Established in 1961, Cappawhite Agricultural Contractors Ltd is a leading contracting firm based in West Tipperary specialising in pit silage, baling, slurry spreading, reseeding, whole crop and maize harvesting, excavation work and hedge-cutting.
From humble beginnings when Willie Barry started out with a Ferguson 20 and a few bits of equipment almost 60 year ago, the family-run business has grown to provide a comprehensive service to a large and loyal customer-base within a 20-mile radius of Cappawhite. Willie’s son Mike heads up the business nowadays and is assisted by three full-time staff and four-to-five part-time.
“Tom Moloney, Christy O’Dwyer and Pa Quinlan are with me full-time,” he explains.
“My three brothers, Dave, Liam and Pat, help out at busy times. Dave is a block-layer, while Liam and Pat run Cappawhite Civil Engineering which was also set up by our father, who is 76 now and semi-retired. We’re also drystock farmers and he (Willie) looks after that side of things during the summer when the agri contracting is at its busiest.
“Everyone in the family helps out when the need arises, including my mother Una, wife Frances and our children Molly (12), Mikey (11), Gerry (nine) and Ciara (seven). It’s a real family affair.”
Committed to providing a top-class service and complete customer satisfaction, Cappawhite Agricultural Contractors Ltd has a wide range of machinery to carry out your work quickly and efficiently, providing you with value-for-money and an alternative to investing in your own expensive equipment.
The Premier County firm’s success can be attributed to the knowledge, skill and expertise of its staff, as well as the quality of its machinery. Mike’s highly-skilled and professional team deliver the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.
Cappawhite Agricultural Contractors Ltd runs a fleet of seven tractors – four Valtra and three CLAAS. The Valtras are a T171, T130, N113 (with a Valtra front loader) and an impressive 270hp T254 which was purchased new from O’Connor’s Tractors in Knocknagoshel, Co. Kerry earlier this year. There are two CLAAS 650s and a CLAAS A10.
“We insist on having front linkage and PTO with every tractor we buy. They are handy to have and makes the tractors easier to sell on as well,” Mike says.
Other plant / equipment operated by the contractor include a CLAAS 870 forage harvester, a Volvo L70H loading shovel, a Merlo 32.2 telehandler, a set of CLAAS front and rear-mounted mowers, a new set of Krone butterfly mowers with groupers, two Red Rock 2,500-gallon slurry tankers, SlurryKat and Mastek umbilical systems which have 1,600 metres of piping combined, a CLAAS 374 standard baler, a Keenan orbital dung spreader, a Vogel four-furrow reversible plough, a pair of Kuhn power harrows, one of which features a Doyle Air Seeder, a Spearhead 606 hedge-cutter, two Red Rock low loaders and a CASE CX130 excavator.
All machines are upgraded on a regular basis to avoid breakdowns and downtime. Maintenance and repairs are carried out both in-house and by mechanic Declan Molumby in nearby Dundrum. Mike and his team are kept busy all year round and will work around the clock at peak times to keep their clients happy. Slurry spreading and reseeding takes precedence in the early part of the year, followed by silage cutting and baling during the peak summer months. After that comes whole crop and maize harvesting, hedge-cutting and more slurry spreading.
“We cut about 2,800 acres of pit silage and make up to 8,000 silage bales a year. Our CLAAS 374 standard baler works well in this part of the country where the land tends to be wet and heavy. We have got into whole crop and maize harvesting in the last few years and that’s going well for us.
“We cover West Tipp and East Limerick and also do a fair bit of slurry spreading in North Tipp. We have a lot of long-term customers, some who have been with us for over 40 years, as well as newer ones. All of our customers are good payers which is important. They choose us because we provide a professional, reliable and clean service at the keenest rates and also because of our vast experience. There aren’t too many other agri contractors who have been in the business as long as we have.”
The highly-regarded contractor also works for Colas Roadbridge and Egis Lagan Services.
“Colas Roadbridge hire a telehandler from us to load salt at their depots in Nenagh and Ennis for spreading on roads during cold weather, while we have two tractors and low loaders moving machinery and heavy plant up and down the M8 Motorway for Egis Lagan Services on a regular basis,” Mike says.
Cappawhite Agricultural Contractors Ltd is a member of FCI (Farm Contractors Ireland) whose main objective is to provide a fair playing field for contractors North and South of the border. The group lobbies government bodies at local, national and EU level on behalf of its members, who are both large and small. FCI is owned and run by its members for its members and aims to make local branches as active as possible and to facilitate group discussion and possible group action on issues that affect their businesses and livelihoods.
Mike would like to take this opportunity to thank his customers for their continued support and loyalty.
Cappawhite Agricultural Contractors Ltd
Telephone: 086 2537627
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 7, November 2018