The new Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) can be “fully compatible” with the planting of forestry, according to a timber harvesting company.
However, Euroforest Ireland has advised farmers that this will require “proper planning”.
“ACRES actions are specified per land parcel, not on the whole farm,” a spokesperson for the company said.
“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,” they added.
Euroforest Ireland offered the following advice for farmers considering planting trees:
“In order to maximise total farm income farmers should consider whole farm planning combining ACRES, the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS), the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) and planting some land with trees under the afforestation scheme including the new native tree area scheme.”
In other forestry news, the European Commission has confirmed that it is in “contact” with the Irish Government in relation to the new €1.3 billion Forestry Programme.
However, the commission said that it “cannot comment on the content of these contacts nor prejudge their timing or outcome”.
Details of Ireland’s next Forestry Programme 2023 – 2027 were first unveiled last November by the then-Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, Minister of State with responsibility for forestry, Pippa Hackett, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.
The programme is subject to state aid approval by the European Commission before it can be implemented in Ireland.