Contractor charges 2018 - what will you pay this year?
The Farm Contractors Association of Ireland (FCI) have released a recommended list of guide prices that contractors will be charging for various jobs this year.
The Farm Contractors Association of Ireland (FCI) have released a recommended list of guide prices that contractors will be charging for various jobs this year.
Agri-diesel prices are 60pc higher this spring than in 2016. This week, farmers will pay an average of €798 per thousand litres of agri diesel compared...
Case IH has added a new entry level model to its Optum tractors range which are based on a high power, low weight design that can be ballasted where required.
The fodder crisis has shown the extent of over dependence of farmers on contractor credit, it has been claimed.
Farmers lucky enough to be in parts of the country where grass is starting to grow now face a different challenge - soft ground is the latest barrier in letting livestock access grass.
The latest-generation Komatsu WA320-8 wheel loader — a machine that, in recent years, has proven itself popular amongst contractors for whom large volume silage work is a major activity — has arrived in Ireland.
Water charges were introduced in Ireland back in January 2015, but as we know, they didn't last long. After countless protests and political bargaining, the charges were eventually suspended in July 2016.
Silage season isn't far away and this is the time of year to start thinking about baler repairs. Doing the simple things right should keep you out of trouble for the most part.
As soil temperatures increase over the coming weeks, attention will turn to planting. This week I take a look at some of the things to watch out for if in the search for a decent second hand crop sprayer.
Summer seems like light years away after the weather of the past few days, but the flow of new silage machinery keeps on coming. Maybe it is a welcome reminder that better times are coming?
Bargain hunters headed to the Punchestown Event Centre in Naas, Co Kildare over the weekend as the second FTMTA-organised auction of tractors and farm machinery took place.
With temperatures set to plummet in the coming days farmers are being advised to prepare their farms for the severe conditions.
Nearly every farm on the country has a fertiliser spreader of one kind or another.
Dairy and livestock farmers looking for a handy farmyard spec tractor will be interested in some new mid-range additions to the McCormick and Landini ranges available in Ireland this spring.
Clodagh Cavanagh of Abbey Machinery talks to Derek Casey about the company’s progress
Slurry machinery is changing at a rate faster than most other farm machinery lines.
Farmers got a glimpse of the future at the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors' (FCI) conference and exhibition last Wednesday.
Regardless of what zone you are in, there is an opportunity to get tankers ready for the forthcoming glut of work.
McHale rakes have been tested in the world's most difficult conditions in order to deliver a machine which is efficient and reliable in all terrain.
New Holland is extending its forage harvester range at the top end with the powerful new flagship model, the 900hp-rated FR920.
Freezing diesel, blocked filters and flat batteries are common problems encountered each time a spell of truly cold weather arrives.
MagGrow CEO Gary Wickham tells our reporter how ionising chemical sprays can solve the world food crisis
The number of All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) related fatalities and injuries taking place on Irish farms in recent years has increased in tandem with the surge of ATV or "quad bike" ownership in this country. It is now estimated that there are now around 10,000 ATVs in use on Irish farms.
A wide variety of good quality farm machinery and tools drew a large crowd to a clearance sale in Tullow, Co Carlow last week. Buyers from near and far travelled to view the 200 plus lots for sale on the instructions of three local farmers.
Blaney Forager X10 bale unrollers are now a common sight on farms throughout Ireland.
A well-known phenomenon on many farms during winter is the way in which cows move their noses through the feed in order to try and extract the tastiest feed.
It was 51 years ago in 1966 when John Cotter started out contracting in west Waterford. The Cappoquin man is now a sprightly 73 and still plays a hands-on role in the family-run business, Cotter Agri Contractors Ltd.
New Holland has revamped its mid-range tractor model offering, with a comprehensive line up in the under 120hp segment. The 17-model tractor offering includes the T5 Electro Command, the recently launched T5 Utility, re-named T4 and existing TD5 ranges.
Massey Ferguson will be using the Ploughing to showcase an impressive newcomer to its 80-130hp tractor category - the MF 5700 Global. Two versions are just now available - 100hp and 110hp - which have been designed to deliver the most spacious cab in the sector, with air-conditioning and the highest specification in their class.
