The ballooning cost of administration in the Department of Agriculture’s forestry division, coupled with the huge decline in planting highlights how Department spending can get out of hand very quickly unless it’s managed tightly).

Despite the fact all costs have increased substantially, you would have expected less resources to be allocated to this service if planting was reaching an all-time low.

Burgeoning red tape and administration costs don’t belong to farmers only.

We also see the Department’s budget for TB control rising year-on-year to a stage where questions are soon going to be asked about the relative value of what is going on if the TB story is only getting worse.

With all Government department budgets coming under increasing pressure can we realistically expect this to continue?

Farmers wary of dieback compensation

I’ve had a very mixed reaction from farmers to the ash dieback compensation announcement.

While recognising there is a real attempt to address concerns, farmers fear that what is announced is not nearly enough to cover the costs of reestablishment, not to mind compensate for the hassle factor and lost opportunities. We’ll follow reaction closely over coming days.

This delayed compensation debacle has yet to set farmers on the road to more planting or even to consider more trees ahead of the autumn planting.