Ever wonder why TallPines Forest Products uses only 100% pine wood shavings and pellets in our bedding line? (Don't tell anyone we have cedar too, but that is a specialty bedding.)
The answer is incredibly simple. Pine shavings are still the best option for almost all animals.
Let's talk about why Eastern Sweet Pine is a triple win. First, our lumber mills have to shave down planks of wood in order to sell premium grades of lumber for housing. Shavings and sawdust are the byproduct of this process which is what we get to use for bedding. Shavings and sawdust would become trash, or it would be burned off if it was not used as bedding for animals. The first win goes to landfills.
The second win is for the animals themselves. Our lumber is always 100% natural, virgin timber. There are no additives or chemicals used in the process of getting our shavings off the board. Your animals only sleep in the highest quality pure pine shavings. Win number 2.
Win number 3 is for the environment. ALL of the mills we work with use their own logs from tree farms. Trees are constantly cut down and then re-planted which means the impact on the overall evironment is minimal at best. There is never any bulk land clearing with our mills. Most of the mills are actually planting more trees than they cut down each year for future growth plans.
Sure, you can buy a lot of different pine shavings from a lot of different companies. But are you sure that they are trying to keep the environment intact for the next generation?
Great, pure, virgin wood shavings, pellets, and sawdust. Pine River Bedding.
With the continued success of the Pine River Bedding name, we have decided to split the company in half. Yep, right down the middle. 50/50.
No, we are just kidding!
What we have actually decided to do is split our websites into 2 separate focuses. Tallpines Forest Products will now become the corporate site that will deal with all the executive things that we have to do as a company, including vendor relationships and credit information for new suppliers. Pine River Bedding will stay the "brand name" site that it has always been. We will continue to help build the brand name, Pine River Bedding, as well as offer branding insight and opportunities for our dealers here.
The need for these changes is because the company continues to grow in exciting ways, and for future projects or opportunities that we might have going forward we do not want to confuse our customers. Previously, both websites sent you here to Pine River Bedding, and while that was immensely helpful for all things Pine River or TallPines, it did not allow us to separate the "business" from the "brand".
We are proud of our success as a company and can not wait to show off some of our new ideas going forward.
Thank you for a wonderful 2017 and continued success in 2018!
The end of the year is quickly closing upon us. With this, another year is in the books, and we now must look back upon 2017 as a measuring stick of sorts. For this reason, 2018 looks interesting.
A couple thoughts we have on the state of lumber and shavings at the moment:
So what does this mean for our customers going forward?
Prices will have to increase on wood shavings going forward. Longer term, we believe that the cost of shavings will see a slow, steady rise over the next 3-5 years. There are several factors for this price increase, and we will discuss them in length now.
To start with, the US economy is doing really well over all. The Federal Reserve continues to slowly increase interest rates, but they are not raising rates fast enough to stave off inflation. Prices in all commodities have stabilized since the "Great Recession". Oil, gas, and lumber have all seen a steady increase in demand with no major suppliers being added to the market. This pricing pressure is beginning to show it's face in the form of higher prices on some commodities.
Additionally, the housing recovery is putting lumber mills back to work full time. While this would normally be a good thing for shaving supplies, the current market has inflated housing prices so that a lot of sellers have made substantial gains on their real estate holdings. The current state of our "service economy", which encourages people to telecommute and work from home, has added more brokers and shavings dealers to the selling mix. Lumber mills are now limiting how many loads of shavings are sold (and to who) each week of production. They are rasing prices to the current brokers as they are consistently selling through all their production. This cramp on supply means that all brokers and lumber dealers are having to raise prices to their current customers as well.
Finally, there is not any new suppliers coming on the market at this time. Lumber is a commodity. There is only so much of it to go around. There is also only so many mills to refine logs into lumber, shavings, and sawdust. The cost of bringing a new sawmill to market is tens of millions of dollars. Until companies can be assured that the economy is going to perform well for a long time, they are just not going to spend that kind of money on building new mills. When they do decide to build, there is often a 24-36 month lag between announcing building plans and the mill coming into operation. The next 24-36 months represents this lag time currently.
2018 will force some smaller operations out of business. If things are still not recovering in your area, or you are not seeing growth again, then chances are your operation will not survive the long term. We are already starting to see the consolidation of farm and feed stores as more and more are being bought out or sold. Retail is a really rough business right now.
Is There Any Good News?
If there is any silver lining right now, it's that most consumers are already seeing prices increase (or sizes decrease) in their other purchases at home already. Also, it is still not cost effective to ship 40 pound bags of feed or shavings direct to their door via UPS or FedEx. For this reason, bulk suppliers of seed, feed, and shavings are going to continue to do well selling these products, even with deflated margins. Volume will increase as the economy continues to pick up steam and move forward.
Traditional retail is a real struggle right now. If you are a retail farm and feed store, our suggestion is to keep your inventories lean, keep your supply lines open, look for different and new products to sell, and push volume out the door. Margins will continue to be tight in the short term, but the consumer has more money in their pocket to spend. The upcoming tax refunds (March & April) and the new tax bill should also bring more money into the stores long term.
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