THE latest tractor statistics from the FTMTA show a total of 1,535 new tractors were sold during the first eight months of 2017 (up to the end of August), which is around 8pc less than in the corresponding period of 2016. Last month in Ireland, some 129 new tractors were sold, which is up a considerable 46pc from the 88 new units sold in August 2016.
SOME OF the considerations farmers need to make before deciding to purchase a second-hand tractor are:
Dublin-based machinery distributor Farmhand has launched the Quicke Q Series front-end tractor loader series in Ireland. The company has been the Quicke importer in this country since 1962 and estimates it has sold upwards of 35,000 loaders in this time.
German tractor maker Deutz-Fahr has added three new 4-cylinder tractor models to its existing six series range that will appeal to Irish farmers and contractors.
The Inventions Competition is always one of the highlights at Tullamore Show and this year there was an impressive prize fund of €2,500 provided by three sponsors; the Farming Independent, WR Shaw, and Glenngorey Pumps Ltd.
After a great start to the harvest some mixed weather in the last few weeks has seen conditions grow more difficult in wetter parts of the country.
Massey Ferguson is to make its robust levelling system called ParaLevel available on their 250hp rated Activa S 5- and 6-walker combine models from next season. The system uses parallel linkage for machine levelling whilst allowing the fitting of wider tyres but maintaining the important 3.5m width for road transport.
Claas has updated its larger Arion and Axion tractor ranges with the aims of improving operator comfort and complying with latest engine emission regulations.
A lot of crops are ripening so unevenly this year that many growers are expected to face problems with their harvest or storage.
Combines have been in action for nearly a fortnight in some places already in what must be one of the earliest harvests on record.
The amount of farm machinery and equipment being stolen around the country each week is shocking.
The average Irish contractor is owed around €35,000 by farmer customers for works done but not yet paid, the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has claimed
The recent Grassland & Muck 2017 event in the UK played host to a wide range of live demonstrations and grass plots, along with advice and technical forums over a 190-acre site in Stoneleigh Park near Coventry. Derek Casey looks at some of the models unveiled by Claas, Massey Ferguson and John Deere
Tractor sales have proved "challenging" so far this year, with 199 new purchases registered last month.
Argo Tractors -manufacturer of the Landini and McCormick tractor brands - has appointed AgriArgo UK, its distributor in Britain, to also handle whole-goods and parts distribution throughout Ireland.
Farm contractors are facing significant challenges on labour availability and costs as the silage season progresses.
Silage season 2017 has really burst into life in the last fortnight. As the days stretch out before us, for contractors and farmers alike the name of the game now is machinery maintenance in order to give the best chance of avoiding breakdowns and costly repairs.
When it comes to mowing silage, each farmer or contractor will have their own opinion on which is the best mower.
Prompt payment and buying bale wrap in bulk are among our tips for keeping costs down.
Pottinger also used the Bernburg press launch to unveil a versatile one-machine-does-all drill designed for sowing both cereals and maize.
Cost-effective, versatile and convenient is how Pottinger describes its new Wave Disc cultivation tool system used for reduced cultivation seedbed preparation.
Machinery distributor Farmhand will be lending its support to the forthcoming Combines4Charity 'Great Grass Event' which takes place near Trim on May 6 next.
Besides the obvious (wear a helmet), there are some other steps you can take to improve safety while driving an ATV.
The number of fatalities and injuries taking place involving All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) on Irish farms in recent years has increased in tandem with the surge of ATV or "quad bike" ownership in this country.
New Holland has launched a new T5 Series aimed at drystock and dairy farmers in the popular 80-120hp market segment.
Berthoud, the French sprayer manufacturer, has unveiled a new line of tractor mounted sprayers that are expected to be popular sellers in Ireland. The sprayers will be sold in Ireland through importers Murphy Machinery of Kilkenny.
"We've sold 100 since January," Dermot Tobin tells me on the phone.
Pat Dalton is in the agri contracting game a long time, but he is still a first generation contractor.
