Red diesel prices have leapt from £0.80p/lit to well over a pound in a matter of days. With fuel getting harder to source, the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) says only the foolish will try and cling to stationary prices this spring. Contracting prices will have to rise in the coming days and weeks.

Machinery replacement costs and keeping good labour were already causing a massive headache for contractors, before the current fuel hikes. “As fuel prices double and continue to climb, machinery costs spiral and labour remains at a premium for skilled operators, it will no longer be possible for agricultural contractors to retain static prices,” comments NAAC chairman James Bannister.

“Looking at the escalation in input costs, with spring work potentially only days away, professional contractors will have no choice but to increase costs to sustain their own businesses.”

The NAAC recently launched an on-line pricing tool for its membership, with Andersons Consulting, to allow contractors to evaluate each operation, taking into account all costs, so that they can see the cold, hard facts for each job.  This will allow quotes to be made, backed up by statistics, to get to a price that is realistic for the current economic climate.