Features

Gerry McDonnell Agri – one of the best in the West

12 Oct , 2021  

Trading for over 20 years, Gerry McDonnell Agri in Crossmolina, Co. Mayo is a one-stop shop for all your agricultural contracting needs.

Committed to delivering a top-class service and complete customer satisfaction, the family-run business 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. Its growth and success can be attributed to the knowledge, skill and experience of its personnel as well as the quality of its machinery. The McDonnell team delivers the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.

Specialising in baling, reseeding, slurry spreading, digger work and drawing bales in the winter time, Gerry McDonnell Agri is run by father-and-son Gerry and Kevin McDonnell with the help of Gerry’s wife Mary and his other son, David, who works full-time as a truck driver. Gerry has been in the agri contracting business since 1990 when he and his brother-in-law Martin Jordan went into partnership.

“We bought a Welger RP12 round baler and a McHale wrapper, and started baling for local farmers. As things got busier, we decided to go our separate ways and I set up this business in 1999,” Gerry explains.

“Kevin joined me as a 16-year-old 14 years ago and we’ve struck up a good working relationship since then. We’re also part-time suckler farmers.”

The McDonnell’s have assembled an impressive and modern fleet of tractors and machinery to cater for most jobs. They run three John Deere tractors (6125M, 6620 and 6210), two New Hollands (6080 and L75) along with a 172-registered Case Puma 150.

The Mayo-based agri contractor makes about 15,000 silage bales a year using a McHale 5500 baler and a new McHale Fusion 3 Plus integrated baler-wrapper.  The Fusion 3 Plus combines the two traditionally separate jobs of baling and bale wrapping, and integrates them into a single operation which can be done by one man and one machine. It is unique in that it has been specifically designed as a high output integrated baler-wrapper.

Gerry and Kevin also have a Conor wrapper, Krone and Malone conditioner mowers, and a Fella rake.

“There is a bigger market in our area for bales than pit silage. Last year, the second cut was better than the first. It balanced itself out in the end,” Gerry says.

Other machinery / equipment operated by the McDonnell’s include a new 2,000-gallon Major slurry tanker with dribble bar, a 2,100-gallon Belmac slurry tanker, a Conor Megamix 7000 slurry agitator, a Kverneland three-furrow reversible plough, a Sulky power harrow, an Amazon disc harrow, a Vicon air seeder and a Hitachi 130 excavator which is used for everything from digging foundations and drainage work to land reclamation and pipe laying.

In addition, the contractor has a low loader and a 19 ft. Woods flat trailer for drawing round bales.

All machines are maintained and upgraded on a regular basis to avoid downtime. “With time being of the essence, we cannot afford to suffer any breakdowns. While we carry out most of the maintenance work ourselves, we also call on local mechanics Tom Regan and Michael Loftus from time to time. They are both top-class when it comes to servicing and repairing farm machinery.”

There is no such thing as a quiet time for this highly-regarded contractor who will work around the clock at busy times and take on extra staff if needs be to keep clients happy. Slurry spreading, ploughing and sowing takes precedence in the early part of the year, followed by baling during the summer months. After that comes more slurry spreading, drawing bales and digger work, which is a year-round service.

No job is too big or small for Gerry McDonnell Agri which operates within a 15km radius of Crossmolina, taking in the surrounding areas of Lahardane, Rakestreet, Moygownagh, Ardagh, Keenagh and Ballacorrick.

“We have good, loyal customers who are a mix of sheep, dairy and suckler farmers. The customer-base we have at the moment is big enough to keep us going. We provide a professional, reliable, clean and safe service, and treat every customer the same regardless of their size.”

Gerry’s favourite pastime also revolves around tractors – vintage tractors to be precise. He takes great pride in his 1965 David Brown 770 and 1979 David Brown 995. He is also the proud owner of a 1976 John Deere vintage combine harvester and a 1954 Austin A40 Somerset car. Gerry is a member of the Mayo North Old Engine & Tractor Club which holds its annual Field Day on the third Sunday of July in the grounds of the historic Enniscoe House, Crossmolina. Having been postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gerry is already looking forward to next year’s staging of the popular event.

Gerry and Kevin would like to take this opportunity to thank their customers and suppliers for their continued support.

Gerry McDonnell Agri

Streamstown,

Crossmolina,

Co. Mayo.

Telephone: 087 2330742 / 085 1264149

Email: [email protected]

First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 4, July/August 2021

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