Contractor rates: How do these 2018 ‘official guide’ prices look?

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

Included in this guide, for example, are prices for tillage operations.

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

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: baling and bale handling; fertiliser application; spraying; hedge-cutting; silage and willow harvesting; zero-grazing; slurry and muck spreading; as well as plant and tractor hire.

In this article, we focus on the ‘guide prices’ for combine harvesting, grain haulage and beet harvesting.

Image source: Shane Casey

While some of these jobs are far from people’s minds at the moment – with much of the country emerging from a blanket of snow – it’s worth taking a look nonetheless; given that a major contractors’ association looks set to publish an official, comprehensive ‘guide’ in the very near future.

Combine harvesting: Rate/ac

The ‘guide’ contractor rate for combine harvesting (of cereals and oilseed rape) for 2018 is €50/ac (plus VAT). This rises to €55/ac, where a chopper is used (on the rear of the combine).

Image source: Shane Casey

The ‘guide’ contractor rate for grain haulage (up to 15km from the field where the combine harvester is working) is quoted on a per-tonne basis. That figure is €5/t (plus VAT) for 2018.

Image source: Shane Casey

The association’s membership has also been considering rates for beet harvesting. Since the demise of the sugar beet industry here – many moons ago – there certainly aren’t as many contractors operating in this sphere nowadays.

Lifting beet: Rate/ac

Nonetheless, a significant number are still involved in lifting fodder beet each year. The ‘guide’ rate for 2018 is €125/ac (plus VAT) – a figure that reflects the relatively slow, time-consuming nature of this work.

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 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.