The Murphy farm at Kilcock
A Kildare farm has been used to highlight the use of land for both forestry and agriculture.
AndrewDoyle, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, was in Kilcock today, August 29, for an open day on an agro-forestry farm in Kilcock.
“Plant trees and continue farming” was the message from the Minister of State when he attended the farm.
Agroforestry is the planting of trees on farm land at lower density than normal woodlands so that farming activity can continue on the same land.
It is funded through grants under the National Forestry Programme and these premia were increased last year from €260 to €645 per hectare per year for 5 years.
The open day was held on Leo Murphy’s farm is to help others understand agro-forestry and the benefits of considering this type of planting.
Minister Doyle said the significant increase introduced last year on the grants and premia make this worthy of serious consideration by all farmers.
The Department paid for the planting of those trees and pays an annual premium to the farmer for 5 years. This is part of the Government’s commitment to delivering results under the recently published Climate Action Plan 2019 and the role which our agriculture and land use sector in achieving these targets.
The Department said the Open Day was very well attended. Those present heard both from Mr Murphy, his forester and the Department on how best to consider an agri-forestry project and its benefits.
The Department had agreed with the Environmental Protection Agency on new rules which will allow the planting of agro-forestry in areas designated as acid-sensitive lands.
It gives farmers options for planting trees on some 150,000 hectares of designated acid-sensitive areas.
Minister Doyle said this now creates potential for significantly greater uptake of agro-forestry and native species in designated acid sensitive areas by farmers who wish to develop agro-forestry as part of their farming enterprise”.
Farmers who are interested in joining the scheme can access details on the Department’s website under forestry grants and premium schemes, or may contact either a Teagasc forestry advisor, a registered forester or their agricultural advisor in order to learn more.