Last week's weather has done wonders for soil temperatures with grass now starting to jump out of the ground. But some areas will take a long time to dry out properly after all the rain we had in early March.
Keenan has unveiled its first self-propelled diet feeder, marking a new path for the company since its acquisition by Alltech last year.
Derek Casey has some timely plough set-up tips ahead of spring cultivation work
Rolling and grinding mill specialists Wakely Engineering Ltd held a dealer presentation day recently ahead of a busy 2017.
The 2017 SIMA machinery exhibition is taking place in Paris all this week.
Over 18,000 farmers, contractors and machinery enthusiasts made their way to Punchestown, Naas last week for the 2017 FTMTA Machinery Show. As can be seen from this pictorial review, the Show featured the latest in tractor and farm machinery launches, with some unusual nuggets thrown in for good measure.
The final touches are being put in place for the farm machinery highlight of 2017 - the biennial FTMTA Farm Machinery Show at Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare
Michael Moroney is taking up a new role as Chief Executive of the contractor representative group, Farm Contractors Ireland.
John Deere unveiled its new top-of-the -range six- cylinder tractor models for the first time, the 6230R and 6250R, at last week's Lamma farm machinery show in England.
There's been a raft of new tractor launches over the last few months in the 90-150hp power segment.
New tractor sales in Ireland fell to its lowest level since 2011 last year, according to latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Those heading across the water to the LAMMA machinery show in England next week will be able to meet some of Ireland's leading agricultural companies who are being supported by Enterprise Ireland.
Agitation fumes from slurry can be lethal unless you take the necessary precautions
Amazone dealers are currently promoting a finance offer on fertiliser spreaders - in conjunction with machinery distributor, Farmhand - which will remain operative until mid-February.
The top event of the 2017 farm machinery year in Ireland will undoubtedly be the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show, held at Punchestown Racecourse over three days from Thursday, February 9, to Saturday, February 11.
Weather permitting, in a few weeks spreading of slurry, farmyard manure and chemical fertiliser can resume in the 'Zone A' counties. By 1 February, spreading will be taking place all over the country again.
MAJOR EQUIPMENT used its recent factory open day to announce a new partnership with First Citizen Agri Finance DAC that will offer customers flexible finance packages for agricultural machinery purchases.
Grimme has launched a new field loader designed to reduce trash content in the sample, saving growers time and money by limiting the amount of trash returned to the grading line during harvest.
SlurryKat in Northern Ireland has launched a new range of dribble bars for the budget end of the market.
I'm a hospital porter during the day. I work in the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar. It's a very busy time of the year, the cold weather brings in lots of sick patients. My job means I often work on a week on/week off type rota.
Michelin has been awarded a prestigious SIMA Innovation Gold Medal for its soon-to-launch '2 in 1' farm tyre, which features a smart tread pattern that evolves to match the application.
Winter can be a gruelling time for tractor engines. Freezing diesel, blocked filters and flat batteries are common problems encountered each time a spell of truly cold weather arrives.
When temperatures plummet, diesel thickens and gels, forming a wax-like substance. This makes the normal flow of fuel to an engine's injectors very difficult and the tractor can cut out. Normal winter grade diesel should be wax-resistant down to temperatures as low as -12C.
Claas is enhancing its Jaguar 980 and 970 self-propelled harvester models. From 2017 key new equipment features will include a continuously variable front attachment drive, an enhanced crop flow system, redesigned running gear and the Claas Auto-Fill system for automatic trailer loading to both the side and rear.
A completely new Massey Ferguson tractor in the important smaller-to- medium horsepower range - the MF 5700 Global Series - is set to make its Irish debut early next year at the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show at Punchestown in February.
A new top of the range 400hp tractor with Stage IV engine will complete the line-up of John Deere's 8R Series high horsepower tractors from 2017.
Winter is in with a bang and that means plenty of front loader work over the next few months as cattle come indoors.
The Forager X10 bale unroller, designed and manufactured by Blaney Agri in Co Antrim is the result of nine years' intensive product development. Blaney have a long history of making these machines, and the bale unroller has evolved over the years to incorporate a host of improvements.
