Farmers should consider options on forestry after State's aid vow
THE recent announcement by Minister Tom Hayes that State aid will continue under the forestry programme 2014-2020 has been widely welcomed, particularly by farmers unsure of where they stood.
But what significance does it really hold?
Some people had been holding off making the decision to plant forestry because of concerns about their future single farm payment (SFP) entitlements on planted land.
Paddy Bruton, an agricultural adviser and director at Forestry Services Ltd and Cillin Hill Farm Advisory, outlined what exactly Government support means to farmers.
"Farmers can now receive the single farm payment and the forestry premium on the same land. This announcement took all the doubt out and shows the importance of forestry," Mr Bruton said.
This is also good news for people that have planted land since 2009, as they are now assured that they can continue to receive SFP on the land planted until 2020.
What should farmers do?
Most farms have some marginal land which is more suited to forestry than any other farming activity, so given the announcement by the minister, farmers should look at their farms objectively and see if forestry is a good option on sections of their farm.