to be quite severe. Extreme cold has hampered equipment operation, and when combined with a healthy snow load, logging contractors are facing a challenging start to the year.

Most industry contacts report that mill inventories are low for this point in the winter, and supply shortages are expected into the future. Area mills have increased delivered prices for most species and products in an effort to bolster inventories before spring breakup.

Hardwood sawlog inventories are being stretched thin by production shortfalls and increased demand. Northern hardwood lumber demand has been supported by both the steady increase in international demand and U.S. residential home construction.

The fall 2013 county forest bid results (sales generally occurring September through December) found most prices to be stable, but trending downward in some cases. Hardwood saw timber rates dropped for some of the counties analyzed in north central Wisconsin, especially for red oak. Demand for sawlogs has been steady, so the downward adjustment in stumpage pricing may be somewhat linked to sale timing, market perception, and general timber sale characteristics. Yet, supply pressure has resulted in stable to increasing pulpwood stumpage pricing. The stumpage prices for the mixed hardwood pulpwood group suggest favorable market conditions, as an increase in demand and pricing has been observed in most regions.

The following charts depict historic stumpage trends for north central Wisconsin.

February 2014 Pulpwood Stumpage Trends

February 2014 Sawtimber Stumpage Trends

At Steigerwaldt Land Services, our foresters can evaluate your forestland and give you practical advice on the best time to harvest your timber. Contact us today (715.453.3274 or, and we’d be happy to discuss your forest management needs.