D&S Machinery Ltd has just launched the McCormick X7.650 with 160hp maximum power. This is a new six-cylinder tractor which joins the McCormick X7 Pro Drive series and brings a long wheelbase, tough cast chassis and smooth-running engine further down the power scale.
It's been a testing few years for the machinery trade and in particular tractor sales. As the British pound continues its post-Brexit slide, increasing numbers of Irish buyers are travelling north in search of tractor deals.
Ciarán Dunne of Perfect-32 Farm Models launched his latest creation at the Kilkenny model toy show over the weekend; a 1:32 scale model of Irish manufacturer, Armer Salmon's twin row belt-lift beet harvester.
Did you ever consider hiring out a trailer? Did you know that it was even an option? Wexford man John Stafford is making it his mission to let farmers all over the country know about his new business.
Despite relatively strong economic headwinds such as weak commodity prices, unfavourable exchange rates and political uncertainties, John Deere remains optimistic about the company's progress in its core businesses.
The Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) has called on the Minister for Agriculture to ensure that the proposed Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme II (TAMS II) Tillage Scheme is opened for applications as soon as possible.
John Deere is launching a new series of compact tractors this autumn, designed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized tillage, dairy and livestock farms.
Winter is fast approaching and now is the time to get the diet feeder set up for a busy few months ahead. Take a look over your machine before winter feeding starts in earnest.
Farmers have used the last couple of weeks to get through a backlog of autumn planting work and there is still quite a bit going on.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Ploughing, it's easy to become complacent with so much new metal on display. For a truly new idea or concept, there will always be a buzz around the stand.
There was only one place to be last week and, by all accounts, the dust is only settling on the 85th National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore.
ESB Networks will have a high profile presence at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore where it will showcase its successes in customer services, technological innovation and commitment to public safety.
In what is sure to be a big attraction at the Ploughing, Lely will once again host a live robotic milking exhibition over the three-day event.
Pride of place at the Claas stand at this year's Ploughing goes to the Quadrant 5200 large square baler, which is being exhibited for the first time in Ireland. Other recent additions to the Claas range that will be on display include the latest specification Arion 400 tractor, the new Atos range of livestock tractors and from the mower range a Disco 3600C.
The driverless tractor is a concept that has been talked about for years.
Some 20 years since the Lexion combine was first introduced, Claas has led the way in the development and use of advanced technology to help users maintain high outputs and cost efficiency.
Tullamore Show took place last Sunday, with around 60,000 visitors descending on Offaly for Ireland's biggest one day show. One section of Tullamore we are proud to support here at the Farming Independent is the Inventions Competition.
Combines have been turning into the first fields of winter barley in the southern half of the country, and spring crops are also quickly ripening.
Second cut looms and it's testing times for machinery. The great Muhammad Ali knew a thing or two about resilience, but how might you keep your baler "floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee" as the summer trundles on?
Silage season 2016 has really burst into life in the last fortnight, with many farmers already having completed first cut.
Tillage farming specialists Lemken have appointed Suir Sprayers of Co Waterford as a "crop protection specialist" dealer.
Last Thursday saw thousands of farmers and contractors head to Gurteen Agricultural College in Ballingarry, Co Tipperary, for the FTMTA Grass & Muck 2016 show. The weather came good just in time, and around 10,000 visitors made their way onsite over the day to see the shiny new machines being put through their paces.
Machinery sales have fallen sharply as the milk and grain price crisis grows, with farmers now facing major cash flow problems.
Farmers will be counting the costs of spring 2016 for months to come, as banks and farm advisors predict a severe tightening of cashflow.
John Deere's new top-of-the-range forage harvester and tractors will all be demonstrated at FTMTA Grass & Muck 2016.
Thousands of farmers will be making tracks to Tipperary this week for the agri-machinery highlight of the year - FTMTA Grass & Muck 2016.
FRS Training (Farm Relief Services), and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) are rolling up their sleeves and mucking in to bring practical interactive farm safety demonstrations to the forefront of this year's FTMTA Grass and Muck.