'A tractor nowadays is about €150,000.....We’re seeing a lot of contractors chucking it all in'
From investing in new technologies to inclement weather, contractors at the recent Professional Agricultural Contractors of Ireland conference voiced the most pressing issues facing their businesses this spring.
Michael Sheehan, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
“We bought an umbilical slurry spreading system a couple of weeks ago and last year we bought bale-handling equipment and a new tractor.
“You need to be careful about what you’re buying and have the market well researched. A tractor nowadays is about €150,000. Up to about 10 years ago, we could make a profit and it wasn’t a dirty word.
"In the last 10 years, the margins have been squeezed considerably. It’s getting to the stage where there are a lot of contractors chucking it in.”
John Graves, Dundrum, Co Tipperary
“Field conditions are our biggest problem. We can’t get on the land at the moment and until that improves, we’re not going to get anywhere. It bundles all the work together and puts more pressure on down the line.
“I use GPS for a fertiliser spreader and I used yield mapping on a silage harvester in 2006 and 2007 but I packed it in. Customers were happy to get the information, but they didn’t want to pay any extra. There was no financial benefit for me.”