'Colossal' demand for forestry land
The forestry industry has called on the Agriculture Department to help free up land to be planted, as there is not enough timber to meet the 'colossal' demand.
General manager of SWS Forestry, Padraig Egan, said that the biggest challenge facing the industry at the moment is the lack of suitable available land.
"The type of land that has been planted within the last 10 years is the heavy grass, rushier type land, marginal agricultural type land.
"That is going to run out in this country but there is a massive resource," he said.
Mr Egan was speaking at the National Ploughing Championships after the department unveiled the forestry planting programme.
Minister of State Tom Hayes confirmed the scheme was now open for applications.
Mr Egan wants to see more land made available for planting but described the introduction of the new programme as a good move for the industry.
"The new scheme is good, I think it's attractive for farmers but is also attractive for investors.