Garry Walsh took the plunge into the agricultural contracting business in 2010 when he saw a silage harvester for sale and decided to go out on his own, having spent a few years working as a driver after leaving school.
After buying the harvester, he gradually started picking up other pieces of machinery and hasn't looked back since.
"We were lucky we got a bit of work in our first year and were able to hold on to it and it grew from there. We're always trying to expand. This year we hope to cut 3,000 acres," he says.
From a farming background, Garry is constantly upgrading his fleet which is based in Claregalway, seven miles north of Galway city.
This year he has bought a Kuhn Merge Maxx 950 rake, the first of its kind in Ireland, as well as a new 9700i John Deere harvester. He describes the Merge Maxx as "a much superior machine" and says it justifies its price tag of €70,000 plus vat.
"We bought the Merge Maxx in February, it is the only one of its kind in the country at the minute. They are very big in Europe and America.
"I ordered it in through Dolan Agri in Claremorris. You have to order them in because they are very much in demand on the continent.
"It's a far better machine than any other rakes. It allows for a very clean sward to be picked up, meaning there is less ash in the silage, and it is very versatile because it allows for bigger and smaller rows to be picked up.
"As a result, it can pick up 20pc more grass in a day. There are a lot less moving parts in it than in other rakes so I can't see it giving any problems this year.
He bought the John Deere harvester from Templetouhy Machinery in Tuam.
"I keep the machinery fresh so it gives no hassle," he says. "The last harvester I bought was a 2017 so I traded it in for the new one. I have M and R series John Deere tractors which are good-quality machines so they are a lot easier to keep going - I'm able to clock up over 10,000 hours on them."
Garry has cut 120 acres of silage this season but expects this to pick up over the coming weeks. In the meantime, he is busy reseeding and spreading dung, jobs which he finds useful to get more silage work.
One of the main differences Garry has noticed over his time as a contractor is that the silage season is getting earlier every year.
"The season used to get going in mid-May," he says. "Farmers are always trying to improve the quality of the grass they feed so they can cut down on their spending in the meal bin."
Garry also has a beef enterprise at the family farm. Having previously reared bulls to be slaughtered at 24 months, he is now shifting his attention to rearing them until they are a year old for the live export market.
"We found that the same profit margins can be made for keeping them until they are one rather than two years old because the price of beef is so unpredictable," he says.
"It's a lot easier to keep them for one winter and feed them less meal than to hold on to them for two and feed more."
Garry generally has one worker helping him all year round on the contracting business and enlists the help of five or six others for the silage season and other busy times of the year. He can also call on his father Seamus and brother James to help out.
"Dad recently retired from working in a glass factory so he is available to help out with stuff like mowing, he's a great help.
"My brother James runs a plant hire and groundworks company and employs 22 men, but he's had to cut back on a lot of what he does because of the Covid-19 restrictions, so it's good to have him helping out."