Friday 30 September 2016

Agroforestry financial incentives

Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30

Silage and hay cutting is permitted in gran-aided agroforestry sites
Silage and hay cutting is permitted in gran-aided agroforestry sites

The Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture provides financial support for the establishment of agroforestry.

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Grant aided species include oak, sycamore and cherry but other species can also be considered on a case by case basis.

Initial stocking rate should be between 400 and 1,000 trees per hectare equally spaced out. The minimum grant aided area is 0.5ha while the minimum plot width is 20 metres.

Grazing by sheep or young domestic stock is permitted during spring and summer for the first six to eight years. Silage and hay production is also permitted. In general, sites suitable for agroforestry should not require additional fertiliser for tree growth, but the need for additional nitrogen can be assessed on a site by site basis.

Some 80pc of eligible costs are covered. Land classified by the Department as 'unimproved/unenclosed' (ie GPC 1) will not be eligible for support under GPC 11.

The afforestation grant is a fixed grant to cover the costs incurred in the establishment of a forest. It is paid in two instalments as outlined below. An additional allowance for fencing is payable with the First Grant instalment. Premiums are paid for five years.

The grant application is made by the forest owner in association with a forestry consultant or company. Visit www.teagasc.ie/forestry for contact details, how to make a grant application, eligibility requirements and available options.

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