Farm Ireland

Friday 23 February 2018

Bargains still to be had in forestry

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The sale of forestry ground which had been planted for more than 15 years was one of the interesting features of the land market this year.

Roscommon-based auctioneer John Earley said ground suitable for planting and land with 15 to 20-year-old plantations was making anything from €3,500 to €5,000/ac.

However, given the recent boom in timber prices, it is unlikely that the price of well-managed plantations will remain this low.

Mr Earley explained that in some instances the plantation owners had drawn down the available grants and were keen to offload the plantations.

A desire to sell poor ground to finance the purchase of better land was the prime motivating factor in other instances, he said.

The continuing shortage of timber, both for the building sector and as a biomass source, is expected to drive up the value of the standing plantations.

Forestry industry sources admit that contractors have been flat out through 2010 harvesting suitable forests.

The level of demand for forestry ground was highlighted by the sale of 33ac at Knocknagoshel, north Kerry in late November.

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There were more than 15 parties interested in the lands. The auction opened at €120,000 and a single bid of €5,000 secured the sale at €125,000. This equated to almost €3,800/ac.

The lands were planted in 2004 and the plantation had a mix of alder and sitka spruce. The forest generated an annual premium income of more than €4,000.

Indo Farming