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  • Irish farmers turning their land over to forestry

    2011 - 10.24

    It’s no secret that we have been singing the praises of forestry as a great way to make money for some time now and it seems that farmers in Ireland are catching on to the trend as well.

    According to a recent article in The Corkman newspaper, a growing number of farmers in the Republic of Ireland are turning to forestry to increase their income. Some claim that planting up their farmland with trees is proving extremely profitable thanks to growing timber prices.

    Helen Mahon of SWS Forestry, based in Clonakilty, has been giving keen newcomers to forestry some tips on how to turn farmland into tree-growing land. She explained that one of the reasons why farmers are keen to swap to forestry is that once the trees are planted, the business is much less labour intensive than growing animals or crops for food. She added that there are also government grants in place to help people turn their land over to forestry for free.

    Farmers will then receive a premium each year for 20 years to compensate for the income they would have received through farming during that period.

    The farmers then, of course, get to start bringing in an income from selling timber from mature trees on a cycle system, through which sustainable practices can be ongoing and highly profitable.

    A similar model is being used all over the world, such as by our sponsor Greenwood Management in Brazil, where they grow fast-growing plantations on behalf of their investors. It’s easy to see the attraction for the Irish farmers and for those investing in sustainable forestry.

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