The tillage and agricultural contractor tour at this weekend’s Macra Annual Conference is going to be an exciting one.

Anyone with a love of machinery is set to be impressed as the tour takes in two extremely interesting farms. First up is Tom Barry, a tillage farmer based in Kilavullen, Co. Cork.

AgriLand spoke to Tom on Tuesday, October 26. He was in the midst of planting Valerie winter barley and following some planning had planted his winter beans earlier in the wetter land.

Winter wheat and rye is next on the list to be planted.

Tom also runs a grain drying and storage business, the drier for which is fueled by straw produced on the farm.

Tom has grown his business over the years and both owns and rents land. The Cork man has also tried minimum-tillage and will explain why he made the move back to the plough.

His yard is a mix of machinery – among the fleet are John Deere, New Holland, Claas and Amazone machines to name but a few.

AgriLand‘s technical tillage journalist, Siobhán Walsh, will have an on-farm discussion with Tom and high on the priority list will be finding out how he has developed his farm and built up his land base over the years.

With a background in biochemistry AgriLand will also be keen to find out about Tom’s soil management and the large amount of pig slurry that he imports onto his land each year.

A contractor’s yard of many colours

The next stop on the tour is with Mike Cooney, an agricultural contractor from Ballyhooly. Mike and his team carry out jobs from slurry spreading, lime spreading, ploughing, sowing and harvesting cereals to harvesting grass, wholecrop cereals and maize silage.

Mike Cooney is an agricultural contractor in Ballyhooly, Co. Cork

This is a long way from when he started with a tractor and lime spreader in the early 1990s. Today, technology plays a massive part in Mike’s business as it helps him to increase output and efficiency.

Date, time and booking

Farm tours take place at Macra’s Annual Conference this Saturday, October 26. Tillage and machinery; dairy; and beef tours all depart at 10:00am from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Little Island, Co. Cork.

To book your place on a farm tour click here

Macra’s Annual Conference also takes place on Friday, October 25, at Corrin Event Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, from 1:30pm to 4:50pm. Attendance at the conference is free of charge, but booking is essential.

To book your place at the conference click here