This year’s contractor price guide reflects lower fuel costs but higher machinery purchase costs.
It was compiled by the National Association of Agricultural Contractors, which used the figures sent in by members around the UK.
“You get what you pay for” is a common quote and it applies just as well to land-based contractors as any other business.
“You would say that,” I hear you cry, “you’re just protecting the interests of NAAC members”. True – however in reality if you pay rock-bottom prices it is highly likely you will get rock-bottom service.
Think about it. How can a contractor who has not costed a job properly in terms of labour, fuel, insurance, machinery, depreciation and time really expect to provide you with a sustainable high-quality service?
It may be tempting to take the cheapest option or pull in a favour from a neighbour, but what happens if things don’t go to plan? Who is covered by insurance? Is it you? Let’s face it – accidents do happen and you need to check that you are covered.
You are, after all, placing your business (and potential profits) in your contractor’s hands and it is vital that you get a reliable service.
Like your own business, it costs your contractor money to retain trained, competent staff, keep machinery well maintained and up-to-date and make sure that standards of safety are upheld. In fact these costs probably represent the reasons you are considering a contractor.
This year’s contractor rates
The figures for 2009/10 in the table below are only a guide, but do give an indication of the current market price.
They have been drawn up from a range of charges sent in by NAAC members from all over the UK. Boiling the range down into a single figure inevitably hides the quite large variations that occur. The figures do, however, include fuel.
There will inevitably be some regional variation and the quote you get from your local contractor may vary, but this gives you a ball-park figure.
In addition, rates will depend on the type of land and the specific terms of the individual job to be completed (eg size of field, distance travelled etc).
NAAC CONTRACTORS’ CHARGES FOR 2009/2010
These are the middle prices surveyed from NAAC members but the actual price may vary considerably between regions, soil types, distance travelled, size of contract undertaken, size and type of equipment used, amount of product applied etc. These prices are only a guide.
Ploughing – light land
Ploughing – heavy land
Add for furrow press
Deep ploughing (over 30cm)
Rotavating (ploughed land/ grass)
Sub-soiling – conventional
Sub-soiling – flatlift
Mole-ploughing – single leg
Mole-ploughing – twin leg
Heavy disc cultivating
Rolling – flat (grassland)
Rolling – ring (seedbeds)
Fertiliser spreading – spinner
Fertiliser spreading – liquid
Cereal drilling – conventional
Cereal drilling – combi-drilling
Cereal drilling – direct drilling
One-pass tillage train
Rape drilling with flatlift/subsoiler
Grass seed (broadcast)
Sugar beet/fodder beet drilling
Maize precision drilling (including fertiliser)
De-stoning potato land
Extra if less than 50 acres
Extra for straw chopper on combine
Extra for seeding (Autocast)
Grain carting to store (per hour)
Straw chopping (separate operation)
Oilseed rape harvesting – windrowing
Oilseed rape harvesting – combining out of windrow
Oilseed rape harvesting – direct combining
Combining grain maize
Baling (per bale) – small
Baling (per bale) – 80cm x 70cm
Baling (per bale) – 120cm x 70cm
Baling (per bale) – 120cm x 130cm
Baling (per bale) – large round
Bale-wrapping (per bale) – silage
Bale-wrapping (per bale) – haylage
Potato harvesting – 2-row unmanned excluding carting
Potato harvesting – 2-row manned including carting
Sugar beet harvesting
Extra for carting
Forage harvesting – harvesting only – first cut
Forage harvesting – harvesting only – other cuts
Forage harvesting – harvesting, carting and ensiling – first cut
Forage harvesting – harvesting, carting and ensiling – other cuts
Maize harvesting inc carting and ensiling
FYM spreading – tractor and spreader (£/hour)
FYM spreading – tractor and loader (£/hour)
Slurry spreading – tanker (£/hour)
Slurry spreading – umbilical (£/hour)
Slurry injection (£/hour)
Hedge cutting (£/hour) – flail
Hedge cutting (£/hour) – saw-blade
Hedge laying (£/metre run)
Fence erection – post and wire inc wire (£/metre run)
Fence erection – post and netting inc wire (£/metre run)
Fence erection – post and rail inc wood (£/metre run)
Lime spreading £/t)
Ditching 360deg digger (£/hour)
Tractor and trailer plus operator (£/hour)
Tractor plus operator (£/hour)
Sheep dipping (£/head) – with chemicals
Sheep jetting/ showering (£/head) – with chemicals
Sheep shearing (£/head) – ewes
Sheep shearing (£/head) – rams
Sheep crutching (£/head)
Foot trimming – sheep (£/head)
Livestock husbandry – sheep (£/hour)