General Tree

The new forestry programme has been warmly welcomed by John Roche of The Forestry Company who noted that there are a number of changes in the new scheme which will make it significantly more attractive than the one it replaces. The key improvements are in the improved forest road grant scheme as well as the opening up of the attractive annual premiums to farmers and non-farmers alike.
Indeed the removal of the barrier to the farmer rate of premium for non-farmers has been welcomed by most in the industry. Mr. Roche stated “This is a major improvement on the old scheme. Many landowners were effectively locked out of the previous scheme because they would not qualify for the farmer rate of premiums. This affected many people such as farmers who availed of the Early Retirement Scheme and farmers who have been renting their farm for a number of years. This has now changed and the same premium is available to all landowners. Suddenly the scheme is attractive to people that forestry wasn’t an option for and The Forestry Company has seen a dramatic increase in interest since the new year.”
Mobilising the timber from private forestry estate is the biggest challenge facing the forest industry according to John Roche of The Forestry Company. “It’s vital that the investment by the state in successive afforestation programmes as well as the considerable investment by landowners results in an increased supply of timber to our sawmills. The improvements made to the forest road grant scheme will certainly help to bring more timber to the market.”
The maturing of the private forestry estate and the involvement of more and more farmers who planted within the last twenty years is a trend that is noted by Mr. Roche “Previously when farmers thought about forestry it was mainly in terms of the very attractive annual premiums. As more and more farmers are starting to thin their plantations the significant value of timber is becoming more apparent to many, particularly in light of the favourable tax treatment of profits from commercial forestry. Forestry is playing an increasingly important role in the financial planning of many farm families, in terms of retirement planning, succession, etc.”