Bailey Bros are hard to ‘beet’

13 Apr , 2021  

Bailey Bros Agri Contracting Ltd has been providing an exceptional service to customers in Wexford, Wicklow and Carlow for almost 40 years. Based in Craanford between Gorey and Carnew, the family-run business specialises in pit and square bale silage, tillage, slurry spreading, spring and winter barley, wheat, oats, beet and maize.

Committed to delivering a top-class service and complete customer satisfaction, Bailey Bros Agri Contracting 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 Co. Wexford company’s longevity and success can be attributed to the knowledge, skill and experience of its staff as well as the quality of its machinery. The Bailey team delivers the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.

The business has come a long way since brothers Bob and John Bailey, who are also beef and tillage farmers, started out cutting silage and harvesting beet for local farmers in 1983. “We borrowed some of our father Ben’s machines, including a beet harvester and a Taarup double chop silage harvester,” Bob remembers.

“We then invested in a new Landini 8500 tractor and gradually got bigger over the years. We bought a Fiat Agri 110-90 in 1990 and a Fiat Agri 160-90 in ’94. Both were bought new from Kelly’s of Borris. We then bought two Valmet (Valtra) 8000 series tractors in ’95 and ’96. We also purchased a Hesston 4900 big square baler in 1992, a Deutz Fahr 4075 combine harvester in 1998 and a CLAAS Jaguar self-propelled silage harvester in 1997. The baler and the combine are still going strong. The 4075 later went on to be traded in in 2007 for a Deutz Fahr 5690, while the Claas Jaguar was changed in 2000 for a New Holland FX 58.

“We’ve also had some second-hand New Holland tractors such as TW 20’s, a couple of 7600’s and an 8770 Ford which was also purchased in the early 2000s as a second-hand tractor’’.

Nowadays, the brothers run a dozen tractors which are a mix of John Deere, Case, Fendt, Claas, Deutz Fahr and New Holland. They have three John Deere 6170Ms, three Case (Puma 220×2 and Maxxum 145) and a Fendt 930 which powers a set of Taarup triple butterfly mowers and also sows corn with a 6m Vaderstad seed drill.  They also have a Claas Arion 850, a New Holland TS115A, two older Ford’s (Ford 8770 and 6810) and a Fiat Agri 160-90, which is usually attached to a diet feeder.

Other equipment operated by Bailey Bros Agri Contracting include a new John Deere T550i combine harvester, a Krone Big X self-propelled silage harvester, a Volvo L60F loading shovel, a JCB TM320S artic telehandler, a McHale F5500 round baler, two McHale 998 square bale wrappers, two Major slurry tankers, an Agrispread AS12000 muck spreader, a six-row Samco maize sower, a Kverneland six-furrow mounted reversible plough, a Horsch KR3 Express 3m seed and fertiliser drill, Hardi and Bateman sprayers, Kverneland and Kuhn power harrows, Broughan 20ft, 22ft (x2) and 24ft silage trailers and a  32ft Broughan low loader for transporting silage, haylage, straw bales and machinery. There are also a couple of 20ft Gillespie silage trailers which are used year round.

The recent purchase of a brand new Amazone ZA-TS fertiliser spinner has also made spreading chemical fertiliser more accurate and reduces fertiliser costs.

In addition to using two combine harvesters for cutting the cereal crops, the Bailey’s also carry out square baling services with a Massey Ferguson 2270XD square baler and a Case LB434R which were both purchased in 2014. These machines are also used during the summer months to bale silage and haylage before the cereal crops are harvested. 

The McHale 998 wrappers are used to wrap the square haylage and silage bales which make premium quality feeding for dairy, beef and horse enterprises.

In addition, the Baileys run a Thyregod beet harvester and a Cross Rhino beet washer that are used in their own tillage enterprise for the harvesting and washing of the beet crops.

“We supply local farmers with washed fodder beet which makes for a great product when mixed with maize silage. Our customers are very happy with the result,” says Bob, who also grows barley, wheat, oats and maize, and finishes about 150 beef cattle every year.

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 carry out a lot of the maintenance ourselves. We bought the new combine from TFM in Enniscorthy in Summer 2020, while we also deal with Cooney Furlong Machinery in Enniscorthy, Jim Power Agri in Tallow, Co. Waterford and Farm Services in Coolgreany, Gorey.” 

There is no such thing as a quiet time for this highly-regarded contractor which employs three people full-time and takes on additional staff during the harvest season.

“We run a good show and try to stick to daylight hours when we’re really busy. We don’t believe in working during the night when people need their rest,” Bob continues.

“Ploughing and reseeding takes precedence in the early part of the year, followed by silage in the summer. 2020 wasn’t a bad year for silage. What was lacking in quantity was made up for in quality. We cut barley, oats and wheat in the autumn and that’s followed by maize and beet harvesting. We’d be dealing with beet from October ‘til March.”

Bob is full of praise for his staff who work hard and enjoy a great rapport with customers.

“We’re very lucky to have such a good team around us. We’re also fortunate to have so many loyal customers who have stuck with us through thick and thin. They come from within a 30-mile radius of our base in Craanford, which is on the Wexford-Wicklow border. We do our best and will always go the extra mile for them.

“And we always make sure to clean up after ourselves. Roads are for everyone and we make it our business to keep them clean when we’re drawing maize or beet from mucky fields in the winter time.”

Bailey Bros Agri Contracting would like to take this opportunity to thank their customers and suppliers for their continued support.

Bailey Bros Agri Contracting Ltd



Co. Wexford.

Telephone: 087 2605264 / 087 2554844

Email: [email protected]

First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 2, March/April 2021