'There's just too much machinery': Contractor on how margins are being affected by the rise in competition
Returns are flat on the three strands of Eamonn Burke's farming enterprise in Galway.
He describes tillage as "a complete struggle"; the contracting business is literally contracting because of the glut of used machinery and profit margins on beef are "very tight".
Now 37, Eamonn began farming as a teenager with his dad, Tommy, and works 200 hectares near Claregalway in North Galway.
Despite the margin malaise in the various sectors, Eamonn takes a plough-on view of things.
"At least this year was better than 2016 which was a disaster with the weather causing crops to be left in the fields," he says.
"We are getting €140 a tonne for the grains which is not great but it is better than last year."
However, he will not be sowing a crop of barley, oats or wheat this winter.
On the contracting side, margins are being affected by the rise in the number of contractors competing for baling, reseeding and slurry work available - not only locally but nationwide.