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Southern pine beetles threaten swaths of timberland

  By JACK WEATHERLY A “severe outbreak” of Southern pine beetles threatens tens of thousands of acres of the trees that are  a major part of the Mississippi economy. U.S. Forest Service entomologist Jim Meeker said in a release that “this outbreak is unprecedented in scope with beetle activity progressing at breakneck speed with infestations rapidly escalating in size, coalescing ...

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The hot, dry weather has the state’s reeling timber industry in a catch-22 situation. The drought has left Mississippi’s pine trees stressed and vulnerable to attack from pine bark beetles, including the highly destructive Southern pine beetle. The best defense against the pests is to thin tree stands. However, landowners are hesitant to thin their trees and lose revenue from ...

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