Explore you forestry options with Teagasc at the Ploughing Championships

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

Forestry opportunity Teagasc

Now is a great time to grasp the opportunities that forestry can provide as a farm enterprise

With the new forestry planting season fast approaching, now is a great time to grasp the opportunities that forestry can provide as a farm enterprise.

Visitors to the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly from September 19 to 21 are invited to call to the Teagasc marquee where your forestry options will be fully explored along with all other farming queries.

September is the great month to plan for a forestry venture and Teagasc will assist with your queries at the Ploughing. Forestry is an ideal land use option for many landowners, generating competitive returns to make your marginal or fragmented land work for you.

SEE ALSO: Offaly competitors gear up for Ploughing 2017

Forestry is a tax and labour-efficient enterprise option with important practical and environmental benefits. There is an increasing recognition of its crucial role in greenhouse gas mitigation and its potential to enable the expansion of sustainable dairy and dry stock production systems.

The offset potential of maximising our target afforestation levels can result in the saving of approximately 3 million tons of CO2 equivalent per annum, a major benefit for the future.

Forestry can be an option for every landowner. 100% of the cost of planting is generally covered by the Afforestation grant, annual premiums are exempt of income tax and eligible land may also qualify for Basic Payment.

Planting just four acres (1.6ha) of land with broadleaves secures a Forest Service grant up to €9,200 to cover the establishment costs and delivers an annual cheque in the post of up to €1,016 for 15 years in annual income tax-free premium payments.

Planting 40 acres (16.2ha) of land that is difficult for farming can yield a grant up to €92,000 to establish your forest and delivers an annual cheque in the post for 15 years of at least €8,262 and up to €10,287 depending on the species you plant.

What other enterprise on marginal land on 40ac could guarantee an income of up to €154,305 free of income tax over the next 15 years?

During the past twenty five years 19,000 landowners, mainly farmers, have converted some of their land to forestry as an attractive economic and productive option to complement their farm enterprise. Over one third of landowners who planted in the last ten years have also planted again. This is a clear endorsement of the forestry option by many Irish farmers and landowners.

Teagasc provides independent and objective advice on all aspects of the forestry option. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet us at the Ploughing!