BRITAIN‘S BIGGEST arable consultancy group has taken over the agronomy advice arm of ADAS.

The Arable Group (TAG) bought ADAS Arable for an undisclosed sum on June 1, giving it control of around 35% of the UK arable area.

The move is believed to fill a gap for TAG in the Midlands and the North, and will expand membership to some 2,700 arable farmers.

All 32 ADAS Arable staff, including 29 agronomists, have transferred to TAG, with Chris Winney, formally of ADAS, as the managing director of the new outfit TAG Consulting 2004 Ltd.

Peter Riley remains managing director of the original TAG Consulting of 13 on-farm advisors, with Colin MacEwan as commercial director.

“The addition of another group of well-respected consultant agronomists gives TAG a fully-integrated independent advisory service for growers across the country,” said Mr MacEwan.

“The close links that exist between research and delivery or advice within TAG will be further improved by this acquisition.”

Both ADAS and TAG have stressed the move will be “seamless” as far as farmers are concerned.

ADAS‘ core businesses remain largely unaffected, including its horticulture, business and dairy consultancies and its research and strategic side, such as Boxworth, Rosemaund and Terrington.

“The provision of pure technical agronomy is very much a niche area and sits better within a tightly focused farmer-facing organisation such as TAG,” said ADAS chief executive Steve Collier.

“ADAS will continue to work closely with farmers and growers through our work for DEFRA and other clients.”

The ADAS staff transferring to TAG will become the preferred suppliers of on-farm agronomy to ADAS clients, he added.

ADAS Direct, that sourced on-farm inputs for ADAS Arable customers, is also transferring to TAG.