Replace your REPS payments with forestry

February 4, 2015

Replace your REPS payments with forestry

Replace REPS payments with Forestry

Earn up to €249 per acre over a 15 year period

A high percentage of farmers received their final REPS payment in December 2014.  As a result, many farmers will be looking to alternative enterprises or schemes to supplement their income. For many, forestry may be a viable option to replace the annual REPS payments.  The afforestation grant and premium scheme provides a package to encourage the planting of forests by covering the cost of forestry establishment, plus the income foregone (from other farm enterprises) during the maturation of the timber crop.

The Government recognises the valuable contribution that forestry makes to the economy and continues to support the industry. This is demonstrated by the recent approval of the forestry programme covering the period 2014-2020.

Those who plant under the scheme can receive an increased premium of up to €249 per acre over a period of 15 years. This is an increase of €41 per acre over the existing premium that ran for 20 years. The premiums will be paid in a shorter timeframe that will allow farmers and landowners to receive income sooner.

According to Daragh Little, MD of FEL and Chairman of Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association, “The changes to the owner’s premiums are very positive; the new scheme opens forestry to those who could not qualify in the past.  Non-farmers, individuals leasing land and those who availed of the Early Retirement Scheme are now eligible for the forestry programme.  It is estimated that the removal of these restrictions will allow thousands of acres of new land become available to forestry and help achieve Government annual planting targets.

Forestry provides a stable annual income for a period of 15 years, with income from timber harvesting starting soon after the end of the premiums provided commercial conifers are planted on the land.  Revenue earned from premiums and timber sales is income tax-free subject to the income tax threshold.

For more information and advice on farm forestry and how to replace your REPS payments, please contact FEL on 1800 719 399 or email FEL are Ireland’s leading forestry company specialising in all aspects of forestry including planting, harvesting, management and investment. FEL Manage over 40,000 of acres of forestry in Ireland.