Research : the key to the development of Missouri's forest resources and wood-using industries
"The progress we make depends on research and education. Evidence of the importance of research is available in every field of endeavor. An increase in corn yields in Missouri of approximately 100 percent in the last 30 years is a result of comprehensive research in plant breeding and soil fertilization. In the field of medicine the numerous antibiotics, which each year save thousands of lives, would not be available today if scientific research had not been carried out for many years. We would not have the enjoyment of television if large sums of money, invested years ago without immediate return, had not been spent for electronics research. Pulpmills, non-existent in the South in 1925 and numbering 25 twenty years ago and 81 today, might not have been built so soon if research on the pulping qualities of southern pines had not been initiated 35 years ago in a small laboratory in Savannah, Georgia. Research on the pulping qualities of hardwood, too, has resulted in their rapidly increasing use in paper manufacture. Between 1954 and 1959 the quantity of hardwood roundwood used by the pulp industry in the South increased from 14 to 19 percent of the total round-wood used. The relatively small investments in forestry research in Missouri have yielded significant results. Research on the culture and marketing of Christmas trees increased the planting of Christmas-tree species from 6,000 trees in 1956 to nearly 800,000 trees in 1958. Within a few years Missouri-grown trees will be supplying the more than one million trees bought each year by Missourians. Missouri lands will be producing a new crop worth $2 to $3 million annually. In the field of wood products, research has demonstrated the practicability of producing paneling at a profit from low-grade oak lumber. A strong consumer interest has sprung up for this paneling, providing a new market for oak lumber opened by wood products investigations. Research has also led the way in intensifying the management of young pine plantations and natural stands. Marketing studies demonstrated the economic feasibility of harvesting posts, poles and piling from these young stands and thus opened the opportunity for intensive management of the pine resource. Research-developed techniques, using hormone-type chemicals to control unwanted brush and inferior trees, make possible greater pine yields per acre with minimum investments in cultural work. These same techniques make feasible the conversion of low-quality hardwood sites to pine forests as economic considerations become more favorable. These examples of the contributions of research in developing new products, in making possible greater yields from the land, and in developing new industries, demonstrate that everyone benefits from research. The progress that will be made in Missouri in growing high-quality forest products, in combating damage to timber by fire, insects, and disease, in rehabilitating our forests, and in attracting new wood-using industries in competition with other timber-producing states will depend on how well the research and educational efforts in forestry and wood products are financed and directed. Forest research, especially in land management, takes time. Studies initiated today may take as long as 20 years or more to bear fruit because trees may not be harvested until they are 100 years old. Even though Missouri's forests are producing at no more than one-fourth of their growth capacity and the quality of most of the wood is poor, wood-using industries contribute a great deal to the state's economy. More than $300 million dollars annually in payrolls, in value added by manufacture, and in capital improvements to plants and mills comes from forest-based industries. The $110 million annual payroll of these industries provides full-time jobs for about 27,000 persons and part-time employment to thousands more in the forests and mills. The forests contribute substantially to the tourist industry because of the appeal which trees lend to the rolling hills and the streams which flow through the forests. Expenditures by tourists increased from $200 million in 1951 to more than $600 million in 1959, and the number of visits to the state parks rose from 3,365,000 in 1958 to 7,362,000 in 1961. If research is to be properly directed, a periodic review of the problems and the existing programs is necessary. This can be accomplished most effectively through a joint effort of the agencies engaged in research. Such a review has been made in Missouri for the first time by the two public agencies doing the forestry research and is presented in this report."--Page 4.