At the recent event at Auchintender we saw that better land forestry planting and maintenance can be largely mechanised, leading to a great reduction in establishment costs. Grant income can exceed the costs and in many cases it is possible to gain extra income from the sale of carbon credits.
We ventured into a sample plot cleared in a woodland planted in 2003. This already contains about 195 m3/ha and when thinned in five years time expect a yield of about 55 tonnes per hectare. This would result in a net return of about £10 per tonne. Final felling yield at about 45 years old could achieve a net return of up to £15,000 per hectare.
We also saw a planting machine built by a local contractor.
In the afternoon Julian Bell reminded us that on average farms make a loss without subsidies. Averaged over the rotation, income from forestry can be comparable with farmed income for many farm types. Planting up the worst performing land on the farm can lead to significant savings or allow more efficient and profitable use of the remaining land.
The PowerPoint Presentations from the event can be found below;
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