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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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How much does fertiliser and lime spreading cost?

The FCI has published its Contracting Charges Guide for 2022, which contains hedge-cutting and fertiliser and lime spreading rates.

The body is “satisfied” that this averaged price guide continues to provide “fair and reasonable” guidance for farm and forestry contractors and their clients.

However, it stressed that one must remember this is only a guide.

FCI produces these guide figures on an annual basis. It collates an average figure for each operation from a panel of members across Ireland.

Because of the local differences, the actual guide charge may vary between:

  • Regions;
  • Across soil types;
  • Distance travelled;
  • Size of contract undertaken;
  • Size and type of equipment;
  • Scale of work.

It has based prices on green diesel at 75c/L. The body stressed that the “guide charges do not reflect this market trend and such agreements may make a significant difference to contracting charges”.

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It has provided prices as a guide only, plus VAT at 13.5% and per area or per hour and include operator, unless otherwise stated.

FCI confirmed that it is aware that many contractors make individual arrangements with clients regarding diesel.

Overall, the body warned that farmers across Ireland will see an average minimum 5% increase in agricultural contracting service charges in 2022.

This year’s hikes come on the back of “significant” increases in costs of machinery, tyres, fuel and lubrication oils, insurance, and labour costs FCI members experienced throughout 2021 and into 2022.

The FCI said the increasing costs of new machinery for farm and forestry contractors and their client farmers impact the sustainability of many agricultural contracting businesses.

FCI stressed that additional machinery, replacement parts and tyre cost increases during 2021 and into 2022 are driving up machinery purchasing and ownership costs.

Contractor charges:

It has provided the following guide charge rates for hedge-cutting and fertiliser and lime spreading.

Fertiliser and lime spreading:

  • Broadcasting – 2 bags per acre – €42/tonne or – €95/hour;
  • Broadcasting – general – €42/tonne or – €95/hour;
  • Bulk spreading – €42/tonne or – €95/hour;
  • Lime spreading – €6-7/tonne.


  • Flail – €58-62/hr;
  • Sawhead – €68-72/hr;
  • Excavator/digger – €75-85/hr;
  • Mulching hedges – €75-85/hr.
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