Dr. Greg Frey - Sustainably Utilizing Your Forest Resources
Sustainably utilizing your forest resources Small Farm Family Conference November 1-2, 2011; Danville, VA Greg Frey Extension Specialist - Forestry Virginia Cooperative Extension Virginia State University
Many landowners say:I am continuously putting money into my forestland – taxes, planting, monitoring.I want to be a good steward of the land.Timber takes so long to grow.How can I make money from my forests?
Statistics• 79% of forestland in Virginia is owned by Non- Industrial Private Forest (NIPF) landowners.• 89% have less than 50 acres.• However, 67% of forestland is owned by 11% of the owners.How can small farm/forest owners make money in this environment? Source: Rose, A.K. 2009. Virginia’s Forests, 2007. USDA Forest Service.
Objectives• Review some steps to get good information and make smart decisions.• Give small farmers/landowners an overview of some options to make money from their woods, and discuss some advantages and disadvantages.
Step 1: Determine your objectives• Stewardship• Personal activities/recreation• Total profits• Annual income• Low costs/investment• Ease of management• Ease of marketing Photo Credit: Forest Landowner Education Program
Step 2: Consult a professional• VA Department of Forestry County Foresters• Consulting Forester• VA Cooperative Extension Photo Credit: Virginia Dept of Forestry
Step 4: Plan and manage• Would you start a garden without thinking about what you want to grow?• Would start it without planting anything?• Would you grow it without controlling weeds?
Step 4: Plan and manageYou can get support to help with the following:• Land use plan• Land Stewardship Plan• American Tree Farm System• CAP 106For many activities, it is also beneficial to develop a business plan.
Step 5: Reduce your costs• Land use tax rate, if available• Tax credits and deductions• USDA cost share programs (WHIP, EQIP, CRP, CSP, others)• VA Best Management Practices loans and cost share• VA woodlands improvement and health cost share
Step 6 & 7• Keep records.• Plan for your heirs.
Options for generating income with forest resources
TimberWhat is it?• Sawtimber• Pulpwood Photo Credit: Forest Landowner Education Program
TimberWhat are the advantages and disadvantages for small farms?+ Timber can wait until you need it, or until prices are good.+ Compatible with other products (e.g. recreation).+ Low intensity management.- Long waiting time.- Competition with large landowners- There may be some unscrupulous loggers.- Markets for products like pulpwood are on the decline in many areas.
TimberWhat do I need to do?• Contact a forester & create management plan• Site prep, planting• Competition control, release• Thinning• Work with a forester on timber sale and cost-share programs• Keep records Photo Credit: Greg Frey
FuelwoodWhat are the advantages and disadvantages for small farms?+ Use material that would otherwise be wasted.+ Very small to the medium or large scale.- Prices are not high, but might be a source of side income.
FuelwoodWhat do I need to do?• Develop a management plan and a business plan.
RecreationWhat are the advantages and disadvantages for small farms?- For many leases, you need a relatively large area.- Prices not high.+ Management is not too hard, once you have the legal issues sorted out.+ Annual income
RecreationWhat do I need to do?• Find an individual or group to lease your land, or seek bids.• Work with a lawyer.• Make sure you have the right insurance.• Forest improvement for wildlife.
ConservationWhat is it?• Easement - Give away, or sell, your rights to develop a portion of your land, either permanently or for a set period of time.• Undertake forest improvement practices.• Claim numerous tax deductions or credits, or cost-share payments. Photo Credit: Forest Landowner Education Program
ConservationWhat are the advantages and disadvantages for small farms?- Terms can be flexible, but you forfeit some of your rights. Only do this if you absolutely do not want your land to be developed.- Many conservation trusts don’t deal with small acreages.+ Cost share and tax deductions from state and federal government.
ConservationWhat do I need to do?• Speak to a professional• Appraisals will be done for the value of your land with and without easement Photo Credit: Forest Landowner Education Program
Non-Timber Forest ProductsWhat is it?• Pine straw• Ginseng, Goldenseal, Cohosh• Ramps• Mushrooms• Honey• Crafts (Oak baskets, Holiday greenery)• Christmas trees• Many others Photo Credit: Forest Landowner Education Program; N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Non-Timber Forest ProductsWhat are the advantages and disadvantages for small farms?+ Find a niche.+ There are so many NTFPs, it is possible to find one to match your management objectives.+ Can be “wild-cultivated” or managed.- Marketing is time consuming.- Requires willingness to experiment.
Non-Timber Forest ProductsWhat do I need to do?• Investigate NTFPs that would match your farm conditions and management objectives.• Contact a professional or specialist.• Develop a management plan and business plan. Photo Credits: Forest Landowner Education Program; http://www.southernliving.com
AgroforestryWhat is it?• Forest farming• Silvopasture• Alley cropping• Windbreaks and shelterbelts• Riparian buffers Photo Credits: Greg Frey; National Agroforestry Center
AgroforestryWhat is it? Silvopasture examplehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJsKmBbtw7Q0:00-5:18
AgroforestryWhat are the advantages and disadvantages for small farms?+ Diversification of income.+ Annual income and long term “savings account”.- Intensive management.- Requires willingness to experiment.
AgroforestryWhat do I need to do?• Be willing to spend some time doing research and experimenting.• Contact a professional or specialist.• Investigate practices that would match your farm conditions and management objectives.• Develop a management plan and business plan.
Carbon offsetsWhat is it?• Trees capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.• Some groups are willing to pay for this service, to offset their own carbon emissions.• Driven by California’s climate program, the Climate Action Reserve (CAR)
Carbon offsetsWhat are the advantages and disadvantages for small farms?- At present, the market in the US is virtually non-existent.- For the foreseeable future, market will attract only large players, because of high cost of project design, and of monitoring and verifying emissions.
Carbon offsetsWhat do I need to do?• Not much you can do since the US market is not very large, just wait, and do something else in the meantime.
Comparison Non-timber Agroforestry Carbon Forest ProductsEasy to market -- + --Competition with large ++ +/- --producersAnnual income +/- ++ +/-Management intensity - -- +/-Costs/Investment - -- --Profitability ++ ++ ?
Review1. Determine your objectives2. Contact a professional3. Define your activities and products4. Plan and manage5. Reduce your costs6. Keep records7. Plan for your heirs
Questions about this presentation:Greg Frey – email@example.com; 804-524-6967For more information about forest planning, and about cost share andother programs, visit your local County Forester (VA Dept of Forestry),Cooperative Extension office, or USDA Service CenterTHANK YOU