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Independent.ie

Saturday 15 December 2018

'A lot of the young lads don't want the long hours' - Farm contractors give their views on the issues that lie ahead

Farmers Vincent and Philip Hughes Ballinkillen pulling beet before the rain on Saturday 12th Jan. The crop of Enermax produced 25ton per acre, the field was facing north could result in a low yield.Photo Roger Jones.
Farmers Vincent and Philip Hughes Ballinkillen pulling beet before the rain on Saturday 12th Jan. The crop of Enermax produced 25ton per acre, the field was facing north could result in a low yield.Photo Roger Jones.
Patrick Nolan
Pat Dowd
Tom Butler
Conor Walsh
Thomas Hartley
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

With the slurry spreading season kicking off, contractors at the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors' (FCI) conference in Co Dublin gave their views on the issues that lie ahead.

Patrick Nolan, Moone, Co Kildare

"Finance will be an issue. Everyone is talking that the money is going to reduce in dairying. That is going to put a lot of people under pressure. There has been heavy investment to follow the dairy trend.

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Patrick Nolan

"We would have invested in mowers, balers and wrappers. The price of commodities such as grain and straw will also be an issue. We're quite busy at the moment. The cost of machinery is over inflated at this stage and deadlines are getting tighter.

"Weather is becoming a serious issue - there is a lot of downtime then. There are an awful lot more wet days in the year."

Pat Dowd, Dingle, Co Kerry

"The weather is our biggest problem and the price of diesel. There is more pressure with weather, it is all go and then you're stopped again. There is a labour issue as well it is harder to get young people."

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Pat Dowd

Tom Butler, Tipperary town

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"A big thing coming down the line is going to be labour, it is going to be hard to get.

"The silage season is gone so short and you can only work in weather fine at the grass.

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Tom Butler

"A lot of the young lads don't want the long hours. You have to keep the harvester and tractors updated, but it is a big outlay for a couple of weeks of the year."

Thomas Hartley, ­Glenmore, Kilkenny

"Everything is dependant on the weather and it is hard to get good, trained staff.

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Thomas Hartley

The biggest problem is the slurry dates and trying to work between them. It is not suitable in this day and age, more leeway is needed. Money fluctuation will be a big thing this year."

Conor Walsh, ­Hoganstown, Kilkenny

"Trying to get help is difficult. I'm only 24 years of age and a lot of my age group is gone overseas and construction seems to be taking up again. I work with my uncle Eddie Fitzpatrick and we do lime spreading, baling and wrapping.

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Conor Walsh

Lime has really taken off again and lads would have loved to have spread it in October, November and December but there was none spread with conditions."

Read also: Silage contractors face labour shortages as drivers head back to construction sector


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