Best in the Kingdom

7 Oct , 2015  

D Browne & Son Contracting Ltd is a third generation agricultural contracting firm based outside Listowel in Co. Kerry. Managing director Donal Browne explains more.

The company was established over 50 years ago by Jimmy Browne, who is still involved to this day. His son Donal now heads up the business, while his son Danny is also involved in this long established and well regarded family-run concern.

D Browne & Son Contracting covers within a 20-mile radius of its Mountcoal base on the Tralee side of Listowel. The business employs three full-time staff and takes on up to 10 part-time staff during peak season. A long-time member of PAC (Professional Agricultural Contractors of Ireland), the company provides a wide range of agricultural services, including silage and hay cutting, slurry spreading, fertiliser spreading, reseeding, hedge cutting and drainage work.

“My father set it up in 1964 and we have gone from strength to strength since then,” Donal says.

“I got involved about 30 years ago and my son Danny has followed me into the business in recent years. We cover a large part of North Kerry where dairy is the main type of farming practiced. We have our own dairy herd which complements our farm contracting service.

“While silage cutting is our core business, we do a little bit of everything. Our year begins with slurry spreading from January to March. Reseeding takes precedence for a few weeks after that before the silage harvesting season gets underway in May and runs until September. When that’s finished, we go at the slurry spreading again until the October deadline.

“We’re also kept busy during the autumn months with hedge cutting. We also do some drainage work for farmers in the locality,” he adds.

Committed to providing a top class farm contracting service, the Brownes operate a fleet of 14 modern tractors comprising six CLAAS, six Case and two SAME. Donal purchased his CLAAS tractors from Nolan’s in Tralee and Breen’s in Cashel, while he bought his Case machines from Buckley’s Agri in Listowel.

The company’s other plant / equipment includes two umbilical slurry systems which were purchased from Slurry Mate in Cootehill, Co. Cavan, Hi Spec and Abbey slurry tankers, a CLAAS Jaguar 890 harvester, a CLAAS 9100 mower, a pair of Kverneland ploughs, a Unidrill stitching machine, a Komastsu WA320 which is used for making silage pits, several silage trailers, bale wrappers, two Fusion round balers, a McConnel hedge cutter and a Hitachi excavator.

“We have always been proactive when it comes to investing in farm machinery,” Donal points out.

“My father was one of the first agricultural contractors in North Kerry to have a round baler back in the mid-1980s, and we have continued to lead the way by investing in only the most modern and state-of-the-art tractors and plant.”

Maintenance and servicing of machinery is carried out in-house by mechanic Declan Galvin. Regular servicing and inspections are undertaken to ensure there are no breakdowns or downtime, especially during the busy silage cutting season.

As already stated, D Browne & Son Contracting Ltd is a member of PAC, which represents the interests of Irish agricultural contractors at local, national and EU level as well as on Government agency and NGO committees.

The benefits of being a PAC member include: assurance of professional and independent representation; first stop professional, impartial advice on machinery, employment law, finance or any issue affecting your business; telephone helpline; health and safety advice; exclusive access to information on issues that affect you and your business; national meetings; discussion groups.

Donal doesn’t envisage the recent abolition of EU milk quotas having much of an effect on his business.

“You would imagine that it would generate more business for us, but I can’t see it making much of a difference because intensive dairy farming has been carried out in North Kerry for as long as I can remember,” he continues.

“Having said that, the outlook for the agri contracting sector is fairly positive. A lot of people have gone back into farming since the recession started and the demand for our services is as great as they have ever been. The fall in fuel costs has been a big help too.

“We’re looking forward to another busy year in which we will continue to provide our customers with a quality, reliable and cost-effective service. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued support.”

D Browne & Son Contracting Ltd
Co. Kerry.

Telephone: 087 2520064
Email: [email protected]

Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 3 No 3, April 2015