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‘Small upward trend’: NAAC releases agricultural contractor pricing averages

Overall, there has been a small upward trend in contractor prices from 2019, to start to reflect the increasing cost of staff and inputs.


May 20, 2020
By Drainage Contractor

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The guide provides a U.K. national average to help contractors and farmers benchmark own prices. 

The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) published a new guide for contracting prices for 2020-2021. The guide provides a U.K. national average to help contractors and farmers benchmark own prices.

Overall, there has been a small upward trend in prices from 2019, to start to reflect the increasing cost of staff and inputs.

However, NAAC states that prices may still vary significantly with region, soil type, customer size and machinery, and farmers should not be surprised to see prices quoted higher or lower than the guide. While cost is important to any business, farmers should also be considering the quality, reputation and reliability of their contractor to get a job well done.

“Inevitably, in coming weeks, I will hear that these costs are both too high and too low. But I urge contractors and farmers to work in partnership, making certain more than just cost is weighed up,” commented Jill Hewitt, NAAC chief executive, in the media release. “Consider if safety management is in place, if environmental scheme requirements will be met, if there is sufficient specialist insurance and whether there will be security and longevity on both sides.”

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Screenshot from the NAAC Contracting Prices 2020 report.

NAAC notes there is fierce competition in the contracting sector which can result in prices being driven down and a race to the bottom. However, the organization emphasizes a successful business is one that costs its operations carefully and refuses to work for less than a realistic price. “There is little point being a busy fool, working all hours for little benefit,” the release read.

For U.K. contractors, NAAC notes the coming year has a lot riding on it for land managers, dealing with the impact of a saturated autumn, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Brexit on the immediate horizon. For contractors everywhere, they know too well how farming businesses will need a tight rein on costs, while juggling efficiency, carbon balance, soil management, environmental protection, animal welfare and the weather.

“This will be a time to review strategy and costs, assessing whether to share the risk and investment in high capital cost machinery and skilled labour with a contractor,” NAAC states. “What is certain, though, is if farmers are putting their most valuable asset in the hands of their contractor, trust, skill and reliability will be as important to consider as simply price.”

Please note, NAAC amended the prices for “spraying – extra if less than 50 acres.” It should be £13.18 /hectare and £5.33 per acre.

Access the full Contracting Prices Guide 2020 online here.