Green Horizons Newsletter - AgEBB

AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

Green Horizons

Volume 22, Number 3
Fall 2018

Forestry Industry

The Bid Box

By Hank Stelzer | MU Extension - School of Natural Resources

Let's start this edition of The Bid Box right out of the chute with two recent timber sales from different regions of the state.

Madison County, Missouri

  • 120 acres
  • 1,383 marked trees
  • Est. volume: 323,000 bd. ft. (International Scale)
  • 82% red oak; 14% white oak; 4% other mixed
  • hardwoods
  • The forester set the minimum bid at $81,000
  • Three bids were received
  • $97,000 $85,000.99 $81,730
  • The landowner followed the advice of the forester
  • and took the high bid for an 18-month contract
  • with a 10% non-refundable bid deposit
  • Return: $808/ac

Morgan County, Missouri

  • 79 acres; mainly hardwood, but included a small,50-yr-old pine plantation
  • 869 marked hardwood trees
  • Estimated volume: 125,200 bd. ft. (Doyle Scale)
  • Primarily a mix of black oak, white oak, and northern red oak; trees marked were those to be harvested. Also included in sale was a pine plantation marked for thinning, meaning marked trees were those to be left, estimated 15,500 bd. ft. pine to be harvested (Doyle)
  • Forester also marked several hundred small-diameter trees throughout the tract that could have come out of the woods to improve the stands, and were suitable for firewood, chipping, etc. Estimated 'volume' was 250 tons.
  • Estimated value of the sale was $30,000
  • Five bids were received
  • $37,310 $26,500 $26,450 $13,250 $20,125
  • Landowners accepted high bid
  • Return: $472/ac

Two things of note regarding these sales. First, in the Eastern Ozarks, the trees were sold using the Doyle Scale and in Morgan County it was the International Scale. For folks new to selling timber you might ask, "Why two different methods?" and for you more 'seasoned' landowners, you already know the disparity between these two scales and say, "Everything should be sold on the International Scale because it is more fair to the seller." I'll save this discussion for a future GH issue. Suffice it to say, one must "Do as they do in Rome." Just another reason to have a professional forester administer your sale...they know which is the "correct" Rome in your neck of the woods! Second, you never know the range of bids you will receive for your timber, nor how precise ($85,000.99) or how close ($26,500 vs $26,450) bids will be!

A final word needs to be said about future stumpage prices (what one gets for their standing trees). It is anyone's guess what tomorrow will bring with the threat of international tariffs looming on various raw materials, including hardwood logs. Will prices fall or hold their own? Industry professionals are as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! One really needs a professional forester on their team to stay abreast of market conditions.


To help you become familiar with some of the aspects of selling timber, check out the following MU Guides:

G5051 - Selling Timber: What the Landowner Needs to Know

G5057 - Basic Elements of a Timber Sale Contract

G5056 - Managing Your Timber Sale Tax

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