Andrew Doyle T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Forestry, has announced the release of the first bulk payment of annual tax-free forestry premiums for 2018. The payments are currently being issued to forest owners who applied through the Department’s online services website www.agfood.ie.
Minister Doyle highlighted that “some 7,300 forest premium applications have been paid this week amounting to €27.8 million. This is a significant investment in rural Ireland. The Department will continue to process online applications for 2018 forest premiums as they are received, with payments continuing on a weekly basis throughout the year. This first payment is for applications received online which shows the benefit of applying online for forest owners. I would encourage others to consider this option in future”.
The Minister of State added “the beginning of each year is a good time to consider options for the year ahead and I would encourage landowners to give serious consideration to forestry as a land use option. There are a range of schemes available under the current Forestry Programme so I believe that landowners should check those out in order to make a fully-informed decision. Details can be found at www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice. The extent of payments being issued this week illustrates how forestry can provide a regular income stream for up to 15 years for Irish farmers. In the next few weeks, I expect to be announcing the outcome of a Mid Term Review of the 2014-2020 Forestry Programme which will make further exciting changes to these schemes”.
2017 Sheep and Goat Census
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will issue the Annual Sheep and/or Goat Census forms for 2017 this week to over 45,000 sheep and goat keepers registered on the Department’s database.
The Department has selected Sunday 31 December 2017 as the census date. Completion and return of the census is a legal obligation on keepers.
The completed 2017 census forms may be returned either by post via the addressed envelope provided with the census form or online via agfood.ie.
The onus remains with the flock/herd keeper to make sure that completed census forms being returned by post are received on time. The only acceptable proof of postage is a Registered Post receipt in the case of dispute regarding postal returns. A postal certificate or express post receipt is not acceptable as proof of postage.
The closing date for receipt of completed 2017 census forms is 31 January 2018. Postal returns must be forwarded to Seefin Data Management, PO Box 17, An Post, Cahirdown, Listowel D.S.U, Co. Kerry no later than that date. However, respondents submitting a census return on-line via agfood.ie may avail of an extended closing date to 11.59 p.m. on 14 February 2018.