Frontier Agriculture has officially unveiled new production, storage and despatch facilities at its Diss site in Norfolk.
The £500,000 investment is for its Kings division – the business that specialises in small seed mixtures and advice packages for farmers growing game cover and forage crops; looking to improve soil health with cover and companion crops; and /or participating in greening and agri-environment schemes.
The investment at Diss comprises three dedicated seed mixers and new infrastructure to allow the business to carry a wider range of seed stock and despatch orders to customers. Now fully operational, the new equipment will allow up to 2,000 tonnes of Kings’ small seed mixes to be packed into 60,000 bags a year. The activity is also supported by Frontier’s existing seed testing and grain sampling laboratories on the site, efficient logistics and quality control.
“We’re very proud of the investment we’ve made here for Kings, Frontier and the industry as a whole,” said Frontier’s group commercial strategy director, Andrew Flux at the opening ceremony. “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 each year 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.”
The Kings business can trace its history back 130 years. It was acquired by Allied Grain, a Frontier legacy business, in the 1990s, when it primarily supplied game cover and specialist stewardship crops. But recent years have seen it move into the green cover and forage sectors as well.
“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,” explains Kings sales manager Richard Barnes. “This has been quite a rapid transition over just a few years – 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 have a bespoke facility – 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.”