With proper planning, ACRES and the planting of land or afforestation can be “fully” compatible, a spokesperson for Euro Forest Ireland has outlined.
The spokesperson confirmed to this publication ACRES actions are specified per land parcel, not on the whole farm.
They told That’s Farming: “A parcel on which an ACRES action is situated may subsequently be split to facilitate afforestation or the planting of forestry.”
“Farmers may opt out of some ACRES actions if converting the parcel or land area to forestry during the ACRES scheme, provided the actions have been completed for a minimum of two years.”
“The forest creation measures in ACRES do not require an afforestation licence approval.”
“In order to maximise total farm income, farmers should consider whole farm planning combining ACRES, The BISS, The Organic Farming Scheme and planting some land with trees under the afforestation scheme including the new Native Tree Area Scheme,” the spokesperson added.
Last week, we also featured an article from EuroForest Ireland outlining the position of tax-free annual forestry premiums and the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) in the current new CAP period, which will run from 2023 until 2027.
Land planted since 2008 can qualify for both the income tax-free annual forestry premium and the BISS payments in the new forestry programme, the spokesperson confirmed.
According to the spokesperson, there is no requirement to retain 10% of entitlements in forage area to secure the BISS payments.
They outlined that “it is also anticipated that the BISS payments will continue to be eligible for payment on newly planted forestry after the duration of forestry premium payments has finished”.
“A farmer claiming the average BISS payment and the new forestry premiums for broadleaf forestry can now get in excess of €1,400 per hectare per year, or €570 per acre per year, with the vast majority of this being income tax-free.”
“Therefore, a farmer planting 20-acres can now secure €11,400 per year, whilst retaining ownership of the crop,” the spokesperson added.
This, they concluded, can also be combined with the ACRES scheme, planning in this manner, will improve overall farm income.
Read more on this news article.