To remain competitive, sawmills are under constant pressure to increase efficiency. There are many approaches to increasing efficiency, but the most effective method involves cutting the best sized log for their mill and lumber markets. This fact has forced mills to pay vastly different prices for logs of various sizes and lengths. For example, some sawmills want logs under 10 inches in diameter, while other mills prefer logs over 8 inches in diameter. Few mills will pay a decent price for logs over 27 inches in diameter. To complicate things further, some mills pay by the ton, while other mills pay by the thousand board feet.
Confusing? You bet it is. And it gets more confusing when considering the conversion factors for logs purchased by the ton or by the thousand.
This situation increases the likelihood of additional log sorts to maximize revenue, and underscores the importance of staying current with log markets. The good news is there is potentially more money to be made by the astute landowner. The bad news is it takes more time and effort to acquire the knowledge necessary to capture the best value for your timber.