12 May 1995

Midlands:Colin Hinchley.

For. The local ring gives my business flexibility. If I take on extra work, but not enough to justify a new machine, I can use the ring to top-up my existing pool of labour and machinery.All parties must gain

Use of contractors will definitely increase. We specialise in providing a whole-farm package, which is a real growth area now. Contractors will always be needed

Depends on how the tractors are used. The proper use of electronic hydraulics, for example, gives significantly more control than mechanical systems. What I dont approve of is marketing gadgetry.

I couldnt afford to own all my equipment. A finance package, such as contract hire, is a useful tool which allows the business to always run up to-date equipment. It also helps with costing – I know exactly what each machine costs to operate.

Not sure. It makes sense environmentally, but it needs to make economic sense if it is to have a future.

A necessary evil. I understand the need for the scheme, but would prefer a system that brought more young people into farming.

Mathematically. Each job is fully costed and a profit margin added; then the figure is compared with the rate for the area. Its important to sell yourself, as well as the service.

Contractors are now seen as more being more specialist and professional. Farmers are recognising that contractors have a vital future role – and not just "fire brigade work".

The weather – the one thing over which I have absolutely no control.