Business Rural Summer 2021

58 | Bleeker Ag Services all geared up and A telehandler loads up a Fendt tractor unit with front tank and drill. Inset: Daughter Hollie inspects the maize. Kim Newth O ffering premium agricultural contracting in South Canterbury, Bleeker Ag Services Ltd is a trusted partner for farmers throughout the region. Since starting out contracting in 2014, company founder Josh Bleeker has developed a full range of services from planting to harvesting of fodder beet and all aspects of silage. He has been busy this spring providing precision seeding services from Ashburton to Oamaru, seeding in maize and fodder beet. November ushers in rising demand for mowing, raking, fine chop and baling with Josh and his team putting in the big hours to make wrapped silage, mostly on farms south of Timaru. “From the end of September to Christmas, there’s pretty much no time off as we’re working long hours due to high demand,” says Josh. “We’re flat out to Christmas.” Seeding of fodder beet and maize got off to a slower start than usual this spring due to tempera- tures being a little colder than expected through October but a good balage season is anticipated. “We have deep soil moisture at the moment [as of late October] and so we’re set up quite a bit better than we were this time last year. All we need in November is some good heat to kick everything off.” Bleeker Ag Services is well-equipped for every job with an up to date fleet of four Fendt and two Massey tractors and a telehandler for lifting, along with various attachments. Josh ensures all machin- ery is in good working order and has solid servicing arrangements with local rural specialists including Power Farming (for maintenance of drills and bal- ers), the CLAAS Harvest Centre (for all CLASS gear) and JJ Ltd (tractor machinery). Smart investment in innovation has supported Bleeker Ag Services growth in South Canterbury. For example, Josh began offering strip tilling services five years ago, at a time when “no-one else was doing it”. Whereas traditional cultivation can dam- RURAL SERVICES » Bleeker Ag Services Ltd age the soil structure, strip tillers disturb the soil far less and enable better moisture retention. “I got a lot of work as a result of that. I still have a conventional fodder beet drill and that’s what I started off using but I remember thinking ‘there has to be a better way to do it’. I did my research and that’s what led me to strip tilling. I’ve seen how much better it is for the soil – much less moisture is lost and so there’s much less erosion too. Of course, you have to have the right conditions. It doesn’t suit every paddock but it’s a really good option.” Bleeker Ag operates a Strebel SAG 16 strip tiller, a well-designed machine that’s easy to work with. Josh rates it as one of his best investments, along- side his Fendt tractors – “for operational comfort and ease of use, you can’t do better.” Since he launched Bleeker Ag Services, Josh has made a substantial investment in machinery and equipment. Given today’s disrupted supply chains and steeply rising prices for imports, he is relieved to be already well equipped, with machinery to trade if necessary, rather than having to start from scratch in a pricey market. By extension, it saves his clients’ money too. Bleeker Ag is equipped to wrap bales for silage either individually or as long tubes. Bleeker Ag Services Ltd QUALITY & SERVICE FOCUSED Check us out at Corner North & Latter Streets, Timaru Phone: 03 684 4888 Email: Proud to Support Bleeker Ag Services Ltd Proud to support Bleeker Ag Services Ltd 525 Blenheim Road, Christchurch Ph: 03 348 8422 34-36 King Street Temuka Ph: 03 615 8736 Washdyke Flat RdWashdyke Ph: 03 683 9055 0800 226 324