Based in Keady, Co Armagh, Drumgreenagh Agri is an agricultural contracting service which is second to none in its region. Irish Tractor & Agri caught up with its owner Kyle Tecey recently to find out all about what is a thriving business.
Business is good at Drumgreenagh Agri and the plan for Kyle Tecey and his team up in Keady, Co Armagh is to try and keep things that way right through 2021.
Established in 2013, the company specialises in agricultural contracting, haulage and farming and works all throughout the Orchard County (and beyond its borders) and into the south.
Irish Tractor & Agri touched base with Kyle Tecey to learn all about Drumgreenagh Agri – from its origins to the state of business today.
“We’re established eight years now and right now we have between four to five lads working here, with more coming on board in the summer time,” he outlined.
“Cutting silage and spreading slurry would be our main thing and then you’d have hedge cutting and ploughing as well.”
The roots of the business date back to a time when Kyle himself got into fencing work and through it he became more and more immersed in the agri contracting game.
He had been in his early 20s at the time and, eventually, he took the decision to go out on his own and set-up Drumgreenagh Agri. The rest, as they say, is history.
“My father would have worked as an agri business manager when I was growing up so it wasn’t through him that I got into this but he is now retired and works here too as a member of the team,” explained Kyle.
“At 18 or 19, I took at fencing and things just kind of grew from there I suppose. Getting off the ground with Drumgreenagh Agri was definitely tricky at the time, but we’re still here and busy enough, thankfully.
“2020 wasn’t a bad year for us at all, even though the weather wasn’t great.”
Business has been good for Drumgreenagh Agri these past 12 months as they continue to add to their machinery fleet up along Madden Road.
Right now, they’re operating with eight tractors which include four New Holland t7s (two t7.230s just purchased from Burkes of Cornascriebe) a t7.260 and t7.210 and four Cases in order to keep up with the demand from customers.
“We always ran all New Holland but just last year changed to some Cases as they are identical machines mechanically but better finished inside in my opinion and I still know my way around them when it comes to maintanace.”
Kyle also revealed that they’ve brought in a new tanker recently from New Rock Engineering.
“We added a 4,500 tanker just this week, so that’s three altogether,” he said.
“We’ve another 4,500 that we added at the beginning of 2020 for the 12metre agiquip dribblebar and pipe system. We also have a couple of new mowers and all of our grass machinery here would be from Krone running a big X 700.
“We have a great relationship with Irwin Brothers for the Krone machinery. They give us service for all of our machines that is second to none and that is very important with short windows of weather.”
Along with the agri contracting business, Kyle also runs a haulage company which has been growing fast over the past couple of years.
Right now, the Keady native is operating with four Scania trucks and could well be adding to the fleet again should things get any busier.
“Liquid haulage is our main game but we do all types of work from tippers to curtainsiders to walking floors. We have three tankers in the fleet and haul all types of liquids even slurry. When there is a long draw on we use them to draw to the pipe system. When you have three lorries, and three tractors and tankers coming you can move a lot of slurry in a short space of time.”
Indeed, you can expect to see more of Kyle’s trucks on the road in the coming years after having just signed a contract with a major client down in Dublin.
“We just want to keep steady with what we’re at in the agri contracting because we have a haulage end of the business as well now which is less seasonal and provides work that isn’t weather dependant,” he said. We draw waste (some of it in and some out) all year round for the two biggest Anaerobic Digestors on the island of Ireland both with a capacity of 5MWs.
“We do a lot of work for smaller ADs even with the contracting side of things as we cut grass and spread digestate. Green energy is where it’s at at the moment especially in the North and just getting going in the south so we intend to continue down that route.
“Haulage has been growing fast and in 2021 we’ll be starting a contract in Dublin, which is great for us because the haulage side has only been up and running about two years now.
“I think we may scale back the agri contracting side of things in the near future to focus on haulage as it’s not a sustainable business at the current rates given the continual increases in machinery prices and fuel as well as labour. There’s too much money tied up in grass equipment and the way weather is now you can’t take on more work to spread your costs its all crammed into short windows.”
On top of all that, Kyle and his father are running their own farm on around 250 acres for maize and grass.
“We try to grow around 100 acres of maize on rented land in the south which is hauled north to supply farmers and anaerobic digestors.”
It all leaves Drumgreenagh Agri’s Managing Director a busy man these days, even in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
Thankfully, business hasn’t been too badly affected by the spread of Covid-19 and the resultant government lockdowns (both sides of the border) that have followed in its wake.
For now, Kyle and his team are focused on meeting customer demand and looking forward to another busy summer around Keady.
As for why he feels customers choose Drumgreenagh Agri ahead of other competitors in the same agri contracting game, Kyle concluded by saying:
“We will always try and provide a good service to our customers and we are always there for them on time and when they need us and that applies to our haulage side too.
“We try and keep them all happy and I think we do a good enough job of that and they appreciate it.”
The evidence thus far from Drumgreenagh Agri would suggest as much.
119 Madden Road,
Mobile: 0044 7704 954 802
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 3, May/June 2021