Montana State University

MSU Extension Forestry

Timber Value Chain

- Primary Processors

Once logs reach a mill they are processed into primary forest products such as lumber, plywood, or posts and poles. Primary processors usually sell their products to secondary processors. For example, a sawmill may sell its lumber to a cabinet, flooring, or millwork manufacturer, who then further process the material before selling it to a retailer or a final consumer.

In 1998 Montana had about 220 primary forest products manufacturers that sold about $1.15 billion dollars worth of product. The major categories of primary processors in Montana are:

  • Lumber
  • Plywood
  • Residue related products
  • House logs

In Montana primary and secondary processors have organized into the Montana Wood Products Association, a group that serves as the major voice for the forest products industry with the media, state government, legislature, and the public.