Driffield News

Seeds of Success: James Mortimer Ltd Launch DEFRA-Approved Seed Testing Laboratory in Driffield

A new official DEFRA-approved seed testing laboratory has been launched in Driffield providing a wide range of seed analysis to local farmers and the wider industry.

Established by James Mortimer Ltd at their site at Kelleythorpe Industrial Estate, Agricultural Laboratory Services Ltd (ALS) is a fully licenced seed laboratory offering both official DEFRA and advisory seed and germination analysis, disease analysis, grain analysis and mycotoxin analysis.

The laboratory is run by qualified seed analysts Simon Howard and Josie Clark who have extensive experience having worked in a number of agricultural businesses in the local area for many years, including most recently at SGS.

James Mortimer Ltd – Agricultural Laboratory Services

Managing director of Mortimers, Stuart Rowley, said it was an exciting development for the company.

He said: “We have created ALS to meet our own needs as a professional seed producer and to offer the same service to the wider industry and our farmer customers.

“ALS is run as a separate company and received accreditation from the government on 14th June – the first DEFRA accredited seed testing lab since 2014.

“Mortimers already has a fantastic reputation for our locally produced seed and having ALS on site will remove any delays to testing, so speeding up the delivery of seed to farm at harvest.”

James Mortimer Ltd – Agricultural Laboratory Services

Josie has more than five decades of experience working in local agricultural businesses. She began her career at E B Bradshaw as a seed analyser and sampler and worked for Manor Farm Feeds at Dunnington and the Side Oven Bakery at Foston-on-the-Wolds, before moving to SGS.

At SGS she worked alongside Simon, who became analyst in charge at SGS running the laboratory. Josie is also qualified as an analyst in charge.

They explained more about the role they are undertaking at ALS.

Simon said: “We will be seed testing for farmers who need to check if their seed from last year, their farm-saved seed, is still viable and of a sufficient germination and purity to reuse.

“We will also carry out work for the government to certify that seed producers such as Mortimers and others across the UK, is providing seed of a sufficient standard.”

Josie added: “Any seed that is sold has to be statutory tested and we carry out a number of different tests including purity tests to test for weed seeds, as well as disease analysis and mycotoxin analysis, which is testing for food safety purposes.”

James Mortimer Ltd – Agricultural Laboratory Services

Stuart added that the work carried out by the laboratory will ensure that the high standards in British farming are upheld.

He said: “The work undertaken by ALS ensures that the UK remains highly efficient and productive as an agricultural nation.

“Access to skills in this area is very difficult and we are very lucky to have Simon and Josie on board.

“It is our plan after harvest to develop skills in the younger generation by bringing in some young blood and provide training so we can add on some more services each year.”


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