IFA Farm Forestry Chairman, John Jackson has welcomed the announcement that the replanting obligation will be removed under a New Forestry Bill planned for this year. The Agriculture Minister made the announcement while addressing delegates at COFORD/ Forest Service/ Teagasc Wood Energy Event, which took place in John Jackson’s Forest in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal. John Jackson said, ‘Removing the replanting obligation should have a very positive effect on planting levels which have been well short of national targets over the last few years. The replanting obligation, which has existed since 1946, has been the single biggest deterrent to farmers considering planting, as they do not want to see their land choice options limited indefinitely. A relaxation of the replanting obligations has been top of the agenda for the IFA Farm Forestry Committee for sometime now and has been identified by IFA as a priority issue. This announcement will be welcomed by the 15,000 farmers who have already planted and should be instrumental to the development of the forestry and wood energy sectors going forward.