The latest Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) Timber Price report shows that palletwood prices have increased by up to 15 per cent since February, while average sawlog prices are in excess of €85/tonne.
IFA national farm forestry chairman, Pat Collins, said that with demand for timber predicted to remain high at a domestic and global level, it is a good time to consider forestry.
"There are several options available under the Afforestation and Woodland Creation scheme to suit the soil, size, location and management objectives,” he said.
He said that the size of a viable forest from a timber perspective is very location-specific, for example a small forest that is near a road and easy to work can generate comparable timber incomes per hectare as a larger forest, particularly if managed as part of a harvesting cluster.
“For those who have already planted, but who have not managed the forest or have timber in hard-to-access locations, now is the time to have your asset valued and look at realising a good price.”
A farmer is legally required to apply to the Forest Service for a felling license before they can fell a tree in his plantation. If you are planning to apply for a felling licence, approvals can take up to 12 months to issue.
“Farmers are very concerned with the delays in getting felling licence approval,” said Mr Collins. “The introduction of a single 10-year felling licence and the new public consultation process, although welcomed, is causing further delays,” he said.
He said that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine must work to reduce the turnaround time for felling licence approvals so farmers can avail of the strong timber prices.
Click here for the full IFA Timber Price survey.