IFA Farm Forestry Conference – the Business of Forestry

All private forest owners are invited to the IFA Farm Forestry conference, The Business of Forestry will take place tomorrow Tuesday, 26th November in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone. The conference aims to provide expert support and guidance to private forest owners to improve the management of their forests to maximise the economic return from thinning operations. As a forest owners it is important you have some basic knowledge of the timber sales process and markets even if you are employing a forester to manage the operation.

Currently the timber prices are good and harvesting activity in the private forest sector has increased significantly. However, thinning is not just about income generation, the main aim of thinning is to improve the overall quality of your forest. Thinning is considered the best management tool available to forest owners to improve the timber quality as it focusses future growth on the better quality trees. This is why it is so important that thinning operations are managed correctly and the interests of the forest owner are protected. Too much is at stake for forest owners to sell their timber without an understanding of the process and the timber markets.

The IFA Farm Forestry conference has invited a panel of expert speakers to address some of the main questions and concerns of private forest owners in relation to thinning operations. Enda Keane, TreeMetrics will discuss the importance of knowing the value of the timber in forest, Trevor McHugh, IFS Asset Managers the necessity of good timber sales contract to protect you from poor harvesting practices and the exploitation of your forest, while Declan McEvoy, IFAC will discuss the tax implications of timber sales and forestry income in general. John Ryan, Murray’s Sawmill will provide some insight into timber markets.

Another hot topic that will be discussed will be forest certification, which is currently being demanded by some markets. Forest certification is an independent assurance, which certifies that management practises conform to specified standard. Ciaran Fallon, Coillte will provide some insight from a forest owners perspective on what is involved in getting your forest certified. Coillte’s forests are now certified to both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) standards.

The outbreak of ash dieback disease is a major concern for the private forest owners, who have planted nearly 20,000 hectares of ash since the mid-1990s. Gerard Cahalane, Forest Service will provide an update on the present situation on the Chlara eradication programme and the work being carried out by the Forest Service to halt the spread of the disease. He will also discuss recent developments in Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum) which affects Japanese larch.

To book your place at the conference please register with Nadene Fulton on 01 426 0343, the conference is free for IFA Farm Forestry members

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