Contractors to meet politicians – to tease out tractor testing, student drivers and black economy

The North Eastern Regional Group of Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) is staging a ‘Politicians Meeting’ to discuss issues impacting on contractors.

A number of politicians, from several parties, have confirmed their attendance at the meeting. There, they will hear concerns voiced by contractors – following a difficult autumn and winter period. All contractors are invited to attend.

The meeting will take place next Monday, April 9, at 8:30pm at the Headford Arms Hotel, Kells, Co. Meath.

Image source: Shane Casey

The items for the agenda will include topics that the FCI says are having a growing, direct impact on the future viability of agricultural and forestry contractors across Ireland.

These topics will include:
  • Tractor testing legislation for contractors;
  • Student work placement for contractors;
  • Slurry spreading and hedge-cutting dates;
  • Cash-flow issues in farming;
  • Black economy issues.

According to the FCI, farm and forestry contractors in Ireland employ close to 10,000 people – mostly involved in operating machines up and down the country.

The body estimates that contractors use more than 500 million litres of diesel annually in carrying out this work. It is reckoned that they operate more than 20,000 tractors – about one third of the national fleet.

Image source: Shane Casey

The FCI says that its contractors’ machines make more than five million bales of silage each year, along with spreading more than 20 billion litres of slurry.

Charge-out rates for 2018

In other FCI news, the association recently released an ‘agricultural contracting charges (prices) guide’ for 2018. The lengthy table details rates for a whole plethora of on-farm (machinery) services.

Also Read: Table: Contractor association releases full 2018 ‘guide rates’

It includes figures for a range of contractor services, including: baling and bale handling; cultivations; drilling/sowing operations; seed cleaning; complete cultivation work; fertiliser application; spraying; combine harvesting; beet harvesting; hedge-cutting; silage and willow harvesting; zero-grazing; slurry and muck spreading; as well as plant and tractor hire.

Image source: Shane Casey