Celebrating 10 years in business, Patrick Halpin Agri Contracting Ltd is a leading farm contracting firm based in Knocklong, Co. Limerick. The family-run business provides a comprehensive service, including baled and pit silage, slurry spreading, reseeding, excavation work and hedge cutting.
It’s all go for owner Pat Halpin and his wife Carmel who also run a large dairy operation in the heart of the Golden Vale at Lackelly. If all that wasn’t enough to keep them busy, they also have five children, Katie, Padraig, Oonagh, Emily and Trish, who are all under the age of 12.
Both enterprises have grown dramatically in recent years and Pat and Carmel have six full-time staff assisting them. The dairy herd has grown 10-fold in the last 20 years, while the Halpins are also in the business of finishing bulls and heifers. They supply their milk to Dairygold and beef to Dawn Meats in Charleville.
“Our own farm wasn’t big enough to make a living out of it,” Pat replies when asked why they decided to get into agri contracting and dairying on a larger scale.
“We have 123 acres of our own, but it wasn’t enough to sustain us. We’re now leasing 500 acres and have gone from milking 36 cows to 360. Since the milk quotas were lifted in 2015, we’ve added 240 cows to the herd. We have a 32-unit Fullwood milking parlour which will become a 44-unit soon. I do a lot of the milking myself and Carmel looks after the calves. We have great staff too. It’s a real team effort.”
He continues: “We set up the agri contracting business in 2009 and that has grown in tandem with the farm. We have invested heavily in the best of machinery and have received tremendous support from farmers in the area. I have made enormous personal sacrifices to build up both enterprises and to get to the stage where we are today.”
Committed to providing a top-class service and complete customer satisfaction, Patrick Halpin Agri Contracting Ltd has an array 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 company’s success can be attributed to the knowledge, skill and expertise of its staff as well as the quality of its machinery. Pat and his highly-skilled team deliver the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.
Pat runs one of the most modern fleets of Claas tractors in the country. He has eight in all, five of which are less than three years old. The newest models are 650 and 630 (both 2018-registered), 630 and 440 (both 2017-registered) and 550 (2016-registered). In addition, he has a 2017-registered Massey Ferguson 7720, two Claas 640s (2012-registered), a New Holland TM120 (2005) and a Claas 697 (2006). That’s 10 tractors in total.
“All of the Claas tractors came from Breen’s Farm Machinery in Cashel. We also bought a Claas self-propelled harvester new from McCarthy’s Plant & Agri Sales in Carrigtwohill last year. There has been massive investment in the last few years,” notes Pat, whose family are synonymous with agri-contracting.
Other plant / equipment operated by the company include two McHale Fusion Plus 3 baler / wrapper combinations, a McHale straw chopper, a new zero grazing machine, four new Broughan silage trailers, a new Samson rear discharge spreader, two Abbey slurry tankers (one with dribble bar and one without), two Mastek umbilical systems (one dribble bar system and one twin splashplate, 2.3km of piping in total), power and disc harrows, a Twose hedge cutter, a Sulky fertiliser spreader, Hitachi 120 (12 tonne) and Takeuchi (three tonne) excavators, a Volvo loading shovel, a Matbro teleporter, a Keltec 10 Pack bale chaser, Claas (2700) and Fella (30ft) rakes and a Claas 1100 tedder.
Pat is full of praise for his two McHale Fusion 3 balers which made 17,000 silage bales last year.
“They aren’t the cheapest baler on the market but, for me, they are very reliable and don’t break down often. All but 700 of the bales we made last year were wrapped with Baletite film wrap rather than traditional netwrap. Our customers report good quality bales with high dry matter content,” says the affable 42-year-old, whose baled silage service includes mowing, tedding, baling, moving and stacking bales.
All machines are upgraded and serviced regularly to avoid breakdowns and downtime. Pat and his team will work around the clock during the silage season to keep their clients happy. While most of their work is carried out within a 10-mile radius of Knocklong, Patrick Halpin Agri Contracting Ltd have customers all over Co. Limerick and even as far as Tipperary town. They retain long-time customers and attract new ones by offering a professional, reliable, clean and value-for-money service.
“We pride ourselves on providing a good service. We don’t take any shortcuts. With the exception of tillage, which is virtually non-existent in this part of the country, we can cater for all your agri contracting needs. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their support and loyalty, and look forward to work for and with them for many more years to come,” Pat concludes.
Here’s to the next 10 years of this highly-regarded farm contractor.
Patrick Halpin Agri Contracting Ltd
Telephone: 087 6449168
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 3, June/July 2019