Contractors set to hold charges at 2015 levels
Published 27/01/2016 | 02:30
Agri-contractors appear determined to hold their prices at 2015 levels even though plummeting oil prices in recent months have knocked one third off fuel bills.
The fall in tractor diesel prices to 50c/l has wiped €25/ha off fuel bills on cereal crops, according to Teagasc.
In heavy soils far from the yard, the fuel savings are almost double this level, said mechanisation specialist, Dermot Forristal.
"The average cereal farmer will use about 85 litres of diesel per hectare, but that excludes road-work," said Mr Forristal.
Despite the savings, contractors are adamant that they should not drop their prices.
"Rates aren't going to go down, because they never went up," said Farm Contractors of Ireland general secretary, Peter Farrelly.
"Every second operator I talk to is fed up, and plenty have gone to the wall over the last number of years because they were losing money."
He added that large dairy farmers were a particular problem for contractors looking to get paid at the moment.