2016 KY Forestry Economic Impact

Kentucky Forestry Economic Contribution Report 2016

Kentucky plays a pivotal role in providing forest products to the U.S. and beyond; the forestry sector is a major economic force in the commonwealth. Estimates of the economic contribution and related 2016 statistics include:

* $9 billion in direct economic contribution.

* $14.4 billion in total economic contributions a 1% decrease over 2015.

* 27,740 jobs in the forest industry and an estimated 60,225 jobs overall.

* 722 facilities located in 110 of Kentucky's 120 counties, gaining 9 facilities since 2015.


Sawmills and secondary wood manufacturing were estimated to show increases in direct revenues in 2016; together they are responsible for $3.4 billion in direct revenues, an increase of over $500 million from 2015.


Sawlog production estimated at 746,000 board feet, down slightly compared to 2015, with growth still outpacing removals 2:1. Kentucky remains one of the leaders in hardwood sawlog production in the U.S.


Exports decreased slightly to $283 million, with barrels (new and used) and white oak lumber still the number 1 and 2 exports. Europe remains the top destination for our exports followed closely by Asia.


Hardwood sawlog delivered prices for most major species were mixed compared to 2015.


The closing of the Verso pulp and paper facility in Wickliffe resulted in a functional collapse of pulpwood markets in western KY which helps explain the decline of more than $20 million in the logging sector compared to 2015.

Click here to view the previous reports.  Click here for past news conferences. 


2015 Economic Impact Forestry Report

Environmental Benefits

Woodlands provide countless benefits that are often overlooked, including:  

  • Wildlife and Biodiversity: Kentucky’s woodlands are home to more than 100 tree species and thousands of other species of plants, animals, insects, fungi, and microorganisms. Kentucky is well known for its wide diversity of wildlife much of which is dependent on woodlands for at least part of their lives.
  • Cleaner Water: In addition to slowing precipitation so that it can be absorbed into the ground, our woodlands help to filter out pollutants and sediments before they reach our water supplies. Kentucky’s extensive running waters and lakes are protected in large part by the trees that crowd their banks and act as filters and soil stabilizers.
  • Cleaner Air: Woodlands help to clean our air by sequestering carbon and other pollutants while also providing oxygen.
  • Recreation/Aesthetics: Kentucky’s woodlands provide the scenic backdrop for countless tourism and outdoor recreational opportunities including hiking, camping, hunting, bird watching, nature photography, and more.
  • Quality of Life: Nearly half the state is covered in woodlands and these woodlands are a major part of our heritage and they give us a sense of place.

ky forestry economic contribution report 2016


Kentucky Farm Bureau's Across Kentucky Podcasts:

Click here to listen to Kentucky Farm Bureau's podcast focused on Kentucky’ forest industry’s economic contribution that is set at $9.9 billion and over 50,000 in direct and related jobs in over 100 counties across the state. - June 2013

Click here to listen to Kentucky Farm Bureau's podcast focused some of the specific production and product categories that result in some 51,000 direct and related jobs in over 100 Kentucky counties. - June 2013

Click here to listen to Kentucky Farm Bureau's podcast focused on the jobs related to the Kentucky Forest and Wood Industry - June 2013

Click here to listen to Kentucky Farm Bureau's podcast focused on the Economic Impact of the Kentucky Forest and Wood Industry - May 2013

Other articles of interest:
UK Ag News - Forest Industry has considerable economic contributions 

UK Ag News - Ag Contribution on State, Region Worth Billions

UK AG News - Kentucky 2012 farm cash receipts on track to break $5 billion

The Rural Blog