A DRIVE to expand Heritage Seeds into northern Australia is continuing with the opening of a new $15 million state-of-the-art facility in Toowoomba, along with the ramping up of production and efficiencies at Walkamin.
National production manager Jeremy Gittins said the Toowoomba and Walkamin developments would service increased production and sales in the north and help strategically resource the region.
“We are bringing production, sales and operational staff together into a new office at Walkamin, assisting business continuity,” Mr Gittins said.
The appointment of a northern production agronomist has also been announced with James Gowan based in the heartland and specialising in tropical grasses and legumes — a move which allows Heritage Seeds to increase its service, alongside Brian Loccisano.
“James will service northern production zones and the NT, and Brian will support the southern region and northern NSW,” Mr Gittins said.
“We are getting resources in the right locations on-site, and we are looking forward to further building relationships and developing new production areas.”
Mr Gowan was raised on a coffee farm and has worked with many growers over the years through his role as an agronomist with Landmark in Mareeba and as the northern sales manager for Incitec Pivot.
Currently, the majority of seed growers for Heritage Seeds are located on the Atherton Tablelands, producing predominantly tropical grasses and legumes, including stylo pastures, for beef and dairy production.
“Other than some floods earlier in the year and the flooding west of the Great Dividing (Range), it’s been a good season and tropical grass seed is coming off the Atherton Tablelands now,” Mr Gowan said.
He said he was strongly attracted to Heritage Seeds’ growing tropical pasture portfolio and its expansion in the Atherton Tablelands and into new areas, including irrigated areas west of Georgetown and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
“The company has a great reputation, a good mix of products for the end user, its own research and development and new products coming online.
“In northern Australia, there is a large opportunity to help producers improve their pastures,” Mr Gowan said.
“With higher beef prices the last five years, producers can now look at improving things and Heritage Seeds has the seed production to meet that demand.”