Comins Contracting adds maize cartage to range of services

There is no such thing as an off-season anymore for Te Awamutu’s Comins Contracting, with a wide range of machinery and services from cultivation and baling to farm maintenance and cartage helping local farmers by doing all the jobs that need doing.

Comins Contracting is a second-generation family business started by Graeme and Lyn Comins in the 1990s from their Te Awamutu farm. Graeme had always carted metal out of the local quarry to local farmers and used his tractor and baler at home and on a few local farms, and when his son Bryan got some contracting experience under his belt, the two branched out together to buy a digger and offer a full suite of services.

Comins Contracting has since grown to two full-time staff plus Bryan and his brother Ian, running five trucks, two Kobelco diggers and eight John Deere tractors. They have just started carting maize silage, subcontracting four trucks and trailers in a long-standing 30-year relationship with maize specialist John Austin to cart maize silage to dairy farmers across Waikato.

Good growing conditions this season have seen Comins Contracting busy making more bales and pit silage than usual, running two McHale Fusion balers and two Schuitemaker loader wagons. Favourable growing conditions mean farmers who would normally buy bales from Comins Contracting have cancelled their orders and a surplus of bales is currently stacked up at the contractor’s yard.

“We’ve got a couple of customers who will buy them when the price comes down and stack them up, but you’ve got to have the money behind you to do that, and people who have the money still have to be careful with what they’re doing with it.” Consequently, farm maintenance work has also been a bit quieter this season at Comins Contracting, as farmers defer maintenance projects to a time of more comfortable economic conditions.

Good growing conditions have seen Comins Contracting busy making more bales and silage than usual.

“We don’t really have a quiet time of the year anymore.”

Comins Contracting has been getting into more effluent spreading in the past two to three years as regulations require it, and pasture production and fertiliser budgets both benefit from it. Comins Contracting helps farmers to get the best value out of their effluent, stay compliant and reduce environmental risks by managing the application of effluent nutrients with precision.

“We don’t really have a quiet time of the year anymore,” Bryan says. “We’ve filled some gaps with the quarry that we’ve been running for the past couple of years, and the metal we’re sourcing has proven popular for local dairy farmers who were struggling to find good quality brown metal for their races and tracks.”

“We’ve got really good brown metal, not too hard and not too soft, that we cart all around our local area. We’ve also bought a roller so we can re-shape and re-roll all the metal on the cow races.”

When he’s not in a machine, Bryan and his wife Kelly are working on their dry stock farm where the Comins Contracting yard is also based. They have plenty of support on the farm from his four kids, aged between 18 and 12, and all of them can do anything Bryan can do on the farm.

© Waterford Press Ltd 2024 – Independent Print Media New Zealand

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