The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) in the UK has released its latest survey of contracting prices.

Not surprisingly, the organisation is also advising farmers and customers to expect price rises.

With fuel prices at record highs and the cost of labour and machinery escalating, contracting prices are rising.

The current survey was carried out on the basis of a £1/L diesel price.

Moreover, contractors are being advised to calculate their fees carefully to ensure they are covering costs and can make a margin.


This survey is only an average figure and farmers should expect their contractors’ prices to vary, plus be prepared that a fuel surcharge may be necessary if prices continue to fluctuate.

Jill Hewitt, NAAC chief executive said: “These are difficult times for everyone, and it is vital that contractors work closely with their customers to ensure all businesses can remain viable and productive.

“Profit must not be a dirty word if contractors are to keep pace with new technology, training and investment in their businesses, to supply the professionalism, machines and skills that are increasingly being demanded to meet farmers’ sustainability and environmental targets.”

The NAAC has recently launched a new online pricing tool for its membership, with Andersons Consulting, to allow contractors to evaluate each operation, considering all costs, so that they can see the cold, hard facts for each job. 

The tool takes account of numerous variables such as depreciation, repair costs of individual machines, yard costs, insurance and office staff, before breaking each job down, taking into account fuel costs, area of work, work rate, labour, downtime and profit.

This will allow quotes to be made, backed up by statistics, to get to a price that is realistic.

Contracting rates:

A selection of the average figures quoted in the new NAAC price survey are as follows:

  • Ploughing: £71.73-79.13/ha;
  • Disc harrowing: £61.43/ha;
  • Power harrowing: £64.82-73.63/ha;
  • Cereal drilling: £56.28-71.73/ha;
  • Maize drilling under plastic: £150.73/ha;
  • Fertiliser spreading: £15.04/ha;
  • Manure spreading: £56.00-67.05/hr;
  • Slurry spreading (tanker and trailing shoe): £66.55/hr;
  • Umbilical spreading of slurry: £135.33/hr;
  • Combining cereals: £110.71/hr;
  • Grass mowing: £36.60/hr;
  • Complete silage service (mowing raking, forage harvesting, three silage trailers and all relevant clamp work): £189.70/ha.