Will these contracting ‘prices’ for tillage work take root?

Last week, we brought you news that the FCI (The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland) is believed to be compiling an ‘agricultural contracting charges (prices) guide’.

Also Read: Contracting body set to publish national charge-out rates ‘guide’?

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, 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.

Rate/ac for ploughing

A ‘guide’ rate for ploughing of €40/ac (plus VAT) for lea ground has been proposed. This would drop to €35/ac for stubble fields.

Image source: Shane Casey

The suggested ‘guide’ rate for disc (harrow) work is €90/hour (plus VAT). That figure is on a per-hour basis, to avoid potential confusion over how many ‘runs’ might be needed – to prepare ground to the required standard.

A figure of €25/ac/run is also doing the rounds – no pun intended!

Cultivation figure

A figure has also been considered for a levelling harrow – namely €15/ac. Min-till cultivation (depending on the equipment used, of course) is being ‘guided’ at €30/ac.

Power harrowing – a slow, power-hungry task – is being ‘guided’ at €120/hour or €45/ac/run.

Image source: Shane Casey

The talked-about rate for rolling is €60/hour or €10/ac. Sub-soiling and mole ploughing/draining is €110/ac.

Drilling cost

The ‘guide’ rate for a one-pass system is around €45/ac – similar to that for the power harrow on its own.

Image source: Shane Casey

A rate of €45/ac has also been referenced for direct drilling; the same figure also comes into the mix for ‘one-pass’ grass reseeding.

However, for a complete grass reseeding project encompassing all required jobs (including the seed itself – in this case only) there’s a ‘guide’ figure of €200/ac.

For establishing cereal crops (including ploughing, tilling and sowing), the ‘guide’ rate is €85/ac.

Image source: Shane Casey

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.

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.