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Index prices can tell you on average what a particular species of a particular log species brought recently on the market in your region. Different species and different regions command vastly different prices. And those prices can change dramatically... sometimes in just a few weeks!
A licensed forester can help with timber volume, measured in thousands of board feet (mbf). By multiplying the species volume against its index price, you can create a spreadsheet that totals the approximate value of each species as well as the estimated total value of the harvest you are planning.
Index prices can help you value timberland that you own or land you may be interested in acquiring. Combining the forest value with an estimated raw land value (and other components such as development) result in a total approximate land value.
The price history for a specific species can be a valuable projection tool. Price trends change based on supply and demand, mill capacity in a particular area, and even fashion (as certain types of wood go in and out of style for products like furniture and flooring).
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