Ross Flexman

Rural contractor, Rotorua

Originally published by Rural Contractor Magazine, August/September 2023 Edition.

Start-up contractor quick off the mark with Biostart

Ross Flexman started running Lifestyle and Farm Contracting ltd. in Rotorua two years ago and already has more than 100 customers.

Last year Ross made more than 10,000 bales of conventional haylage and hay and more than 5000 bales of grass silage.

He says some of his success has come down to the reputation he has built for providing a high-quality service, top quality forage, and clean paddocks once they are done with a job. He is also a member of Rural Contractors NZ, which has helped him manage his rapidly growing client base thanks to their organisation and communication.

When it comes to service, Ross and his team go all out. They contact all their customers in the off season and create a schedule around who does and who does not want work done for the season and they add in new referral work.

They then work out a schedule based on total bale quantities per day and the area they need to cover. The team makes contact with customers at least a week before they will be coming to mow and then give a daily update until the job has been completed.
In the early season they mow and turn the grass on the same day, and then two days later they come in to rake, bale and wrap on the same day.

This image shows silage-making machinery with a can of SilageKing connected to it.

Ross Flexman uses an Ascot Applicator Pump with a blower system to apply Biostart HayKing and SilageKing forage preservatives.

This image shows Ross Flexman's silage-making machinery in action.

Lifestyle and Farm Contracting has built up a busy business making conventional bales of hay, haylage and silage.

Ross decided on Biostart’s HayKing and SilageKing as his forage preservatives because “its set-up was more affordable than other inoculant-based products”.

“Biostart offers two very good products that are simple to use, and I wanted to add an assurance to my customers. They are paying good money to have their bales made and they deserve to have the best.”

Ross says with Biostart forage preservatives he can bale earlier in the mornings and later in the evenings.

“This creates higher productivity because we are able to do more in short time frames. It also works well in difficult situations.

“For example, the season we had was so wet, it was hard to get forage wilted enough before baling, but bales with SilageKing were outstanding. There was not a hint of mould or contamination of any type.”

Lifestyle and Farm Contracting uses Massey Ferguson 5610 and 6614 tractors, an Inagra wrapper and a Massey 1840 in-line baler with the Ascot applicator pump with a blower system.

“The application system is foolproof. It has an on/off button in the cab with a dial to turn the preservative up or down depending on the conditions. It is also easy to set up. Just make sure you have a 20-litre pail-full at the start of the day and you are away,” says Ross.

His customers and their stock prefer the bales preserved with Biostart because of their quality. He says farmers and fellow contractors are looking to use HayKing and SilageKing next season following his recommendation.
–– RC

Originally published by Rural Contractor Magazine, August/September 2023 Edition.