19 Sep 2013

Stock feed mills change hands

7:06 am on 19 September 2013

Rural retailer Farmland's has bought one of the country's oldest stock-feed companies, NRM.

Farmlands chief executive Brent Esler said NRM had a much wider distribution base than the brands already owned by Farmlands, and the purchase would increase the efficiency of Farmlands' milling operations, as well as providing some rationalisation in the industry.

And while Farmlands had bought the NRM brand, partner Mainfeeds would purchase NRM's Wiri and Levin feed mills.

"Mainfeeds are, of course, a poultry producer and their intentions are to focus on the commercial pig and poultry feeds market," Mr Esler said.

Farmlands had also picked up blending plants in Waikato and Southland, which Mr Esler said would give it good capability for in Waikato in terms of the dairy market."

Mr Esler hoped the sale would be completed by the end of October.

Plant upgrade

Meanwhile, stock-feed company SealesWinslow, which is owned by Ballance Agri-Nutrients, has spent millions of dollars upgrading a new plant it had purchased in Whanganui.

The upgrade meant the plant could produce 12 - 15 tonnes of stock feed an hour.

SealesWinslow general manager Graeme Smith said the move was designed to enable it to better serve farmers in the lower Lower North Island and was part of a bigger national strategy.

"When Balance Agrinutrients bought into the feed industry we purchased existing businesses in Morrinsville and Ashburton," he said.

"We're looking at creating a national footprint, so Whanganui was a logical spot for us to enter into the lower North Island market, so we bought an existing mill that was there and we have invested heavily in the milling machinery that's inside that mill.

"That gives us a good opportunity to service the Taranaki, lower North Island and East Coast and take out the cost of freight into that region."

SealesWinslow would be looking to buy a lot more maize, barley and wheat from New Zealand farmers as it ramped up its stock feed production.