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24
JUNE 2019
Forestry Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
By planting a portion of their lands, even just a quarter of
an acre, farmers can invest in their future, their children's
future and the future of the planet. Being able to fully
utilise lands, which are a valuable farming asset, while
simultaneously delivering environmental benefits, is a
thoroughly modern approach to agriculture. To the savvy
small holder, for instance, it may make complete economic
sense. Forestry can be good for the planet and good for
your pocket. But how to go about it and who to ask? If
you haven't planted before you may be unsure as to where
to turn to for advice, how to choose the right land and
species, and how to apply for the generous grants and
premiums available from the Department of Agriculture,
Food and the Marine.
Here are the steps you could follow:
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Contact Teagasc your local Teagasc o ce can o er
you free advice on where and what to plant. You do
not need to be an existing Teagasc client to avail of this
advice. See further details about Teagasc advice on their
website at www.teagasc.ie under crops then forestry.
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Contact your own Agricultural Advisor your own
agricultural advisor may be in a position to advise on
planting or to put you in touch with someone who can
do so.
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Contact a Registered Forester If you wish to plant,
you must engage a registered forester. These are
companies or professional foresters (not linked to
Teagasc or the Department) who will arrange for you to
apply for approval from the Department to plant; once
approval is granted they will also arrange to plant the
trees. They will o er you advice on the types of trees to
plant and indeed you can approach these companies/
foresters directly in the first place. Generally the grant
for establishing the trees is used to cover the forester's
costs, and can be paid directly to the forester by the
Department (if the farmer gives permission to do so), but
these details are worked out between the farmer and
the registered forester. Details of registered foresters are
available on the Department's website
www.agriculture.gov.ie under Forestry then Forest
Service General Information.
The Department approves applications to plant and pays
an establishment grant once planted and then pays annual
premiums for up to 15 years directly to the farmer. There
are full details on the Department's website or you can
contact the Forestry Division directly for help by email on
forestryinfo@agriculture.gov.ie or by phone at 071 106446.
For every piece of land there is a scheme which would
probably suit, from Native Woodland Establishment,
Agroforestry, Forestry for Fibre to commercial A orestation.
Some facts about forestry and how it can benefit you and
all of us:
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You get a 100 per cent grant for its establishment and
yearly premiums, payable each year for up to 15 years.
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The wood from the forest is yours, when it matures you
can fell and sell.
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It's tax free. There is no income tax payable on
premiums, and income from forestry clear-felling is tax
free.
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You will still qualify for the Basic Payment Scheme on
planted land.
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It will capture carbon while growing, and store carbon
when it's made into wood products; it can replace fossil
fuels.
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Forestry can protect rivers near your farm.
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Trees can o er shelter to your animals.
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Forestry can provide an ideal habitat for birds, bees,
other species and plants.
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Forest-loving pine martens are the native red squirrels
greatest ally against invasive grey squirrels.
The reasons to plant trees are as varied and diverse as the
species themselves, not least that farmers can earn from
190 per ha per annum up to 680 per ha annum for up to
15 years, depending on what species is planted.
If you want to learn more keep an eye on the Teagasc
website, as they hold forestry events throughout the year.
The Department is also funding the promotion of forestry
by other groups and organisations in the next two years.
Friends, farmers,
countrymen and women,
lend us your lands:
a message from the Department of
Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Ireland needs trees and farmers are best placed to meet this
need. While thousands of farmers have planted trees over the
years, and so much has been achieved, we still have the lowest
forest cover in Europe
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