Whether you fly over or drive through Mississippi, you are immediately struck by the beauty and abundance of our timberlands. Mississippi is home to approximately 19.7 million acres of forestland. Sixty-five percent of the state is covered in timber, with an abundance of softwood pine as well as hardwood trees. Of that land, 77% is privately owned. In fact, Mississippi is ranked #1 in the nation for Certified Tree Farmers under the American Tree Farm System. Timber is the state’s second largest commodity with a value exceeding $1 billion annually, and timber is the leading agricultural commodity in over half of the counties in the state.
Mississippi has a strong timber infrastructure, and private landowners are the backbone of that infrastructure ensuring long-term sustainable forest resources. Other critical components include the Mississippi Forestry Commission, which educates landowners and provides a strategic plan for forestry management. Our loggers, some of the top trained in the nation, make it possible to harvest the trees and get them to the mills. Mississippi has nearly 1,000 qualified professional logging companies who operate under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standards (SFI). The state-of-the-art mills across the state are capable of producing hundreds of millions of board feet each year. Mississippi is home to some of the world’s largest bio-mass pellet companies supplying sustainable, renewable, green energy to the world. Mississippi companies produce logs and poles, construction mats, temporary road mats, and the list goes on. We also have a number of active and involved forestry related associations and several universities that provide research and development, all which positively impact the industry.
Mississippi is the crossroads of the south offering shipping access to the world! Mississippi is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, on the east is the Tenn-Tom Waterway, and is crisscrossed statewide by railways and highways. To the south, we are bordered by the Gulf of Mexico with multiple deepwater ports. We invite you to the Hospitality State to discover our timber industry. Mississippi is open for wood-centric businesses to locate or expand– we are a business-friendly state with much to offer. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce thanks you for considering our state to meet your timber needs. We are here to serve you.