The role of subsidy payments in the uptake of forestry by the typical cattle farmer in Ireland from 1984 to 2012.

  • Mary Ryan Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway.
  • Michele McCormack Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway.
  • Cathal O’Donoghue Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway.
  • Vincent Upton Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway.
Keywords: Farmer afforestation, cattle subsidies, direct payments.

Abstract

Since the 1980’s, forestry has been growing as a land use in Ireland due largely to financial incentives offered to farmers to convert land from agriculture to forestry. Cattle farmers are the group that may financially benefit most from planting and have been found to be more interested in establishing forests. This makes cattle systems the most relevant alternative land use to compare with forestry. Previous examinations of afforestation trends have recognised the importance of competing subsidies on understanding the relatively low uptake of forestry supports but no detailed examination of this issue has been undertaken to date. The primary goal of this study was to review, quantify and compare annual cattle and forestry subsidies for a typical farm over the period 1984 to 2012. Eligibility and payment changes were examined for both forestry and agricultural subsidies over this period and form the basis of a subsidy model. The relative effect of forestry and agricultural subsidies on income is modelled for a “typical” farm using a hypothetical model, which facilitates direct comparison on an area basis. The results show that the loss of agricultural supports could have been substantial for a typical cattle farm for most of the period examined. This novel finding may assist in understanding afforestation rates to date.
Published
2014-11-01
How to Cite
Ryan, M., McCormack, M., O’Donoghue, C., & Upton, V. (2014). The role of subsidy payments in the uptake of forestry by the typical cattle farmer in Ireland from 1984 to 2012. Irish Forestry. Retrieved from https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/10136
Section
Articles

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