Watch: The Galway contractors making hay and a lot more besides
M&M Fleming Agri are successfully covering the full gamut of farm contracting services
Grass crops of all descriptions were mowed down and saved in prime conditions during the last month's mini heatwave.
I took advantage of the sunshine to catch up with Martin Fleming of M&M Fleming Agri, based in Mountbellew, Co Galway. Specialising in baling, slurry, reseeding and subsoiling, the Flemings are three days into a baling marathon when I travelled west.
With two Fusion 3s gaining ground behind him, Martin was busy keeping silage knocked ahead of the balers. The oldest tractor in the fleet, a 2011-registered Fendt 820, was charged with this task. "The Fendt is the king of tractors on tasks like mowing and one-pass drilling," said Martin. "The controls are perfectly precise and to your fingertips, allowing you to focus on the job at hand."
Attached to a pair of Krone Easy-Cut double mowers, the Fendt munched through 10 acres per hour with an average forward speed of 10km/h. The mounted mowers proved no hassle for the Fendt 820 to carry and drive, and you'd get the impression that it wanted a third mower to quieten it.
"I'll need to examine my options, but I'm keen for trailed double rear mowers to reduce the stress on the rear end of the tractor," Martin said.
He rates the Krone mowers highly for serviceability, cut quality and ease of driving. The quick-change flails are a major benefit, and this became apparent when quite a large stone was stuck in the headland of one field.
"Stones and wire are more of an issue now than they used to be - the day of the farmer rolling the field is almost over," explained Martin.
One of the Fusion balers was busy in a neighbouring field, being powered by a Claas 650. I asked Martin about the composition of the fleet consisting of a pair of Claas 640s, a Claas 650 and the Fendt 820. "No doubt, the Fendt is better suited to some applications, but it's very hard to justify the price tag," he replied.