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The assessment for the Softwood Lumber Checkoff has increased from 35 cents to 41 cents per thousand board feet, effective April 1.
The Softwood Lumber Board, which administers the program with oversight by the USDA, says the additional funds will allow it “to build on its success in maintaining and expanding markets for softwood lumber.”
Assessments are collected from U.S. sawmills and importers and used for projects designed to increase the demand for softwood lumber within the U.S. With additional funds from the increase, the SLB will strengthen current programs and address gaps currently limiting the SLB’s ability to protect existing markets and expand market share for softwood lumber. Additionally, the funds will allow the SLB to:
• Increase investments in core programs to ensure the successes in growing market share are not eroded by aggressive and disparaging competitor campaigns as well as recapturing share of voice taken by competitors.
• Establish a wood education program targeting post-secondary architecture and engineering students and young professionals.
• Expand trade training programs for general contractors and installers to address training gaps and skills development, specifically focused on mass timber and related lumber-based building systems.
• Increase support for applied technical research, innovation, and early-adopter programs to maximize and leverage public and private funding.
“The SLB welcomes the news approving the assessment increase,” said Cees de Jager, SLB president and CEO. “The additional investment from the lumber industry enables the SLB to build on the successful program it has established over the past nine years, and pursue new initiatives that leverage softwood lumber’s unique value proposition to solidify its position in an ever evolving market.”
According to SLB, its investments have generated over 7.5 billion bd. ft. in demand since its inception, delivering an average ROI of $25.22 for every $1 spent.