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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Profit must not be a dirty word if contractors are to keep pace’

Ag Contracting Prices

The UK-based National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has warned farmers to expect increased agricultural contracting prices this year.

It has highlighted that contracting prices are rising on the back of “record high” fuel prices and escalating labour and machinery costs.

The body, has, in recent days, published its latest survey of contracting prices, which provides guide rates for various services, including baling, bale wrapping, bale harvesting, tractor hire, fertiliser, FYM and slurry applications, drilling, harrowing, and ploughing.


In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“The current survey was carried out based on a pound per litre for fuel. Contractors are being advised to calculate their fees carefully to ensure they are covering costs and can make a margin.”

“This survey is only an average figure, and farmers should expect their contractors’ prices to vary. Farmers should be aware that a fuel surcharge may be necessary if prices continue to fluctuate.”

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Jill Hewitt, NAAC chief executive, said that these are difficult times for everyone. She advises that it is “vital” that contractors work closely with their customers to ensure all businesses can remain viable and productive.

“Profit must not be a dirty word if contractors are to keep pace with new technology, training and investment in their businesses, to supply the professionalism, machines and skills that are increasingly being demanded to meet farmers’ sustainability and environmental targets.”

Pricing tool

The NAAC has, in conjunction with Andersons Consulting, recently launched a new online pricing tool for its membership.

This will allow contractors to evaluate each operation, considering all costs, so they can “see the cold, hard facts” for each job.

The tool takes account of numerous variables such as depreciation, repair costs of individual machines, yard costs, insurance, and office staff.

It breaks each job down, including fuel costs, area of work, work rate, labour, downtime and profit.

This will allow contractors to compile quotes, backed up by statistics, to get to a price that is realistic, the body said.

“Inevitably, farmers will get what they pay for in their contractor going forward. If an efficient, professional service, with well-maintained reliable machinery is needed, then a partnership approach will be vital,” the body stressed.

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