Exchequer funding for the ash dieback implementation plan has still not been agreed, the Irish Farmers Journal understands.

Talks between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are ongoing, but no agreement has been reached regarding the overall budget for the long-awaited aid package.

The failure to agree funding has stalled the announcement of the implementation plan by the Department.

Some level of compensation or redress for the approximately 6,000 forestry owners impacted by ash dieback was a key recommendation of last October’s independent review of the Department’s response to the disease.

A stakeholder taskforce is due to meet later this month, once the implementation plan gets the green light, to address the fallout from ash dieback.

However, taskforce member Simon White of the Limerick Tipperary Woodland Owners (LTWO) said his organisation wanted to see the terms of reference of the stakeholder group and a draft of the implementation plan before they fully engage with the process.

And he warned that any plan which failed to offer adequate compensation to farmers would not be endorsed by the LTWO.

IFA farm forestry chair Jason Fleming said it was “hugely frustrating” that the implementation plan has still not been agreed eight months since the publication of the independent report.

“Farmers need a workable scheme that supports and compensates farmers as per the recommendations set out in the [independent] report. It is vital that this is delivered as a matter of urgency,” Fleming said.

“The ash dieback taskforce must not be a talking shop,” he added.