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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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What should I pay for hedge-cutting services in 2021?

The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has included hedge-cutting prices in its FCI Contracting Charges Guide for 2021.

This year’s guide sees contractors quoting an average of a 4% increase in charges. The association is linking price hikes to some increases in costs of machinery, insurance and labour that have been experienced by members, since the beginning of 2020.

The FCI is satisfied that this averaged price guide continues to “provide fair and reasonable guidance” for contractors and farmers.

Firstly, it stressed that actual prices may “vary considerably” between regions, distance travelled, size of contract undertaken, size and type of equipment used, amount of product applied etc.

Also, the FCI said it is aware that many contractors make individual arrangements with clients regarding diesel.

The guide charges “do not reflect this market trend and such agreements may make a significant difference” to contracting charges.

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Michael Moroney, FCI Chief Executive Officer said, “FCI always advocates working out individual charges based on the actual cost of the operation; this guide is helpful to both contractors and farmers in highlighting a national average.”

“There are some consistent operating costs which transcend all regions. These include machinery depreciation costs and finance costs.”

120hp modern tractor at €55/hour

An FCI tractor cost analysis has shown that a 120hp modern tractor will require a minimum rate of €55 per hour to cover the operating and labour costs, irrespective of work undertaken. added.

The association believes 55% of that hourly cost is accounted for by labour and diesel costs. 25% is allocated to maintenance, repairs, fuel and insurance costs, giving a very tight operating margin.

Hedge-cutting prices 2021:

Prices are based on green diesel at 70 cent/litre, according to the association. Prices are shown as GUIDE ONLY, PLUS VAT at 13.5% and per area or per hour & include operator, unless otherwise stated.

  • Flail – €56-60/hr
  • Sawhead – €66-70/hr
  • Excavator/digger – €70-80/hr
  • Mulching hedges – €58-80/hr.
Other guide rates in 2021:
  • See last year’s guide hedge-cutting rates – see here.
  • Mowing, baling, wrapping, and stacking silage – click here.
  • Slurry and muck spreading rates in 2021 – more here.
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