Forty years of contracting excellence

22 Dec , 2022  

Edward Thompson and his family have been providing a top-class agri contracting service to customers within a 20-mile radius of their Errill, Co. Laois base for the past 40 years.

Since 2000, the business has traded as Thompson & Son Agri Ltd and continues to go from strength to strength. Specialising in pit and baled silage, sowing, ploughing, slurry spreading, crop spraying, drainage work, hedge-cutting and mulching, the company has earned an enviable reputation for quality and reliability.

“I’ve been contracting since the early 1980s when the business was originally set up along with my Dad and my brothers Robert and Richard,” Edward reveals.

“We’ve been a limited company since 2000 and nowadays, Robert and I run the business with the help of my son Richard, who is doing his Leaving Cert. Tommy Feeley has been with us since the early days and we also have four other full-time staff.

“We’re also suckler farmers and sell silage to local customers. We’re farming 300 acres, nearly half of which is rented.”

The Thompsons have 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. Their success and longevity can be attributed to the knowledge, skill and experience of their staff as well as the quality of their machinery. The Thompson team delivers the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.

The Co. Laois operation runs nine tractors comprising five Valtra, three New Holland and one CLAAS. The Valtras are a T194, a T154, a T183, a T151 and a N141. The New Hollands are a T7210, a T7200 and a TM120. Completing the impressive fleet is a CLAAS 850 which powers a set of Krone butterfly mowers that were purchased new from Tom Shaw Farm Machinery in Birr last year.

“Our latest purchase is a 20-reg New Holland T7210 which was bought from WR Shaw Tractors in Tullamore. We deal with Kelly’s of Kilkenny and O’Connor’s Tractors in Knocknagoshel for Valtra. We try to keep our tractors and machinery as fresh as possible,” the affable agri contractor says.

Another supplier is Kelly’s of Borris who Thompson & Son Agri purchased a new CLAAS 860 forage harvester from last year. Other grass equipment includes a trailed CLAAS mower, a mounted CLAAS mower, a CLAAS tedder, a CLAAS rake, three Kane silage trailers, three Smyth silage trailers, including two Super Cube, a McHale Fusion 3 Plus baler, a McHale 5500 straight baler and a JCB 419 loading shovel which is used for backing up silage on the pit.

For tillage, the Thompsons have a Lemken four-furrow reversible plough, a Kuhn power harrow and seeder, an Amazone disc harrow and an Alstrong Auctus grass seeder. The Alstrong Auctus is an Irish-made rejuvenation and reseeding machine whose unique design allows five operations to be completed in one pass.

For slurry, the Co. Laois agri contractor runs three tankers – a 2,700-gallon Abbey, a 2,600-gallon Major and a 2,400-gallon Joskin with trailing shoe – as well as a Cross agitator. Other machinery operated by Thompson & Son Agri include a Case 130D track machine, two Arbocut hedge-cutters and an Arbocut mulcher.

“The mulcher was a great buy for us. It gets a lot of work in the wintertime especially. We also have a range of other attachments for the track machine, such as saws and tree shears.  Outside of farmers, we carry out hedge-cutting for North Tipperary and Laois County Councils as well as Coillte.”

There is no such thing as a quiet time for this highly-regarded contracting firm which will work around the clock and take on extra staff at busy times to keep clients happy. Ploughing and sowing take precedence in the early part of the year, followed by silage and baling during the summer months. After that comes hedge-cutting and digger work.

All machines are maintained and serviced on a regular basis to avoid downtime, with most of this being carried out in-house. For bigger repairs, Edward calls on local garage, Castlefleming Farm Machinery Services (Ray Galbraith) and also sends machines to the main dealers.

Thompson & Son Agri has built up a large and loyal client-base within a 20-mile radius of Errill, which nestles in the south-west corner of Co. Laois and close to both Tipperary and Kilkenny.

“Having loyal customers is the bread and butter of all businesses. We have some great customers in Laois, Kilkenny and Tipp, some of whom have been with us since the beginning. It’s a sign that we are doing something right. We retain and attract new customers by providing an efficient, dependable, clean and value-for-money service. We try not to leave anyone stuck or without help.

“Without doubt, the best form of advertisement is word of mouth. If you do a good job for someone and they spread the word, what better endorsement could you get?”

Rising fuel costs caused by the conflict in Ukraine are putting many agri contractors to the pin of their collar. However, Edward is keen to put things into perspective.

“Wouldn’t the Ukrainians love to have our problems? We have it good by comparison,” he points out.

Passionate about agri contracting, Edward would like to take this opportunity to thank his customers and suppliers for their continued support as well as his staff for their hard work, professionalism and expertise.

Here’s to the next 40 years!

Thompson & Son Agri Ltd



Co. Laois.

Telephone: 086 2594189

First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 10 No 5, September/October 2022