And, as you can see from the trailer, there’s a lot of work to be done from April to September as farming enters its busiest six months.
Meet the seven feisty contracting crews starring in new TV series ‘Contractors’From slurry spreading to hedge cutting, ploughing to round baling, the farmers of Ireland can’t do it alone.
So, they turn to farming contractors and their families.
Contractors is a fascinating seven-part documentary series exploring the working lives and personal narratives of seven agricultural contracting families from diverse locations.
It features crews from Limerick, Kerry, Meath, Tipperary, Galway, Donegal and Clare, who share their professional challenges, the high and lows of their daily routine and their hopes and dreams.
Without them, fields would be unploughed and unseeded, slurry would be unspread, silage would be uncut and hedgerows would descend into chaos.
Culturally and economically, farming is Ireland’s oldest and most resilient industry.
For the 137,000 families whose livelihoods depend on it, farming is a full-on, full-time job.
But few farmers have the time, the manpower or the expensive specialist plant required to do it.
And so, they call on the services of 1,800 agricultural contractors from all around the country.
Every year, and in all weathers, these hard-working men and women arrive with 20,000 tractors and harvesters, €150 million worth of agricultural machinery and 10,000 full and part-time operators to get the job done.
The contractors will deal with the immense pressures of a seasonal industry requiring huge investment in equipment, long hours, unpredictable schedules and skilled workers and operators that are often hard to find.
Timeframes are short, fuel is expensive, bad weather can derail a season and red tape can reduce a workforce to critical levels.
With an unprecedented mix of Irish culture, heritage, experience and contemporary society presented in the Irish Language, featuring many strong female-led and female centred enterprises, this series will be a melting pot of all ages and generations.
Contractors are the heartbeat of rural Ireland – crucial players in a food-producing sector that is central to Ireland’s economy.
Over the course of the seven episodes – each one defined by a separate theme based on the time of year and the work involved - we will intercut between the personal lives and daily routines of our protagonists.
As the series progresses, we’ll get to know them as we become increasingly invested in the challenges they face both on and off the job.
Set against the backdrop of each contract will be the weddings, family crises, pub quizzes, study regimes, demanding siblings and the kitchen sink drama of real life, as well as the opportunity to discuss and deal with issues such as farm safety, climate change, the changing role of the farmer and discuss other controversial topics that may arise and evolve as we go.
Don’t miss Contractors on TG4, beginning 24 February at 9.30pm.