When Tim Bloye says his contracting business’s emphasis is on the full farming circle, he’s not exaggerating. Supplying a complete service is what Mr Bloye set out to achieve when he started contracting and it’s an ethos he’s certainly managed to achieve with the business he now runs with his wife, Sharon.
From supplying seed, inputs and agronomy, right through to getting crops safely in the clamp or shed, he can help his clients with every stage of the growing process. “We try and supply a one-stop-shop for farmers, whether it’s ordering seed, chemicals or actually rolling the clamp, our priority is on the full circle at all times.”
From leaving school, he started with a second-hand Massey 590 and hedge trimmer, always with the emphasis of wanting to go into contracting.
That business gradually grew and he was one of the first in the country in 1984 to buy a round baler. That side of the business soon took off and within three seasons he had four round balers and started looking elsewhere for opportunities. “We were always looking, right from the early days, for niche markets; all that tied back into agriculture and gave the customer the full circle,” he explains.
It’s testament to the importance the company places in its employees that the first person he employed back in the mid-80s is still with him today.
Over the last 10 years, B&B Contractors has been heavily involved in promoting the use of organic manures with biosolids, biogas digestate and chicken manure.
“That’s really stemmed increased interest over the last five years – and increased fertiliser prices took that side of the business into its own era.”
The responsible use of fertiliser is also high on Mr Bloye’s agenda and he sees a great deal of importance in keeping all applications to a minimum. “There’s really no need to keep plastering organic or inorganic fertiliser on to maize land, or to keep pushing nutrients when they’re not needed.”
To this end, Mr Bloye has employed a dedicated Facts- and Basis-qualified agronomist who also deals with keeping both customers and employees up to date with the latest on NVZs and environmental responsibility.
“Having our own agronomy service allows us to provide key advice to farmers when it matters. We’ve also teamed up with a local business to supply fertiliser, seeds ad other imputes.”
Although contracting is the mainstay of the business, the 400ha (1000-acre) farm the couple own, most of which is farmed organically, gives them the chance to look at other opportunities which could bring a benefit to their customers. “It’s important to have farming experience as well,” believes Mr Bloye, “as it allows us to add value to our services. In one way it makes us one of them.”
The comprehensive understanding of each farming practice is what makes B&B Contractors stand out from the crowd, because they practice what they preach. “Everything’s costed on an open book basis, which sometimes puts us on the wrong side of the fence as we know what the costs are on both sides.”
Nearly 85% of Mr Bloye’s customers operate on a direct debit scheme tailored to meet individual needs. “We usually meet once or twice a year to see what tasks need to be done and how we can spread the payments.”
Mr Bloye took the opportunity to diversify into plastic recycling early and was the first in the country to become an assured waste contractor. In a bid to find outlets that again “complete the circle”, the Bloye’s now turn nearly 99% of this recycled material into calf pens, pig arcs, garden benches and furniture.
And Mr Bloye hasn’t stopped looking for new opportunities. He’s recently taken on the local Valtra dealership, which he intends to run alongside the contracting business, supplying him with a new hub for the business and also expanding his offerings for farmers.
THE JUDGES LIKED
• Strong environmental responsibility
• Complete service offered to farmers with up-to-date kit
• Comprehensive source of up-to-date information for customers
• Excellent handle on legislation such as NVZs and agronomy issues
• Full range of agricultural contracting (foraging, baling, muckspreading, drilling, ploughing etc)
• Ag plastic waste recycling
• Green waste composting
• Lime spreading
• Recycled products
• Slurry storage supply and installation