New seed processing facilities will help growers safeguard natural capital and work with future agri-environment policies
25th July 2019
Following a £500,000 investment, Frontier Agriculture officially unveiled new storage, production and despatch facilities for its Kings Division as part of an exclusive open evening last week. Kings specialises in advice and ‘small seed’ mixtures to support farmers engaged with game cover, soil health, forage crops, greening and agri-environment schemes.
The new facilities are based at Frontier’s site at Diss in Norfolk and comprise three dedicated seed mixers and a new infrastructure to support a wider range of seed stock and despatches. During the event, customers were able to meet staff from both Kings and Frontier, learn the history and growth of the businesses, visit the seed testing and grain sampling laboratories and take part in site tours.
The heart of Kings’ seed processing and production
Speaking to growers at the event, Frontier’s group commercial strategy director, Andrew Flux said, “We’re very proud of the investment we’ve made here for Kings, Frontier and the industry as a whole and we are delighted to share the official opening with everyone today. This is a large, modern plant capable of blending and packing small seeds at scale. As well as the new facilities for Kings, here at Diss we have 30,000 tonnes of grain storage, three seed production plants producing over 14,000 tonnes of cereal seed and a 350 pallet crop protection store.
“Our investment into new equipment for Kings and the redevelopment of these premises is essential. It enables us to support our customers’ businesses in light of the increasing focus on natural capital and the significant role it will play in future farming.”
Agri environmental advice supported by efficient logistics and quality control
At the time that Kings was first established, it primarily supplied game cover and stewardship crops. While these have always remained key components of the business, Kings has gone on to evolve its green cover and forage sectors too. This, coupled with extensive trial work and collaborations with key industry stakeholders, has meant that the business has had to progress its operations in order to manage a growing range of products.
“As we’ve moved into green cover and the wider farmed landscape we’ve significantly increased the amount of tonnage coming out of the Diss site,” explained Richard Barnes, Kings sales manager. “This has been quite a rapid transition over just a few years and while it has presented some challenges for our operational teams, it has brought about significant opportunities.
“Historically, we’ve moved around the site and utilised different buildings as we’ve grown but now, thanks to this investment, we’ve been able to create a bespoke facility and we’re really delighted with what’s been achieved.
“It’s one thing for me and my colleagues to be on farm delivering the best advice and offering solutions to growers but in addition to that, getting our seed onto farm in the right pack size and in the right bags to the correct specification and the highest quality is absolutely critical.”
During a visit to the site’s laboratory, growers were able to see firsthand the ways that different seed species were tested for germination and purity. Explaining the importance of sampling process, “Even though the seed we purchase is already certified, we test it again – it’s a strict policy we adhere to. It’s particularly important for species that can naturally be quite variable and because we do this, we can be confident that what we give to our customers is exactly what it should be and that it’s of the best quality,” Richard concluded.
The new equipment is now fully operational and is capable of packing up to 2,000 tonnes of Kings small seed into 60,000 bags in the year ahead.
Watch our video and see photos from the open evening below:
Frontier has invested £500,000 in specialist equipment to blend and pack small seeds at its Diss site.
Kings Flower Mix Grass Mix – one of the mixtures which will be blended, packed and despatched using the new equipment at Diss.
“Our investment enables us to support our customers’ businesses in light of the increasing focus on natural capital.” Andrew Flux, commercial strategy director, Frontier.
“Getting crop on farm in the right pack size and in the right bags to the correct specification and the highest quality is absolutely critical.” Richard Barnes, sales manager, Kings.
Local growers attended an open evening early in July to mark the investment.