Rising input costs will see the cost of agricultural contracting services climb in coming months.
Publishing the National Association of Agricultural Contractor’s (NAAC) 2017 charges, the association’s chief executive, Duncan Russell, said while prices hadn’t risen significantly since last year, the time is coming that increases were inevitable.
“We’re seeing rapidly increasing machinery purchasing costs, alongside hikes in spare parts and tyres, which simply can’t continue to be absorbed by the contracting sector,” he added.
Farming customers are demanding the latest kit, fitted out in many cases with technology to assist them in decision-making and precision application, which all costs. While contractors like to work with their customers to provide the professional service they require, this needs to become a closer partnership to allow contractors to make the massive investment in capital costs required to purchase and maintain multi-million pound fleets of machinery.
NAAC chairman and contractor Martin Hays (pictured above) said he just wants to provide a good service, on-time, to his customers.
“This is what most contractor’s want,” he added, “while earning a living.
“However, as machinery costs continue to climb, alongside the costs of other inputs, I’m having to look hard at my charging schedule and other contractors should be doing the same.
“Machinery costs are not static so neither should our charges be. While we may be doing okay this year, when it comes to upgrading or trading machines and tractors in coming months and years, we may easily find our costs have fallen behind and we can’t make up the shortfall. Farmers will have exactly the same problems and we need to work together so that contractors can make those long-term investments in labour and kit to keep the farming industry sustainable for the future.”
The NAAC’s 2017/18 Contracting Charges are available from the NAAC website at: www.naac.co.uk/LatestContractorPricesGuide/.