Parishes rank 1, 2 in 2016 report

The gross value of timber harvested in Beauregard and Vernon Parishes in 2016 topped $128 million, with about $56 million of that going to landowners in stumpage payments.

Total harvest of pine and hardwood put Beauregard at the top of the state’s timber-producing parishes, with Vernon close behind at the No. 2 spot, according to the annual Louisiana Agricultural Summary.

According to the summary, the FOB mill value of Beauregard timber harvested in 2016 was $68.6 million. In Vernon, it was $59.4 million. Those are big numbers, but as LSU AgCenter officials note, they still reflect depressed prices.

The timber harvest value is the overwhelmingly large number in each parish’s agricultural mix, which includes traditional livestock, grain and vegetable crops, fisheries and wildlife.

The total Beauregard value for the year was $88.4 million. Vernon’s total was $105.1 million.

A major component in the differing total is poultry production. Vernon is one of 11 parishes in the state with broiler production. The parish value of that in 2016 was $15.4 million.

Pine is by far the big player in the timber picture.

Pine pulpwood (timber used for making paper) was 464,000 cords in Beauregard; 399,000 cords in Vernon, compared to less than 32,000 cords of hardwood in each parish. A cord is somewhere in the range of 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of timber.

The sawtimber ratios were just as lopsided, with 63.1 million board feet of pine harvested in Beauregard, compared to 16.8 million board feet of hardwood. In Vernon, the totals were 53.5 million and 21 million. The hardwood harvest represents more than a third of the 98 million board feet state wide.

Sawtimber is used for such things as plywood, crosswise, dimension lumber, etc. A board foot traditionally measured is 12 inches x 12 inches x 1 inch.

While both parishes share a timber heritage, topography creates some differences in their agricultural production.

Beauregard has corn — gross farm value $319,000 — and grain sorghum — $100,000 — and Vernon does not. Beauregard’s soybean crop was valued at $1.4 million; Vernon had no acreage in beans.

Among shared enterprises, Beauregard’s beef industry value is listed at $4.8 million. In Vernon, that value is set at $9.3 million.

The horse industry is another disparity between the two. In Vernon it’s value was put at $12.6 million; in Beauregard at $6.3 million.The industry has three sectors: racing, show or competition (horse shows, roping, barrel racing, etc.) and recreational.

Residents in both parishes share a passion for one one form of agricultural — home gardening.

According to the summary, there were 4,925 home gardens in Beauregard with a gross value of $2.4 million. In Vernon, there were 6,790 home gardens, with a gross value of $3.3 million.

Any way you slice them, that’ s a lot of tomatoes.