The Wynnstay Group has acquired two businesses from the Armstrong Richardson Group – Armstrong Richardson Agriculture and the Yorkshire Green grass seeds brand – for an undisclosed sum.

Armstrong Richardson was established as an agricultural merchant by the Jones family in 1925 at Stokesley, North Yorkshire, although it can trace involvement in seed trading back to an earlier time.

It has since extended its activities to the wholesaling of all major brands of horse and pet products; the retailing of pet, equestrian and country supplies and fuel sales, plus a diverse group in interests in horse transport, third party haulage, container self-storage and contract farming, as well as providing entertainment equipment and an embroidery service. It is the largest supplier of equestrian feeds and products and pet foods in the North East. All these activities will continue under the Jones family ownership.

Wynnstay says the move grows its presence on the eastern side of the country, following its establishment of a GrainLink grain trading office at Grantham in 2019. The AR acquisition will expand its operations in the North East, particularly North Yorkshire, Cleveland and Co Durham – the same team will work from the AR head office at Stokesley, but under Wynnstay direction.

It is also largely complementary – AR has a grain trading office and seed business and, like Wynnstay, is a CF Fertilisers distributor. Wynnstay closed its former Woodheads seed plant at Selby recently after the lease expired – the Group is now building a new seed plant in the region which can also handle the Yorkshire Green product.

The deal includes the AR animal feed business. The Yorkshire company has its own feed blending plant at Sedgefield and supplies straight and moist feed materials, as well as distributing ForFarmers, Thompsons of York and C M Varley (Lloyds Animal Feeds) compounds for ruminants. It also has facilities for making its own feed and mineral bucket products at Stokesley.

“This is an important acquisition for the business, to further develop our offering in the region,” says Wynnstay arable director Stuart Dolphin. “We look forward to working with the team at Armstrong Richardson Agriculture to enable us to bring our comprehensive product and service range to farmers in the eastern part of the UK.”

For Armstrong Richardson, director Nigel Jones adds: “Joining the Wynnstay Group will give the team the benefit of its in-house manufacturing of cereals and blended fertilisers plants; import facilities for livestock feed materials and GrainLink for the marketing of cereals and oilseeds.

“In turn, the Wynnstay Group will benefit from the AR Agri teams’ local knowledge and experience of growing and trading speciality products such as naked oats plus the strength of the Yorkshire Green brand of grass seeds alongside bespoke agricultural and amenity seed mixtures.”