Contractor rates: Are these 2018 big baling ‘guide prices’ square and fair?

Over recent weeks, we brought you news that the FCI (The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland) is currently compiling an ‘agricultural contracting charges (prices) guide’.

Also Read: How do these agri contracting ‘prices’ shape up?

It is believed that the association is intending to publish the list of prices as a “guide” and not a recommended price listing.

Figures are currently under discussion for a range of contractor services. As well as tillage operations, other services up for debate include: (pit) silage harvesting; fertiliser application; spraying; hedge-cutting; slurry and muck spreading; as well as plant and tractor hire.

Image source: Shane Casey

In this article, we focus on the ‘guide prices’ for big (square) baling, as well as small square baling – the latter becoming an increasingly rare and specialist service.

‘Guide price’ per bale (straw)

The proposed ‘guide price’ for big (square) baling straw – making 8X4X3 bales – is €9/bale (plus VAT). An example of a baler that produces this bale size is pictured below.

Image source: Shane Casey

The ‘guide rate’ for big (square) baling straw – making 8X3X3 bales – is €8/bale (plus VAT). An 8X3X3 baler is pictured below.

Image source: Shane Casey

The figure drops to €5/bale (plus VAT) in the case of smaller 6X3X3 bales.

Turning to a different scale, small square baling straw is ‘guiding’ at €0.50/bale (plus VAT). The same rate applies for hay.

Image source: Shane Casey

‘Guide prices’ for big (square) baling silage have also been discussed.

The proposed figure for big (square) baling silage – making 6X4X3 bales – is €8/bale (plus VAT).

Don’t forget to check out the accompanying article, in which we detail ‘guide rates’ for round balingwrapping and bale handling.

Also Read: Contractor rates: Are these 2018 baled silage ‘guide prices’ on the money?

Points to bear in mind

The aforementioned ‘prices’ are believed to be average, guide-line prices – surveyed from FCI members. They may also change before the ‘guide’ is finally agreed by the membership.

Image source: Shane Casey

Of course, prices can vary considerably – depending on any number of factors. Such factors might include the actual equipment used, the size of the job undertaken (number of acres, etc) or the distance travelled by the contractor to get to the job.

In all cases, they are apparently based on a (green) diesel price of 70c/L.