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Step-by-step guide to online forestry premium applications

Step-by-step guide to online forestry premium applications

The annual forestry premium is often an important, very welcome, source of income for a farm family. The most popular rate amongst farmers tends to be €510 per hectare per year for a period of 15 years. Steven Meyen, Forestry Advisor has a Step-by-step guide to online forestry premium applications

The €510/ha/year payment rate is for establishing a commercial Sitka spruce forest. If you are planting a native woodland on the other hand, then the annual premium is substantially higher at €665/ha/year, also for 15 years. A top-up payment applies if you plant more than ten hectares.

Each year, you need to apply for your forestry premium to be paid out. Until a couple of years ago, you needed to fill out a paper form, called the ‘Form 4’. However, these paper forms are no longer being issued.

Instead, all forestry premium applications must be applied for online via www.agfood.ie.

Applying for your annual forestry premium payment

  • Log on to www.agfood.ie
  • Enter your Username
  • Enter the requested digits from your Personal Access Code (PAC)
  • Enter your Password
  • Select Logon
  • Select Forestry Grants & Premiums from the menu of applications
  • Select option to view Your Outstanding Form 4s
  • Select a contract by highlighting your contract number
  • Select Review & Proceed
  • De Minimis Declaration. Select Yes or No:
    • Yes: I have received other De Minimis payments. Enter the relevant details and then click Save Declaration and Continue
    • No: I have not received any other De Minimis payments. Click Save Declaration and Continue
  • If prompted, view the aerial photograph of your plantation and Proceed
  • Tick the box for I accept these conditions
  • Submit your application
  • If you have more than one contract: select Home and then repeat the process for the next contract 

Tax clearance certificate

You need to have an up-to-date tax clearance certificate if you are lucky enough to receive more than €10,000 in forestry payments.  You apply for tax clearance on the website of the Revenue Commissioners: www.revenue.ie. If everything is in order, you will receive a Tax Clearance Access Number. You can then provide this number together with your Tax Number to DAFM.

Registering for online services

If you are not using the Department’s Online Services yet then you need to register as soon as possible at www.agfood.ie. Once you're registered, you will be able to apply for your all-important 2021 forestry premium payment. Forestry payments commenced last January. 

  • Log on to www.agfood.ie
  • On the top left hand side of the screen you will see Register for Online Services
  • Select Register
  • Complete Registration Details and then select Submit Registration
  • You will receive a letter in the post with your log-on details and your Personal Access Code (PAC)
    Keep this letter safe! You will need it every time when you are applying for your forestry premium payment or for any of the Department’s other online services.

If you have a problem logging on, the helpdesk in Portlaoise (076 1064424 or agfood@agriculture.gov.ie) should be able to sort you out.

Further information

You can contact the Department’s dedicated Forestry Premium Helpdesk in Wexford at 076 1064451 if you need assistance when applying for your forestry premium. Make sure you have your forestry Contract Number (CN) and/or Forest Owner (FO) number to hand.

Further detailed information regarding online forestry premium applications can be found on www.teagasc.ie/forestry