What keeps contractors awake at night?

Rising machinery prices are rivalling bad weather and breakdowns when it comes to the main worries keeping agricultural contractors awake at night, according to research conducted by NFU Mutual.

by Steven Vale

24 Sep 2021

Over a third of the 262 respondents (36.3%) to a survey conducted by the rural insurer said the fear of breakdowns and bad weather disrupting work kept them awake at night the most.

With contracting margins tight and prices for new and used farm machinery rising fast, contractors cited the escalating cost of machinery as their next biggest worry (28.6%).

Difficulty employing trained workers was rated as the third most serious concern (21.4%) and the impact of the changes to UK farm support came in at number four at 13.7%.

“Unsurprisingly weather and breakdowns continue to be the biggest challenge,” comments Charlie Yorke, Agriculture and Technology Specialist at NFU Mutual.

“However, the cost and availability of machinery is a growing challenge for the industry. With demand high, and availability low, we recommend that contractors establish accurate values for their machinery and make sure they are fully covered should the worst happen.”

A separate NFU Mutual survey (327 respondents) of the factors farmers rate highest when selecting contractors revealed trust and relationships are top of the list at 46.8%. Ensuring the job is done safely is second (20.8%), specialist expertise third (16.5%) and value for money fourth (15.9%).