New Manifesto to support agricultural contractors

The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has launched a manifesto to ensure that the importance of contractors is recognised in agricultural policy across the UK.

Agricultural contractors are an integral and vital sector of UK agriculture. Over 91% of farms use a contractor and many farmers are reliant on their services. Contractors provide a vast range of operations starting underground with land drainage, through to cultivations, spraying, seed processing and harvesting.

In addition, contractors often take the lead in nutrient management and environmental roles such as slurry spreading, habitat, forestry and grassland management. They also provide animal welfare services such as sheep shearing, dipping and the production of feed.

As innovators and leaders in the implementation of new technology, contractors also bring forward capital investment, spreading the cost of new machinery across thousands of hectares. This allows land managers access to cutting edge ideas and innovation, whilst bringing skilled labour onto farms.

The NAAC has three key asks for contractors:

  • Policy and decision makers must consider the role of contractors – farmers ‘without’ land should be recognised alongside their fellow farmers ‘with’ land in policy and funding opportunities
  • Contractors and farmers should be allowed/trusted to use their skill and professionalism to judge when inputs can be applied
  • Contractors must remain at the forefront of government funding and policy to bring forward new technology in agriculture

Jill Hewitt, NAAC Chief Executive said, “In the run up to an election it is important to reflect on the vital input of our sector- as contractors may be ‘farmers without land’ but they are leading a new era of professional land managers and need to be recognised in all relevant policy development. This is especially important as our sector, like farmers, continue to suffer due to the wet winter and spring.”


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