IFA Farm Forestry Chair Jason Fleming has acknowledged the improvements in the system for forestry licences and that output has increased.
In September 2021, there were approx. 4,700 licences in the system for more than 120 days. This figure is down to 1,700.
However, he said there are still 885 licences that have been in the system for over 13 months.
“The target set down for licences to be cleared is four months. There should be no forest licence applications pending a decision for longer, unless additional information has been requested. The Department is currently working through licences that have been in the system for more than two years, which is well outside the target, and they hope to clear these soon,” he said.
“Ultimately it is going to take time for farmers’ confidence in the system to be restored. They are very annoyed that many were unable to take advantage of the exceptional timber prices in 2021 as a result of the forest licence crisis,” he said.
The latest IFA timber price survey shows that sawlog prices have dropped by 20% compared to 2021 prices.