The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has published its price guide for the 2019-20 season, which provides a countrywide average to give contractors and farmers a steer on what they should be charging or paying.
However, the NAAC has warned businesses not to rely solely on its guide and emphasises the importance of taking into account individual job costs, which may be influenced by soil type, customer size, machinery required and the scale of the business.
This will give a better indication of whether or not the operation is viable and profitable.
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Broadly speaking, machinery and labour costs have continued to climb and the NAAC is encouraging contractors to make sure the increases are reflected in their prices.
These factors, along with easier management of cashflow and depreciation, access to specialist, high-cost machinery and a dearth of skilled labour, have encouraged more farmers to call on the services of contractors.
However, it has put more pressure on contracting businesses to carefully plan and cost their operations to make sure they achieve a sustainable profit margin.
This means that downtime, insurance, depreciation, labour, machinery servicing and maintenance must be factored in to the price.
Like every industry, there is fierce competition in the contracting sector, which can result in prices being driven down.
But a successful business, with longevity in mind, is one that costs its operations carefully and refuses to work unprofitably.