The company was formed in 1974 by Richard Austin and aimed to provide advice and support to farms in the Lincolnshire area. The focus at that time was to assist farms by providing Farm management support, financial advice and crop management guidance.
After a short while in business, the company expanded its services to the farming industry with the creation of a soil analysis laboratory. The laboratory came into being as the first UK commercial lab to offer Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) analysis alongside soil nutrient testing.
With the scope to provide both analytical services plus farm and cropping consultancy services, Richard Austin Agriculture became well known for managing numerous large farming enterprises and is credited with the introduction of commercially grown Maris Piper potatoes to Lincolnshire. This variety still dominates the planted area annually, today.
As Richard’s retirement approached, Jeremy Stock joined the business in 2000 following 15 years with the Farm management company Velcourt. After a short period of overlap, he took over the reins in 2001. Jeremy’s role is to provide ongoing and ever-increasing consultancy services to our customers, and to provide technical advice to growers using the in-house laboratory services which today form the core of the company, and analyse in excess of 20,000 soil samples per year. Jeremy is Basis, FACTS, Beta and Basis soil and water qualified.
The company continues to expand, and in April 2011, Dr John Keer joined the Richard Austin Agriculture team, bringing 30 years of professional experience and input into the agricultural industry to our company. John was first trained in the analysis of soil samples for PCN content by The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food in 1985 and has subsequently analysed over 100,000 soil samples from all parts of the UK. Today, John specialises in potato and field vegetable efficacy trials, agronomy advice and training and product development trials for leading agrochemical companies. John also plays a key role in developing and expanding the services available within the Richard Austin Agriculture laboratory, and works directly with the laboratory analytical team to guarantee that the best possible standards of soil analysis are being delivered to our customers with every sample analysed.