The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has commenced issuing 2022 forestry premiums.
Forest owners, who applied for their payments through Agfood, will receive the annual tax-free forestry premium payments this week.
The DAFM will issue just under €29m this week to over 8,200 landowners.
2022 forestry premiums
Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, said that issuing these payments early each year is a “priority” for her department.
“I am delighted it has been achieved on schedule again this year. These payments are tax-free and guaranteed for 15 years to each individual forest owners.”
“I would encourage other landowners to actively consider planting a new woodland.”
She said it has “huge” environmental and economic benefits for the owner and for wider society.
It is her belief that it can complement a “productive” farming enterprise. “Farm forestry is the model that all farmers should consider,” she said.
The department moved to a fully online system for forestry premium applications in 2020.
The claims the benefits of the online system are a faster turnaround time and a simpler application process.
The minister encouraged other landowners to apply as soon as possible for any outstanding payments.
The department confirmed it would continue to process online applications for 2022 forest premiums. It will issue payments on a weekly basis.
The minister added, “2022 is going be a very significant year for forestry in Ireland.”
“We will be publishing a brand-new forestry strategy for Ireland and a new Forestry Programme.”
“Also, we will are building on last year’s progress on forestry licencing, where we increased the number of licences issued by 60% on the previous year.”
“I am confident that the strong performance from last year will be built on in 2022. We will focus on increasing the number of afforestation licences we issue in particular.”
According to the DAFM, it has approved 5,000 hectares for planting in Ireland that farmers have yet to plant.
The minister encouraged landowners with approval to plant and who still have a valid licence (approval normally spans three years to consider planting their woodland over the coming months.
They can then take advantage of the “competitive” premiums of up to €680/hectare annually available for the next 15 years.