Mower mayhem - Silage contractors have called on farmers to clean up their act
Contractors facing serious issues with stones and other objects during this year's first cut
Poor planning on the part of farmers ahead of the silage season is creating big problems for silage contractors, the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has warned.
"The extremely high levels of stone and tree-branch damage to machines this year are adding significantly to contractor's costs," said FCI Chief Executive Michael Moroney.
"They are struggling to maximise the opportunities provided by the good harvesting weather to ensure their customers get the best possible silage crops into pits quickly and cleanly.
"Some of our members are reporting increasing levels of machine damage to mowers, tedders and harvesters this year.
"The fact that the late spring conditions made land rolling difficult, but not impossible, has added to the challenges on fields where slurry was spread and which were grazed," said Mr Moroney.
"Silage contractors are now paying the price for the advice given to farmers not to roll land for fear of stunting grass growth.
"They have picked up everything from boulders to bed frames, with one contractor we know of taking a full-size field gate into a new and expensive self-propelled mower," he added.
"We are asking farmers to take time to examine their planning deficits that resulted in land not being checked for stones and fallen tree branches prior to this season.