Agricultural Contractors play a hugely important role in the farming community, the services that they provide are an integral part of farmer’s lives as without contracting firms, farmers would have to make a huge investment in the necessary machinery to do this work and when certain machinery would only be used for two or three weeks a year, then it makes more sense to turn to the tried and trusted agri contractor.
The majority of contractors come from a farming background and this allows them to understand the needs of their customers with the aim being to get in and get the job done as efficiently and quickly as possible.
For this month’s edition of Irish Tractor, we head south to Cork where we profile Crotty Agri Contractors, a family run business based in Mitchelstown which is run by PJ & Breda Crotty and their son Conor.
PJ has been operating his own agricultural contracting business since 1972, but his love for the industry itself stretches back a bit further than that. Farming has been a huge interest of his since he was a boy and right now, he’s involved in the sort of work that he loves as the business continues to thrive despite the trials and tribulations that 2020 have thrown upon us.
PJ has always been ahead of the rest when it comes to using new types of machinery and that dates back to when it all started
“I started off in ’72 with a Taarup side mounted harvester and then moved to a double chop in the late seventies. I then went on to a Pottinger precision chop before investing in a self-propelled harvester in 1992,” said PJ.
PJ specialises in a wide variety of farm contract work including silage harvesting, baling, slurry, reseeding and ploughing, hedge cutting and much more and he is proud of his proven track record in satisfying the needs of his loyal customers.
Crotty Agri Contractors enviable reputation has been built on the knowledge, experience and expertise gained over the past five decades and these attributes have helped him secure repeat business with the local farming community.
Agricultural contractors like PJ provide the farmer with a cost effective and useful alternative for many of their farming operations. They offer a large range of specialist equipment and fully qualified experienced personnel for quality and efficiency.
Agricultural contracting is part of PJ’s DNA at this stage but he admits that being at the mercy of Mother Nature all the time has its pitfalls.
“This job is very weather dependent. In fairness, the last few summers haven’t been too bad in regards to rainfall, in fact it was the opposite this year as we had a long dry spell in April. The customers understand the situation, but we know they want the work done and when the opportunity comes along, we have to put in the hours.”
Always available to help his customers save time on their farm, no shortcuts are taken by them when it comes to health and safety…
“Health and safety is very important these days. There has been a lot of changes over the years and they have cut down on the number of accidents, but you can never be too careful when it comes to machinery.”
Operating a fleet of New Holland, John Deere and Case tractors, PJ revealed that they upgrade on an annual basis to ensure that the fleet and machinery are kept in excellent working order.
“We would generally deal with Farm Power and Lynch McCarthy when it comes to buying new machinery, we find them very good.
The aim of this family run business is to add value to your farm by getting the best results that you need from the land, improving yields and quality for today and the years to come.
“Conor has come in full time with me in the last year or two, he was in CIT and is now with us. Another son James is still at college, but helps out a lot. My wife Breda looks after the farm at home and milks every day and our daughter Helen who is also in college helps out on the farm whenever she’s home. I want to also mention Laurence Burke who works here full time and is a big part of the team.”
“We would employ one or two lads and then bring in another eight or nine during the summer months. I’ve had a lot of seasonal workers down through the years and we would actually do work for some of the lads that drove for me in the past.”
When it comes to professionalism, reliability and diversity in his range of services, PJ is always willing to help. The secret behind the success is nothing special, according to PJ: “We try to provide the best service possible. Maintenance wise, JJ O’Brien who is a neighbour looks after a lot of our maintenance, while Farm Power would look after the John Deere tractors.
For PJ, the key sectors of his business have always been silage harvesting and slurry spreading which keeps him very busy during the summer months and also during autumn and spring with the slurry spreading.
He never tires of the cycle though, as he has been a lover of farming for as long as he can remember. “I always had a real interest in farming & machinery, even as a kid,” he said.
Slow progress often reaps the best rewards when it comes to business and over the years PJ, along with his employees, has gained a reputation for the excellent service that they provide.
“It slowly just progressed and just grew year by year,” said the owner. “The ethos at this company is that we do a very clean and tidy job. That sort of stuck to us down through the years and we do provide a very efficient service.
That and providing a reliable service seems to go hand-in-hand when it comes to success in this particular line of work.
Crotty Agri Contractors
Mob: 087 2769590
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 2, March/April 2021