Anchor Farm, Trent, Dorset
Tel 01935 850750

Grain Store management

Wednesday 12th March 2014

“The crop is only worth something when it is in the shed” laments the farmer as he stares at leaden skies and tries to justify why he is out combining wheat at 20%. Well he is almost right, but we see too many crops go into the store worth more than they are when they leave the farm. There are a number of reasons for this: no or inadequate ventilation or badly managed ventilation, being the main ones” Correct selection of ventilation Let’s start with the former, the HGCA recommend an airflow of 6 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per stored tonne of crop, for successful post harvest cooling and conditioning. There are farmers in the UK where ventilation is either not used or is down as low as 1cfm per stored tonne. If the weather is on your side and the fans run at the right times this may be enough, but at these levels you are running the risk of storage spoilage and financial deductions from the buyer. Pedestal ventilation is incredibly successful in the UK and part of this success is based upon the low purchase and running costs of these systems. As a guide it will cost a farmer about £2.00 per stored tonne of crop to purchase a pedestal system. This will get you a system that will do a reasonable job but is not providing you with the airflow that the HGCA recommend. If you spend an extra £1.00 - £1.50 you will get a system that provides 150% more air. More air means quicker cooling, improves the drying potential of the system and dramatically reduces the incidence of insect damage. As crop values increase and more importantly the production cost of that crop increases it is even more important that storage losses do not occur. The fans move the air and the pedestals allow that air to be distributed evenly through the building. The planning of a store must therefore begin with an intended storage tonnage, from this we can calculate how many fans you will need. With the fan quantity decided upon we then have to look at how many pedestals are needed to move this air through the store without any areas that are under ventilated. We use the following tables as a guide to recommending a Polycool system for a customer’s store:

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