Wood fuel production
Firewood producers came to the open day from all over Ireland and their presence gave us a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other.
It was great to see John Jackson along with others from the Donegal Woodland Owners Society there.
John said that, along with their core sales of dry logs, they were now finding a good market for green timber by selling it to homeowners for further seasoning.
This, of course, improves cash flow and allows the purchaser to become more involved in the final end of fuel production.
Selling green thinnings is increasingly popular in rural areas but not a viable option when targeting markets in Dublin and other towns and cities.
Given the difficulty of locating enough suitable broadleaf thinnings for seasoning and processing in our own area, we cannot see the point of parting with this hard-won raw material, which is the basis of the wood fuel operation.
The junior agriculture minister, Shane McEntee, spoke about the huge amounts of money spent on fuel vouchers, yet all of these go on imported coal and none on firewood.