In the early days of the business, he made a conscious decision to only buy second-hand equipment rather than go all out on new kit. The aim was always to reduce exposure.
"At the start the priority for me was to get a second-hand machine that was in good condition and capable of giving me two or three years.
"There were 40,000 bales on my first Fusion when I bought it. I put another 20,000 on the clock over the following two seasons. That machine went fairly well apart from the odd tine and plate needing replacing on the intake. That was the main factor in deciding to upgrade to a new Fusion."
The price of the new Fusion is €70,000 including VAT. To help finance the deal, Mr Phelan traded in his old baler, for which he was allowed €24,000.
The baler was bought from local McHale dealers, Kill Agri in Killrossanty, Co Waterford.
The Fusion is a hugely successful machine with models literally working in the four corners of the world. That means there will be plenty of people looking to know what exactly is different about this latest incarnation. I put that question to Mr Phelan.
"I've made about 7,000 bales with it so far, and some of the good changes I notice are that it is lighter to pull, which is good for fuel economy.
"It has better service access due to the full piece plastic doors, the design of which appeals to me. It seems to have improved crop intake compared to the earlier Fusion versions and it also holds two extra plastic wraps.
"In addition, the computer control box has been simplified – something that needed to be done," Mr Phelan said.
"On the downside, one thing I noticed is the lack of a proper weather guard over the plastic storage bay. I've found this to be a pain if you are using plastic with a cardboard core because when the cores get wet they can sag and lose their shape.
"This makes things difficult during wrapping. It is something that could be corrected fairly easily with a little bit more overhang on the plastic body over the storage bay.
"Some people aren't too keen on the new modern look compared to the Fusion mark II, but I think it looks well. All in all, I'd be very happy with the machine so far, but time will tell. It will face tougher summers than this one."
In terms of tractors, for baling and mowing work Mr Phelan uses a 2008-registered Case IH CVX 195 that he bought recently. The CVX is a very clean looking UK import with 3,500 hours on the clock.
It was sourced by Kill Agri after Mr Phelan asked the dealer to find what he was looking for. "I was previously using a New Holland T6070, but I wanted a continuously variable transmission to make things easier for baling work where you have to change speeds a lot depending on crop conditions," he said.
"Fuel economy is very good with the CVX, and having the local Case IH dealer 10 minutes away means back up is available whenever I want it. That is so important when you suffer a breakdown."
Mr Phelan also uses a second tractor that is hired out at the moment, a Case IH Maxxum 95, that is usually hitched up to his Pottinger rake.
This is a small tractor, but he reports that it has proved ideal for raking silage and speeding up jobs that would otherwise take a long time to get through.
At a hire rate of €12 per hour it certainly makes sense. All mowing is done with a Pottinger 10ft trailed mower, with the CVX used for mowing when it isn't on the baler.
If he can help it, Mr Phelan normally tries to give the farmer a baling price exclusive of plastic. This year he says more farmers are opting to supply the plastic themselves because they can clearly see how the costs are broken down.