The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes TD, this week announced that the current arrangement whereby payment of the forest premium and the Single Farm Payment on the same land will continue under the new Forestry Programme 2014-2020. The same rules will apply as before, the main one being that the land being planted must have been eligible to draw down Single Farm Payment in 2008 “I am aware that some people have been holding off on making decisions to plant forestry because of concerns about their future Single farm Payment entitlements. I am happy to provide them with the necessary assurance to enable them to opt for forestry and the attractive incentives that are available to plant”.
Welcoming this announcement John Roche of the Forest Company stated “this is a very welcome clarification as some farmers were understandably nervous, as always happens at the end of a scheme. This gives the industry a great boost as a farmer can now plant their land in the secure knowledge that it won’t affect their Single Farm Payment”.