The silage contractor who uses a ferry when cutting silage for his customers in Donegal
Derry contractor James Stewart can take the scenic route when cutting silage for his customers in Donegal
Silage time can put real pressures on an agricultural contractor who is fighting not only the weather but also a short harvest period.
Last season, when Co Derry agricultural contractor James Stewart, owner of W&J Stewart Agri Contracts, was facing a 34 miles trip one way to haul silage for a customer, he decided to take a rather unconventional short-cut to speed the process up.
James is based in Limavady and works for customers within a 20 mile radius of his base, which often takes him across the border into Donegal. He contracts with his father William and has a young son Norrie who is also very keen to help.
One of James's customers is a farmer from Quigley's Point in Donegal, who also rents land in Magilligan - which sits on the other side of Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland.
The problem for James was the trip around the lough from the rented land to the customer's farm was 34 miles in one direction.
Added to the dilemma was the fact that there was a total of 26 acres to harvest, which meant potentially over 100 loads of grass!
After studying the situation and calculating how many tractor and trailer combinations he would need to complete the job, James realised the solution was staring him right in the face. The distance from Magilligan to Greencastle in County Donegal, in a straight line across the lough, is just less than two miles, a route that is serviced by the Lough Foyle ferry.
It's normally a ferry for private cars but with the grass needed on the other side, James and his team decided to make use of the vital transport link.