Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Most of the nation's productive forests are in nonindustrial, private ownership. To meet projected demands, timber harvests will need to increase on these lands. Iowa, which has 0.61 million hectares (ha) or approximately 1.5 million acres of commercial forestland, could benefit from capitalizing on this demand. However, the state's timber resource has been generally under-utilized. For example, Iowans have not harvested poletimber and low-grade sawlog materials from their woodlots because the market for such products has been lacking. Killing such trees to make room for better quality material involves costs that do not immediately increase net returns; thus, incentive to manage these woodlands has not been high.