The IFA Farm Forestry Chairman Michael Fleming has welcomed the decision by the Forest Service to set an autumn deadline for those receiving a financial approval extension.
Last week, a Forest Service circular was released detailing the shortage of Sitka spruce plants for the spring planting season. It said extensions would be granted, where appropriate.
Michael Fleming said he was concerned over what may become a summer planting programme and the possible risks of afforestation outside the natural planting seasons. “A rush to plant in less than ideal conditions may lead to quality issues in future and extensions into the autumn should be granted.”
Following direct contact with the Forest Service, the Chairman confirmed that a financial completion date extension will be approved, up to the 16<sup>th</sup> of November, where the shortage of Sitka Spruce plants has been the obstructive factor. All planting must be completed by this date along with the submission of all relevant documentation in order to receive payment of grants due.