Agricultural contractors are the lifeblood of the farming community, often providing services that ordinary farmers can’t do themselves. For many farmers in Mid-Ulster, Fields Agri Contracts are the contractors of choice.
Based in Moneymore, Co. Derry / Londonderry, the Fields family have been providing an exceptional service to farmers in the surrounding area for over 25 years. Fronted by father-and-son Jim and Sam Fields, the contractor carries out all sorts of arable work, including ploughing and sowing, along with silage cutting, slurry spreading, round baling, hedge cutting, mulching, digger and dump work.
Committed to delivering a top-class service and complete customer satisfaction, Fields Agri Contracts 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 family business’ longevity and success can be attributed to the knowledge, skill and experience of its staff as well as the quality of its machinery. The Fields team delivers the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner every time.
“We’ve been cutting silage since the mid-1990s and have gradually expanded into other areas of contracting since then,” Sam Fields explains.
“We provide a professional, reliable, clean and safe service. No job is too big or too small and we treat every customer the same regardless of their size. For us, the customer is everything.”
Jim and Sam divide their time between running the agri contracting business with the family farm. They milk 70 cows and also keep 30 sucklers on their 200-acre holding, about 170 acres of which is rented. They also grow 30 acres of potatoes and a further 30 acres of barley every year. When things get really busy, Sam’s brothers Alistair, Nigel, Philip and James give a helping hand. And despite being only 14 and 11, Sam’s sons Joe and Thomas aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and to get stuck in either.
The Fields take great pride in the quality of their potatoes which they grow, harvest, wash, chip, pre-pack and market themselves. “We grow a few different varieties – Rooster, Navan and Maris Piper – and supply them directly to local grocery and butcher shops. People also call over to the farm to collect theirs,” Sam says.
The Moneymore contractor runs seven John Deere tractors, including a brand new 6155R which was purchased from Stephen Moore Farm Machinery in Coleraine. This stunning new addition has already been put to work spreading slurry and ploughing. The other John Deere models are a 6155M, 6150M, 6130M, 6115M and two 6830s.
“We always insist on John Deere because of their power, fuel efficiency, reliability and comfort. They also provide an excellent back-up service and their resale value is very good.”
Other machinery / equipment operated by Fields Agri Contracts include a John Deere 7350 self-propelled silage harvester, a JCB 320S loading shovel, a Pottinger 4510 silage wagon, CLAAS and John Deere 630 butterfly and trail mowers, a CLAAS rake and tedder (Volto 800), a Krone baler, a McHale bale wrapper, a Kverneland 2220 potato harvester, a SlurryKat umbilical system with dribble bar and 1,000m of piping, two Abbey slurry tankers, an NC slurry mixer, an Abbey dung spreader, a Hyundai 14-tonne digger with mulcher head, a Twose hedge cutter, Kane and Thompson dump trailers, two Kverneland four-furrow reversible ploughs, a Kverneland seed drill, a Kuhn power harrow, five Kane silage trailers and a Kane low loader.
In addition, the Fields recently took delivery of a new Johnston cattle trailer for use in their dairy and suckler enterprise from Robin McCullough & Sons in Cookstown.
All machines are maintained and upgraded on a regular basis to avoid downtime. “With time being money for the customer, we cannot afford to suffer any breakdowns. We keep our machinery fresh and do most of the maintenance ourselves,” Sam continues.
There is no such thing as a quiet time for this highly-regarded contractor who will work around the clock at peak times to keep customers happy.
“We’ll always go the extra mile for our customers,” Sam stresses.
“Ploughing and slurry spreading takes precedence in the early part of the year, followed by silage in the summer. We cut about 3,000 acres of pit silage every year. Last year, the first crop was good, but the second and third crops were a bit on the heavy side due to wet weather. But overall, it balanced itself out.
“When the silage season is over, we harvest the spuds and go back to spreading slurry. We also do a fair bit of hedge cutting and are busy all-year round with digger, drainage and reclamation work. We spend a lot of our time in the winter months calving cows and feeding calves.”
Sam is full of praise for his staff who work hard and enjoy an excellent rapport with customers.
“We have a good team and good customers who farm within a 20-mile radius of Moneymore. We cover an area which includes Magherafelt, Ardboe, Stewartstown, Dungannon and Donaghmore. We retain long-time customers and attract new ones by providing a service which is second to none.”
Fields Agri Contracts would like to take this opportunity to thank their customers and suppliers for their continued support.
Fields Agri Contracts
Moneymore BT45 7QF.
Telephone: 078 14535240
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 3, May/June 2021