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

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.

In this article, we focus on the ‘guide prices’ for round baling, wrapping and bale handling (and related activities).

Image source: Shane Casey

While this ‘job’ is far from some people’s minds at the moment it’s worth bearing in mind that the 2018 ‘silage campaign’ is just a matter of months away.

‘Guide rate’ per bale (silage)

The proposed ‘guide price’ for round baling (4X4) silage is €4.50/bale (plus VAT).

Image source: Shane Casey

The ‘guide rate’ for round baling and wrapping including plastic is €9.50/bale (plus VAT). This doesn’t include mowing, tedding or raking.

For the same service excluding plastic, the ‘guide rate’ is €6.50/bale (plus VAT). Again, this does not include mowing, tedding or raking.

How much extra is needed for moving and stacking the bales? The talked-about ‘guide rate’ for round balingwrapping, moving and stacking including plastic is €13/bale (plus VAT).

Without plastic, this figure drops to €10/bale (plus VAT).

Meanwhile, the proposed figure for wrapping (on its own) excluding plastic is €2.50/bale (plus VAT). Again, that’s for a typical 4X4 bale.

Image source: Shane Casey

A ‘guide price’ for mowing, round baling and wrapping has also been the subject of discussion. Including plastic, the ‘draft’ figure is €15/bale (plus VAT). Excluding plastic, the figure is €12/bale (plus VAT).

Stacking (on its own) is ‘guiding’ at €1/bale (plus VAT).

Mowing (using a mower-conditioner) is ‘guiding’ at €20/ac (plus VAT).

Image source: Shane Casey

The ‘price’ for tedding is reckoned to be half that – at a rate of €10/ac (plus VAT). The same €10/ac rate applies to raking (rowing up).

What about straw?

‘Guide prices’ are also on the way for round baling straw. For 4X4 bales the figure is €4.50/bale (plus VAT); for 5X4 bales that rises to €5/bale (plus VAT).

Image source: Shane Casey

Points to note

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.