Wexford contractor hedges bets by branching out for new work
Wexford contractor exploring new avenues such as scrub land clearance to beat the recession
With the harvest nearly over, for many it is again time to prepare for the next cycle of cultivation and planting. In many parts of the country there are trees and vegetation that need to be trimmed back after the summer growth and before any cultivation is carried out. Some farmers own their own hedgecutters but many get contractors in to perform this task.
I always find it interesting to talk to someone who has been in business for as long as hedgecutting contractor Davy O'Connor.
Mr O'Connor, from Rathnure, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, is in his fourth decade of the hedgecutting business.
Like many of us, his focus at the moment is on getting through the current recession and remaining in business.
Mr O'Connor started out in business 35 years ago when he bought his first hedgecutter, a McConnell Hyreach for £1,600. But getting going back then was not as easy.
"There were no hedges at the time, you had to convince farmers to make hedges out of overgrown ditches. I was lucky to get hired by Wexford County Council to cut hedges on the roads, but this was only seasonal work. I was hedgecutting at £4 per hour."
After a while, Mr O'Connor developed his business into other areas of agricultural contracting such as beet harvesting and tillage. This didn't go well for him though.