Early season quotes from contractors for first-cut silage indicate there is little or no change to prices compared to last year.
Price quotes for mowing grass, raking, precision-chop harvesting and buck-raking are typically £60 to £80/acre for regular customers on short-haul work.
Higher prices apply where there is longer haulage involved, or where additional trailers are required.
However, prices are likely to be £5/acre higher for June crops as yields tend to be heavier, which increases fuel consumption.
Price quotes for forage wagons are similar to those for harvester and trailer outfits.
Again, where longer haulage is involved, prices will be higher to reflect the extra fuel costs incurred.
For farmers using contractor services to bale and wrap silage, price quotes are broadly similar to last year at £10 to £12.
Prices for bale wrap have increased by £2 to £4 per roll on last year, with quotes around £55 to £56 for 750mm by 1,500mm.
The increased cost adds approximately 10p to the cost of each bale.
While there has been little movement in contractor charges, diesel prices are currently running 18p to 20p/l above their equivalent from last year.
Quotes for 1,000 litres of red diesel are typically £560 to £580 including VAT.
Last May, diesel prices slumped to a four-year low with the same 1,000 litres costing less than £400.