Treading gently is key as slurry season gets going
Derek Casey visits Meath contractor Christopher Duffy to get his views on slurry spreading systems, as well bank repossessions, diesel prices and other concerrns facing contractors
You know its winter time when you visit a contractor only to find that that there's no way you can access the field that they are working in with anything less than a 4x4. Such were the ground conditions when I visited Castletown, Co Meath-based slurry and silage contractor Christopher Duffy recently.
Christopher, who is chairman of the northeast branch of Farm Contractors Ireland, was flat out catching up on what he described as a "hectic" New Year's workload as farmers battled to make space in their slatted tanks and slurry lagoons after the winter closed period.
"The phone started ringing on New Year's Eve with advance bookings for work and it literally hasn't stopped since," Christopher told me.
"Only for the early opening here on January 1 this year I don't know what fellas were going to do, because any of the tanks I've been drawing from so far have all been full to the brim."
When I called to Christopher, he was busy spreading slurry with a 2006-plated Massey Ferguson 6485 tractor and a Major 2,600gal tanker.
Christopher admitted he chose a Major tanker because he was impressed with the build, particularly the solid chassis.
"I have a guy who comes out to fix punctures on the tanker for me and he always says it is a really easy tanker to find a solid part to jack up because the chassis runs right out alongside the rear axle," he said.