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New fertiliser company promises customer focused approach Fertiliser supply has become commoditised and a re-focused, simplified, up to date advice-based approach is what is needed, says Payne Crop Nutrition.

Growers in the east of England now have a new option from which to purchase their fertiliser requirements with the launch of a new, Norfolk-based business. Dominic Kilburn provides this exclusive report. A new regional fertiliser supply and advisory company has been launched in East Anglia with the promise of a customer-focused approach being at the heart of its business operation. Payne Crop Nutrition Ltd, based at Fakenham, in Norfolk, will sell direct to farmer customers in the eastern counties – as far west as Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and north to Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire – while also supplying key buying groups and distributors in the region with a range of fertiliser and crop nutrition products. A brand new blending and packing plant at the Fakenham site is expected to have a 50,000t (blended) production capacity in its first year, alongside the distribution of 40,000t of imported ammonium nitrate (AN),

straight urea and ‘protected’ urea. Most of the imported products, including blend ingredients TSP, MOP and DAP, will come through the nearby port of King’s Lynn, and other east coast ports, and delivered to Fakenham by road, confirmed the company. Speaking exclusively to Farmers Guide just ahead of the launch, commercial director David Harrod said that the new business was all about building relationships within the industry and being totally customer focused. “As fertiliser businesses have got bigger, with more of a national approach to market, customer focus has reduced, and so we want to turn the clock back to the ‘80s and ‘90s by offering a dedicated regional fertiliser supply

operation that comes with a service.” According to Mr Harrod, owner of the Fakenham site is local businessman and company director Dale Payne, however several of the management personnel in the newlyformed business were originally employed by J&H Bunn, a company synonymous with fertiliser supply in the region, and nationally, which was bought six years ago by US giant Koch Fertilizer. “Our new team is a close knit group mostly made up of the key commercial people from J&H Bunn and so we already know many farmer customers personally, and we understand the kind of service that they want and what they have missed in recent years,” he pointed out. In addition to fertiliser supply, Payne Crop Nutrition will also offer a soil sampling service backed up with agronomic advice by FACTS-trained advisers. A spreading service will be available too. “With the pressure that there has been on farm incomes in recent years, and the cost of farm inputs today, we appreciate that farmers have to be very careful with how they spend their money, and so the value we can add through proper agronomy, soil sampling, specific advice and risk management on fertiliser use will be vital to help customer profitability,” Mr Harrod said. “Fertiliser supply has become commoditised and a re-focused, simplified, up to date advice-based approach is what is needed,” he added. With logistics management

Payne Crop Nutrition commercial director, David Harrod.

high on the company’s agenda, it is anticipated that many local farm businesses will choose to collect their fertiliser supplies from the company’s facility in Norfolk, and product will also be delivered and distributed direct (in bags or bulk) to farms in the region under a ‘Field to Factory’ scheme. In addition, the company will be working closely with key buying groups Fram Farmers, Anglia Farmers and Woldmarsh, as well as with several “like-minded partner distributors” in the region such as H Banham Ltd and Harlow Agricultural Merchants. “We want to shorten the fertiliser supply chain in this region, which features important arable crops such as potatoes, sugar beet and vegetables, and give farmers a oneto-one service,” concluded Mr Harrod. Fertiliser prices offered by Payne Crop Nutrition will be announced at the traditional timing later in the summer, and the company is hosting an open day at its Fakenham HQ on the 9th June, and also exhibiting at the Royal Norfolk Show, Norwich, on the 28th and 29th June. ■

- Get Back Control • GPS rate control • Stabilised Geometry boom • Wide crop recommendations • Increased control expected on black-grass, rye grasses and bromes

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