As a part of this week’s Agricultural Contractor of the Week section, That’s Farming, profiles Highland Floor Companies. Peadar Seoige discusses leaving his place as a haulage driver to enterprise in agricultural contracting, spreading 500t of lime yearly, customer support, some great benefits of utilizing smaller equipment and rising enter prices.
Transferring from the haulage to the agricultural contracting sector delivered a “massive” opening in weed wiping providers for Peadar Seoighe from Corr na Móna, Clonbur, County Galway.
In 2012, Peadar Seoige established his agricultural contracting enterprise, Highland Floor Companies, as a then part-time lorry driver with Barker Haulage, Tourmakeady.
He left his haulage job six years in the past to enterprise full-time into agricultural contracting and continued to supply weed wiping, topping and plant rent providers.
To put the foundations for his enterprise, he obtained a second-hand Suzuki 750 quad and a home-made weed wiper.
Additionally, through the 2000s, Peadar operated a scaffolding firm and erected scaffoldings for private-built homes.
Commenting on why he ventured into agricultural contracting, he advised That’s Farming:
“I used to be making an attempt to get a enterprise going close to me the place I might be working for myself.
“There are 4 kids in my household. It laborious sufficient to maintain a full-time job going and take care of babysitters and issues.”
Along with working his personal ag contracting enterprise, he farms 350-acres and rents 50-acres. He has 300 sheep, that are primarily Blackface Mountain sheep with some Lanark, Jacob, and Suffolk sheep.
Peadar bought two land parcels from 2004 to 2006 from his brother, who was promoting his holdings within the very centre of his father or mother’s farm. In 2018, he inherited his father or mother’s farm, which spans 250-acres.
In response to Peadar, hillwalkers use a part of his land for climbing. He additionally cuts turf utilizing an old school slane on this land.
Highland Floor Companies
Peadar runs his enterprise solo and serves a 50-mile radius of Corr na Móna.
Highland Floor Companies provides weed wiping rushes, lime spreading, fertiliser spreading, tree shearing, flailing, groundworks, and fencing providers.
The enterprise initially constructed up its buyer base by means of phrase of mouth and distributing enterprise playing cards regionally.
“There could be nobody round right here doing what I’m doing. So, I full numerous repeat work and attempt to end my work to a excessive commonplace.”
“I do any work, I do for myself, the identical for purchasers. So, I might be practically fussier with doing prospects work than I might be with myself.”
He believes the important thing component to working a profitable agricultural contracting and plant rent enterprise is sustaining “the standard of your work” for purchasers.
Agricultural and groundwork providers
The agency’s hottest providers are weed wiping and lime spreading, adopted by groundworks as the following widespread service.
In 2017, Peadar branched into plant rent. He purchased the digger to finish farm enhancements with the plan to supply a groundworks service and rent it to the general public throughout his quiet durations.
“Weed wiping rushes was a very talked-about service all through the years, however now lime spreading is getting widespread as a result of fertiliser has acquired so expensive in value.”
“So, prospects are going for the choice of lime. For instance, I can unfold lime on steep and slopey floor the place tractors can’t. Lime spreading is choosing up yearly for me. I might unfold 400-500t of lime a 12 months.”
He goals to extend his work on the lime spreading arm of the enterprise and feels he can entry extra areas by utilizing his excavator to dig earlier than spreading. “Lime spreading could be the job I most like.”
His brother, Ciaran, constructed him a lime spreader that may be towed by a quad, which has inspired a “massive” work quantity for Peadar in his lime spreading service.
His fleet features a Quadzilla CF Moto 1000cc C Power quad bike, a Kubota RTV-X1110 utility automobile, a 3t Hitachi mini digger, the Logic Towed ATV Weed Wiper – Contact 2000 CTFm, completely different digger bucket sizes, and an assortment of tree shearing and rock breaking attachments.
Peadar’s brother carries out the upkeep work for his fleet.
“My brother is a fitter, and he lives again in my dwelling place. He providers and maintains tractors and quads as his personal enterprise. I purchase a brand-new quad each two years.”
“In my opinion, the small equipment is good for the realm I work in. As well as, the digger could make life a lot simpler for me if there’s tough terrain which can not have an entrance.”
“You may stage out a 10ft entrance and get in with the equipment. For instance, I’m spreading lime the place there was by no means lime unfold earlier than.”
Challenges impacting Highland Floor Companies embrace engaged on tough terrain, rising enter prices and roundup spray prices.
“Diesel costs are difficult. So, I’m fascinated with altering over to a diesel quad. The quad might burn between €50 and €60 value of petrol throughout an extended day.”
“I did little or no with the bagged fertiliser service this 12 months. So, 80% of my bagged fertiliser work is gone this 12 months.”
“For instance, the pit silage contractor has no means out; they’ve to purchase the fertiliser.”
“The fertiliser I unfold is predicated on samples the place I base it then with lime. I’m topping it off with no matter bagged fertiliser I used to be advised to do from the samples with hint components.”
“Nonetheless, numerous prospects are leaving that now. In my opinion, fertiliser is just too expensive in value.”
Plans and the way forward for Irish agricultural contracting
He mentioned he doesn’t intend on enterprise enlargement or using workers – attributable to weekly household commitments.
“If I had been beginning my enterprise once more, I might have purchased a brand-new Logitech Contact 2000 weed wiper, a brand-new quad and tried rent buy to see how I might get on.”
Peadar feels agricultural contracting will get “rocky” for some time for him relating to the clampdown by the federal government on spraying tough terrain.
The rising prices of weedkiller may even affect the Galway agricultural contractor.
“The weedkiller I take advantage of has elevated threefold in value, so that’s going to push the farmer to do one thing completely different.”
“For instance, this 12 months, twenty litres of weedkiller price me €270, and it price €87 final 12 months. So, you might see numerous farmers making an attempt to purchase an affordable weed wiper to do their very own work.”
“Then, you might have the issue with the federal government coming in and possibly making an attempt to get extra folks into organics,” the agricultural contractor concluded.
To share your story like this Galway agricultural contractor, e-mail Catherina Cunnane, editor of That’s Farming – [email protected]
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Source: Around the Globe