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Czech Republic expects up to 20m m³ of beetle wood

13.09.2018 − 

It is estimated that 15-20m m³ of beetle wood will be harvested in Czech forests this year. This could even exceed the average cutting rate of 17m m³ per year in recent years. This was explained by Czech Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman at a press conference held yesterday. Up to now, the Ministry of Agriculture had assumed 10-12m m³ of beetle wood for the current year. In 2016 and 2017 the amount of damaged wood was 4m m³ and 6m m³ respectively.

In order to relieve the burden on the Czech roundwood markets, the felling of fresh timber also ain private forests is to be stopped completely for one year. In order to implement the logging stop, an amendment to the Forestry Act is necessary, which is to be passed swiftly by parliament. The state forestry company Lesy Ceské republiky (Lesy CR) had already stopped cutting fresh wood in March in order to concentrate on processing beetle wood.

In addition, the bark beetle infestation is to be determined as accurately as possible by mid-November in order to prepare effective control for the coming spring. The budget of the Ministry of Agriculture for 2019 will be increased by CZK 650m (around €25m) in order to finance the processing of the beetle wood produced in the state forest. Of this, CZK 200m is earmarked for the afforestation of damaged woodland. Private forest owners will receive financial support for the processing of timber and compensation for loss of income from the sale of timber. The reduction in income is estimated at CZK 2.7bn.

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