With the closure of several mills within the state, industrial procurement managers became
concerned about the status of Minnesota’s logging sector. A mail survey and follow-up focus
groups were conducted to assess that status and to consider future scenarios. While there are
many logging businesses producing up to 5,000 cords annually, those businesses produce a small
percent of the total annual volume harvested and they tend to have the oldest equipment, to work
during the winter, and are operating at the lowest level of their reported capacity. Over time,
there has been a trend toward larger producers who harvest an increasing percentage of the total
annual volume harvested. Business owners are keeping their equipment longer than in the past
which has both positive and negative aspects. While small logging businesses will continue to
have a niche with private landowners in the future, it is likely that their number will continue to
decline in the future and that there will be continued growth of producers harvesting more than
15,000 cords annually. To be successful in the future, the logging sector will need to help itself
and will need assistance from public forest management agencies, procurement mills and lending
Staff paper series (University of Minnesota. Department of Forest Resources);
1 electronic resource (PDF; 119 pages)
This research was supported by Minnesota Forest Industries; Minnesota Logger Education Program; University of Minnesota, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Department of Forest Resources; University of Minnesota Extension; and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station under Projects MN 42-042 and MN 42-057.
Blinn, Charles R.; O'Hara, Timothy J.; Chura, Dave T.; Russell, Matthew B..
Status of the Minnesota Logging Sector in 2011.
University of Minnesota.
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