Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department is running two timber marketing days “Talking Timber”, at which forest owners will have the opportunity to meet with timber buyers, harvesting contractors and foresters.

These two events will take place on:

  • Tuesday 26 August 2014 at Kildalton Agricultural College, Piltown, Co Kilkenny
  • Tuesday 2 September 2014 at the Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Registration commences at 9.30am and both events will run from 10am to 2pm.

These timber marketing events will give forest owners the opportunity to find out how the timber selling process works and what harvesting options are available. The events are organised by Teagasc with the co-operation of the Irish timber industry, the Forest Service, and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Nuala Ni Fhlatharta, Head of Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department, explained timber market dynamics: “The Irish timber processing industry has adapted successfully over the last number of years from largely supplying the Irish construction sector to exporting almost 80% of what it produces to the UK, France and to new markets in continental Europe. There is now a clear need to mobilise timber from the private forest sector to meet a growing demand from the forest products and bioenergy markets as well as capturing more export markets in the years ahead.”

Dr Ni Fhlatharta added: “With annual timber production from the private forestry sector forecast to increase sevenfold to almost three million cubic metres by 2028, there are both challenges and opportunities for forest owners to get this rapidly expanding timber resource to market.”

John Casey, Forestry Adviser with Teagasc, highlighted the need for private forest owners to focus on the production of quality timber: “Supply of quality timber will be essential for the Irish timber processing industry to expand existing markets and secure additional export market share. Producing quality logs is achieved through a range of measures from forest establishment through to final harvesting. These include establishing and maintaining high tree stocking levels as well as regular, timely and controlled thinning regimes. These measures if implemented on a consistent basis and with professional forestry input will encourage a more uniform growth resulting in improved timber properties and enhanced conversion in the sawmill.”

Liam Kelly, Forestry Adviser with Teagasc, explained what forest owners can expect from these timber marketing events: “Some of the key concerns for owners when preparing for thinning include the securing of an attractive market for timber and ensuring the work is completed to a high standard. Feedback from forest owners has highlighted the need for a suitable forum to engage with key players involved in the harvest and purchase of timber. Our ‘Talking Timber’ events will provide a great opportunity for forest owners to meet and network with other forest owners, forest managers, harvesting contractors and timber buyers. It will also provide the opportunity for forest owners to familiarise themselves with key forestry issues around preparing for thinning, harvesting options, available markets and timber prices. And finally, these events will also be of great interest to forest owners whose forests suffered wind damage earlier this year.”

Event outline

The events will have host companies, contractors and timber buyers providing networking opportunities for attendees.

The day will start with an outdoor demonstration organised by the Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association. Participants will have the opportunity to view the quality of timber required by Irish sawmills and the best way to ensure such quality. Similar to other farm-based products, the quality of the timber has a very important bearing on the market price offered.

This will be followed by a series of short presentations from Teagasc, the Forest Service and the Irish Timber Growers Association. A local forest owner group will also give their perspective and share experiences. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and a further opportunity for forest owners to meet and engage with harvesting contractors and timber buyers in their locality.