An award-winning farm forest in Co. Kilkenny was an appropriate location for the launch of the new RDS Forestry Awards today (May 29) at an event organised by the RDS and Teagasc.
Farmer, Andrew O'Carroll, who won the Teagasc Farm Forestry Awards 2018, hosted the event at his Clara farm, which was visited by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, Andrew Doyle. Speaking at the event, Minister Doyle said: “A noteworthy feature of Andrew’s farm is the way in which forestry complements his other farm enterprises. I think that this is an excellent example of whole farm planning – the integration of a drystock enterprise, forestry and GLAS measures in a complementary manner in order to maximise the benefits to the overall farm enterprise.”
Minister Doyle said there are generous incentives available under the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Maine's (DAFM) Afforestation Scheme and is worth farmers' consideration.
"I believe that the farm forestry approach, where planting trees does not replace agriculture but works alongside agriculture as part of the farming mix, merits serious consideration. Between €60-€70m is usually paid in forest premiums by my Department each year, which represents a significant stable income stream for forest owners. There is also an online facility whereby forest owners may apply for their annual premium with payments issuing as early as January of each year.”