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Hayes opens Teagasc ‘Talking Timber’ event in Carlow

Pictured At Teagasc's Talking Timber event in Tullow, Co Carlow (from left to right): Frances McHugh, Forestry Adviser Teagasc (organiser); John Ryan, Murray Timber Group; Tom Hayes TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM); Professor Gerry Boyle, Director Teagasc; John Powell, forest owner, Co Tipperary; Mark McAuley, IBEC; Nuala Ni Fhlatharta, Head of Forestry Development Department Teagasc; Karl Coggins, Assistant Principal DAFM.

Tom Hayes TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine with responsibility for forestry, today opened the ‘Talking Timber’ event in Tullow, Co. Carlow. The purpose of the event was to provide forest owners with an opportunity to access information about selling their timber - to find out more about the timber sales process, harvesting options and the way in which timber value can be maximised.

The event was organised by Teagasc, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and with the collaboration of the Irish Forest and Forest Products Association (IFFPA) and the forest industry. The event in Carlow was the second in this year’s series, as a similar event was held on Tuesday 8th September 2015 in McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co. Mayo.

Speaking at the opening of the event in Carlow, Minister of State Hayes commented that he considered “the ‘Talking Timber’ events to be a useful opportunity for forest owners to see and hear about harvesting and marketing and basically to ‘talk’ about all aspects relating to their timber crop.” He added that the event in Mayo held the previous week was very well attended with strong support from the industry and that the discussions were wide-ranging and informative.

Noting the value of the event and the opportunity it presented to forest owners, he highlighted the outdoor demonstration organised by the Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association, which showed the range of timber categories required by the modern sawmill sector and the factors that can determine log quality, value and ultimately purchase by the sawmills. Referring to this part of the event, the Minister of State stated, “The two points that strike me from this presentation is that forest owners can increase the quality and value of their timber by following best forest management practice centred around timely and good thinning practice, and also that it is important to ensure that forest plantations are accessible for potential timber buyers so that they can properly see and assess timber quality and make an informed offer.

Given the focus of the event, Minister of State Hayes reminded the attendance that their timber crop is also significant from a broader economic viewpoint as sawmills need a consistent supply of good quality timber to produce their products. He stressed that the mobilisation of roundwood is vital for the further development of the Irish forest industry and added “To this end, the Forestry Programme has provided for almost €28 million of funding towards the building of roads over the six year programme period. This will enable forest holders to carry out first thinnings and generate an early source of income from their forest as thinnings provide forest-based biomass to substitute fossil fuels and are a raw material for a wide range of forest products.

Minister of State Hayes commended Teagasc for organising the events, the speakers for participating and sharing their knowledge with the forest owners, and the trade for supporting the events.