Ice Storm & NY Maples

Larry Caldwell larryc at
Sun Jan 25 07:40:17 EST 1998

In article <19980124190901.OAA19172 at>,
jostnix at (Jostnix) wrote:

> Even by 1921 standards this would not be a major loss of revenue or trees for
> New England.   There are two billion merchantable trees in Alabama; probably
> half that much in New England.  You do the percent loss - and the above is the
> worse recorded.  Could the latest storm have destroyed many thousand more times
> the trees destroyed in 1921.

There's a real good chance, simply because there are many times as many
trees in the NE than there were in 1921.  Back then, agriculture was still
a profitable industry, and farmers cleared ground for crops and pasture.
The long-vanished "parity" price of farm goods was set to reflect prices
in the 1920's, when the dollar was undergoing rapid deflation due to 
the introduction of assembly line techniques.

During the wildest heyday of federal price supports, during the late 1950's
and early 1960's, farmers were promised 50% of parity for their crops, if
they took half their land out of production.  Current ag prices rarely
exceed 10% of parity.

The majority of New England farms were abandoned because they would not
produce a profit of any description.  Farmers quit keeping land clear
around the 1930's, and the process accelerated from there.  Sixty years
later, the trees have made a big comeback.

-- Larry

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