The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has released the results of its annual survey of members’ prices.
Its UK national average helps give contractors and farmers a benchmark when working out individual costings for an operation.
Rising input costs over the past year have continued to apply pressure across the industry and, while prices have increased overall, contractors have struggled to keep pace.
“Many contractors report they have difficulty increasing their prices due to local competition,” says NAAC chairman Matt Redman.
“However, the cost of machinery has gone up 40% in the past 10 years – and some by 8% in the past year – and if farmers are demanding a reliable, efficient and safe service, they must expect to pay a sustainable rate.”
“Our industry has the potential to really drive forward agricultural productivity in an environmental way,” says Mr Redman.
“We are investing heavily in new technology, but we must be vigilant and ensure we can afford the costs of running a business, while remaining at the forefront of innovation.”
The results of the pricing survey are a useful starting point, but will vary significantly with region, soil type, customer size and machinery, and customers should not be alarmed by seeing prices quoted higher or lower than the average, says the NAAC.
While cost is important to any business, farmers should also be considering the quality, reputation and reliability of their contractor when making both short- and long-term decisions.