Rathcoole-based machinery distributor, McHale Plant Sales has predicted a future of sustained growth and continued job creation in the forestry and timber processing sectors. Praising the work being done by Coillte, Teagasc, the Co-op sector and others to encourage forest development, the company¹s director, Michael McHale points to demand for new timber harvesting machinery as proof of the confidence, investment climate and growth now evident within the industry.

In its first full year since being appointed distributor in Ireland for the Komatsu Forest range of timber harvesters and forwarders, McHale last year recorded double-digit unit sales with forward orders on hand to help ensure even higher levels are achieved this year. Knowing how favourable growing conditions are in Ireland for the production of timber, McHale recommends that land owners would study the economics of forest planting as an alternative and reliable source of income, especially those with marginal land not wholly suitable for farming, food or dairy production.

³With more land going to forestry each year, and increasing evidence of growth and productivity in planting, harvesting and downstream processing through sawmills and end-user product manufacturing, the outlook for forestry and timber production is positive,² he said.