As part of this week Agricultural Entrepreneur of the Week Segment, It’s farming Profiles Cathal Moran Agri Plant Hire. He plans to take over his late brother’s business, juggle a large farm that can house up to 6,000 head of cattle, make over 12,000 bales of silage, and complete challenges.
There’s never a dull moment for Cathal Moran, who manages more than 6,000 head of cattle at any one time and runs an agricultural contracting business.
The native of Headford, County Galway, took over the agricultural contracting business from his late brother John 23 years ago.
In 1997, his brother established John Moran Agri Contractor with silage and slurry spreading services when a local contractor he worked for for seven silage seasons retired.
John invested in various pieces of equipment and in his first year cut 1,100 acres of silage in a single cut.
In July 1999, he died and in August 1999, his brother, Cathal, created his own company and continued the activity. Outside of his work at P&D Lydon, Cathal worked as an operator in his brother’s business.
He furthered his knowledge of agriculture in 1998 when he took a SOLAS welding course in Galway and in the 2000s when he undertook his Green Cert at Teagasc in Ballinrobe.
“I always had an interest in agriculture and machinery growing up. I guess I was always going to look for a job in agriculture. So, I had an interest in agriculture from an early age,” said Cathal Moran. It’s farming.
Moran is actively involved in running the family farm with his father, Sean, cultivating over 300 acres (mostly leased).
They raise 500 plains, crossbred and mountain type sheep, 150 head of cattle under a calf-beef system, 150 beef cattle and purchase up to 6,000 crossbred mountain sheep throughout the year .
They aim to have 70% Angus crossbreeding in their veal-beef business and shop cattle businesses, but also have Angus-cross, Friesian-cross, Belgian Blue-cross, Limousin-cross and Hereford-cross breeding. cross.
Cathal Moran Agri Plant Location
Cathal began his agricultural contracting business with slurry spreading, lime spreading, reseeding and manure spreading services and continued to service his brother’s business customers.
In mid-2001, he got into silage baling. However, it only gained huge interest in 2002 when it made 17,000 balls.
Today, the agricultural contracting business employs one full-time worker and three part-time operators daily, and up to five people during peak hours.
The company serves a 15-mile radius from its base, has developed its customers primarily through word of mouth, and uses digital media to showcase its work.
“Customer retention would be important to me. 99% of our work would be repeat customers. I would be strict about how I complete a job for a client, it must be done correctly and on time. »
“There are some good customers of my late brother’s business there.”
The company offers round baling, slurry spreading (with drip bar and slurry tanker), manure spreading, lime spreading, disc harrowing, mechanical harrowing, reseeding and dump trailer rentals, primarily serving dry storage companies and GLAS participants.
The company has decided to discontinue pit silage services this year. In 2009, it ceased offering factory rental services with six excavators, three dump trucks and five tractors in operation.
The company started harrowing grass in the first week of May with 80 acres registered since.
Each year, the company bales up to 12,000 bales of silage and reseeds over 300 acres. Slurry spreading and lime spreading are the other most popular services.
Mortimer Quarries has engaged the company to spread lime for the past fourteen years. They apply it at an application rate of 2t/acre.
“The GLAS program is ideal for spreading lime because farmers have their land tested and then spread a little.”
Its fleet includes a New Holland T7.230 tractor, a John Deere 6930 tractor, a John Deere 6920 tractor and two John Deere 6330 tractors.
Other items include Belmac 2,500 gallon tank truck (with Belmac trickle bar), Major 2,600 gallon tank truck (with Belmac trickle bar), Conor 7,000 agitator, propeller agitator RECK and a Conor rear discharge manure spreader.
Its grass equipment includes a McHale Fusion 3 Plus integrated baler, McHale Fusion two baler, Malone 9ft trail mower, Malone 10ft side mower conditioner, Malone 8ft disc mower, a John Deere 131 10ft front mower, a Malone Tedd-Air 570 mower, a Kuhn 8 rotor tedder and a Massey Ferguson rotary rake.
Its tillage equipment includes a 6m KRM turf harrow (with APV air seeder), a Bredal lime spreader, a Mandam disc harrow and an Amazone power harrow with a Guttler seeder.
Other equipment includes a CAT mini digger, Merlo teleporter, assorted bale trailers and a MAN truck with an 18ft Murphy body with bridges.
The company upgrades its fleet tractors as needed. “The tractors are all serviced at the scheduled times.”
“We have Murphys Garage on our side and Declan McHugh Tractors in Belclare, County Galway who do the majority of the maintenance.”
“Then Joe Whelan Limited in Loughrea takes care of the rake and the Kubota RTV. Malone Farm Machinery takes care of the mowers for us.
Challenges affecting the business include diesel prices and insurance costs.
“We are lucky in the staff line to have a lot of people we can call on.”
“The carbon tax has an impact on entrepreneurs. This adds significant costs down the line, and diesel prices have risen enough without this happening.
Cathal believes that the key to running a successful agriculture contracting business is having time management skills.
Cathal believes the scheme which will allow farmers to receive up to €1,000 for up to 10ha of silage or hay is a “big” help but “does not go far enough”.
“Farmers need more. It will reduce some of the cost, but not much.
“It costs €5 to wrap the ball around the ball. So between the cost of fertilizer and bale packing, the contractor’s costs have gone way up. »
Plans and future of Irish agricultural contracts
Despite this, the company is hopeful for the future and aims to keep expenses low.
Cathal said they were in a “comfortable” position regarding the expansion and planned to employ another full-time worker.
“The entrepreneur never receives government support and is always the last person to get anything,” the agricultural entrepreneur concluded.
To share your story like this Galway agricultural entrepreneur, email Catherina Cunnane, editor of It’s farming – [email protected]