In this week Young Farmers series we caught up with Tipperary native Gavin Delaney.
With a degree to his name and buckets of knowledge to accompany it – Gavin along with his father and their staff are running an impressive agri-business, trading by the name of PH Farms.
“We are a tillage farm in Co Tipperary, we do a good bit of hire work and we grow three big crops which are wheat barley and oats,” Gavin explained.
“I run it with my father, we also have one full time man and another during the harvest (working for us) and we also have part time staff in the summer then. We cover about 600 to 700 acres of our own and then the rest of the land is for contract farming and share farming”
The young farmer, whose passion for agriculture is clearly evident, explained the operations carried out on PH Farms.
“We have a feed operation where we are selling out all the grain we produce on the farm. So we roll it and treat it with different products. I would be the one looking after that and I also look after the contracting sides of things as well. I leave the crops up to someone else or my father would usually look after them.”
PH Farm is primarily a tillage farm as only eight acres are designated to livestock – only 1% of the farm
They also have multiple contracts with different companies in Ireland.
“We don’t do silage but we do a lot of seeding and dung spreading. We also have a lot of contracts to spreading compost.”
“We draw a lot of straw and then when summer times comes we help out a couple of other contractors drawing silage with our machinery.”
It’s no secret that the agriculture industry is one of the most challenging, however this is what motivates Mr Delaney
He describes every day as different and associates the unpredictable weather just that.
“It’s a different challenge every day. Today you could be doing something and tomorrow it could be something different. And with the way Ireland is set up with the weather changing so often it’s a challenge every day and I suppose you get a buzz out of completing the challenge.”
Gavin, who studied Agriculture at CIT Cork, which is in conjunction with Clonakilty Agriculture College, maintains his degree has helped his massively in the running of the business.
The Tipp farmer graduated in 2015 and has been putting his studies into practise ever since.
When asked about his studies he said, “It really gave me a good understanding of how a business runs and it also gave me a super understanding about the feeding industry such as what an animal gets out of different feeds.”
“I learned a lot about that sort of thing when I went to college and that benefitted me massively. I also learned a lot about crop husbandry and that was definitely a major advantage itself so when I got out growing my own corn, I can understand it.”
As well as producing crops, PH Farm, also makes a huge amount of their income from straw bales.
The savvy young farmer told how his business provides straw for farmers nationwide.
“We handle 30,000 round bales of straw. We buy a lot of straw and bale it and we draw it out to farmers in the wintertime. The majority of it goes to dairy cows and a lot of it also used for bedding for calves. We produce about 10,000 bales ourselves and then we buy the rest of it in.”
When asked about the future of farming in Ireland, Gavin seemed uncertain.
As the full impact of Brexit on the agriculture industry is not yet known, the young farmer expressed his concern.
“It’s hard to know what the future holds. Brexit could have a major affect and we don’t know the full extent of that yet. The whole trading on the world market is going to be a tough one in the future – it’s so up and down. It’s going to be a challenge,” he told.
is currently thriving in the Irish Agriculture industry and if Gavin Delaney has anything to do with it – it will continue to do so in the future.
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