IFA farm forestry chair Pat Collins has said that the Forest Service funded farmers to plant thousands of hectares of small-scale forests that now due to the scale and the diversity of tree species, farmers are finding it difficult to get contractors to manage. “This is becoming a major problem for many forest owners,” maintained Collins. “A lot of the companies and contractors that planted these forests are not interested in managing these types of plantations as they are not of a commercial scale.”

Farmers’ primary aim when planting is commercial. They afforest to optimise farm income and realise an income from the timber crop. If they cannot manage their forest, they run the risk of the forest underperforming and limit the potential markets available for the crop. This is true for all forests, but particularly broadleaf forests that need to be actively managed.