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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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5 of our most popular ag contractors in 2022

Ag Contractors on That’s Farming

In this article, That’s Farming previews some of our most popular Ag Contractor features in 2022.

1 – Cathal Moran Agri

There is never a dull moment for Cathal Moran, who handles over 6,000 livestock at any given time and runs an agricultural contracting business.

The Headford, Co Galway native took over his late brother’s John, agricultural contracting business 23 years ago.

In 1997, his brother established John Moran Agri Contractor with silage and slurry spreading services when a local contractor he worked for, for seven silage seasons retired.

John invested in various pieces of equipment and, in his first year, cut 1,100-acres of single-chop silage.

In July 1999, he passed away, and in August 1999, his brother, Cathal, established his own company and continued the business. Outside of his work at P&D Lydon, Cathal held an operator position in his brother’s business.

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Read more on this profile.

2 – William Bennett

Leaving school at 15, farming 270 cattle, 50 sheep, and running a contracting firm

At sixteen-years-old, William Bennett made a brave move and left secondary school to establish his agricultural contracting business, Bennett Agri Contractors.

In 1989, the Carrigallen, County Leitrim laid the firm’s foundation by investing in a KRONE KR130B round baler and a Massey Ferguson 699 tractor.

In the first year, he baled 3,000-4,000 silage bales – after noticing an opening in the market for this service.

“Machinery and cattle were my main interests growing up. I am machinery mad. I did three years in secondary school,” William Bennett told That’s Farming.

“Then, I did bits and pieces of work for neighbours, relations, uncles, and family members.”

“I decided to buy a round baler and go at agricultural contracting, which I did.”

Read his story.

3 – Gaffey Bros Agri

The Gaffey brothers from Moate, County Westmeath, not only work as agricultural contractors but sell silage bales to clients from 150-acres they rent.

Over 35 years ago, James and Francie Gaffey established their agricultural contracting business with a Massey Ferguson 35 tractor, a Zetor 8111 tractor, a Massey Ferguson finger bar mower, and a hay turner.

The firm progressed in later years to offer a square baling service, and then when another brother, Kieran, who passed away, joined them, they ventured into round bale silage and built up the business.

During the 1990s, the business registered as a limited company but did carry out work fifteen years before this date.

David Tyrell is a full-time operator supervisor and company secretary at Gaffey Bros Agri in Moate, County Westmeath.

Read their story.

4 – Graeme Martin Contracts

“To be honest, I never worked with agricultural contractors until I started myself.”

Those are the words of Graeme Martin, who established his own firm eight years ago with a Renault 710rz Ares tractor, a Major 1,900-gallon slurry tanker and an Abbey AP900 spreader.

Following this, in year two, he established a silage wagon service, an umbilical slurry spreading service, and in year three invested in a second silage wagon to keep up with customer demand.

“I always had an interest in tractors and machinery. But, unfortunately, there was never much machinery at home,” Martin, a 2010 CAFRE graduate with an HND in agriculture, told That’s Farming

Agriculture is a family tradition, with his father, Nigel, and brother, Ian, owning a farm with more than 100 pedigree Holstein dairy cows and circa 50,000 laying chickens.

Read more on this article.

5 – Sheehan Bros

The Sheehan brothers, from Clonmel, County Tipperary, operated a plant hire business with four diggers and seven dump trailers until the Celtic Tiger but now mainly offer an agricultural contracting service.

They employ two workers daily and up to six operators during peak time, offering slurry spreading, dung spreading, ploughing, reseeding, pit silage, silage baling and corn-cutting services.

The firm’s most popular service is silage, as they make 30,000 bales and cut up to 2,000-acres of pit silage.

Read their article in full.

[List compiled based on article view count]

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