Why Lincs grower opted for US-style grain storage system

Grain storage and dealing with services put in within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties are reaching the top of their working life, and the newest technology of drying silos provide a number of benefits over new sheds.

Farmers seeking to improve their grain dealing with services have two choices, they will spend money on a brand new shed or go for silos as most popular by US and European farmers.

Lately, bins and silos have fallen out of favour within the UK and Scott McArthur, gross sales director at grain storage and processing firm McArthur Agriculture, believes a part of that is all the way down to historic expertise with older bins that have been less than the job.

Nevertheless, the next-generation US techniques, designed for the European market, are much more labour environment friendly and provide a number of different benefits over multi-use sheds, reminiscent of ease of emptying and being vermin-proof.

See additionally: How home-made compost improves soil well being for 2 farms

Farm information

Limestone Farming

  • Cropped space: 1,900ha
  • Cropping: wheat (feed and milling), winter barley (feed), spring malting barley, oilseed rape, linseed, vining peas, sugar beet, and Forage Maize
  • Soils: Limestone plus silty, clay loam
  • Utilizing about 2,500t of home-grown cereals for pig feed

One farmer who opted for the US-made drying silos is Stuart Meeson, farm supervisor at Limestone Farming Co, who oversees 1,900ha of cropping at Willoughton, close to Gainsborough.

Crops embrace milling wheat, feed wheat, feed barley, oilseed rape and malting barley.

High quality crops reminiscent of milling wheat and malting barley are saved on the native co-op Woldgrain, whereas the feed wheat and barley is saved again on farm.

Stuart Meeson

Stuart Meeson © MAG/Richard Allison

House-grown cereals

These home-grown cereals are utilized by the Property’s 750-sow pig enterprise, which takes a lot of the piglets by to ending.

About 70t/week of feed is combined every week utilizing a cellular mixer, mixing cereal with soya bean meal and rapeseed meal. About three years in the past, the property upgraded a part of its cereal storage.

Mr Meeson explains that the earlier set-up consisted of an outdated Condor bin system comprising 40 particular person 50t bins with difficult-to-clean drying flooring.

“However they weren’t environment friendly and we have been beginning to see steel fatigue. They have been put in within the early Nineteen Seventies and have been attending to the top of their life, so wanted changing,” he says.

Placing up a shed was dominated out, as there wasn’t house with out having to knock down and transfer pig buildings.

Mr Meeson was additionally searching for a vermin-proof system that was fast and simple to unload for the weekly pig feed mixing.

He opted for 2 1,000t Sukup silos that at greater than 12m peak have a a lot smaller footprint and comfortably match the location.

The farm’s present consumption pit and 60t/hour elevator feeds the bins – the elevators additionally unload grain into an present holding bin prepared for the mixer.

They caught with the present consumption, because it matches mix capability with the farm’s Claas 8700 with 10.8m header.

One of many silos has stirrers and drying utilizing an LPG burner and 37KW fan, and the second is for storage solely with simply an ambient 7.5KW fan blowing air by to situation grain.

Throughout harvest, he has the choice of loading moist barley into the drying stirrer silo which is able to take out 5% over about 10 days. That is then moved over to the opposite bin, leaving the drying silo prepared for the wheat harvest.

He says with the outdated batch dryer, he wouldn’t dare exceed 18% grain moisture, however the in-silo Sukup system means he can reduce as much as 20% moisture.

Mr McArthur provides that in Scandinavia, they will take grain at 25% moisture, by choosing just a few upgrades reminiscent of having further stirrers and larger fan capability.

Much less labour

One benefit that Mr Meeson has discovered is the decrease labour necessities – cleansing takes two hours a bin which is way lower than the smaller ones they changed and drying is automated, so doesn’t require staffing throughout harvest.

It’s also labour environment friendly when unloading, farmers merely push a button. There isn’t any want for a telehandler and it avoids double-handling grain.

The great airflow proved priceless this summer season. “Grain was getting into at 32C and its now beneath 10C,” says Mr Meeson.

One potential draw back is that it reduces flexibility, though that isn’t an issue for Limestone Farming with simply 4 varieties (Skyscraper, Dawsum, Champion and Storm) grown throughout 600ha, so Mr Meeson can simply fill the 1,000t silos.

Mr McArthur provides that the silo system is much less fitted to these farmers rising numerous totally different grains and segregating varieties. “That is the place a batch dryer comes into its personal.”

Lastly, he factors out that because it’s classed as tools, the system is tax environment friendly beneath the annual funding allowance and qualifies for the tremendous deduction.

Drying Silo advantages

  • Vermin proof
  • Grain stirrers decrease danger of scorching spots
  • Straightforward to unload – doesn’t want a telehandler
  • Extremely automated with diminished labour requirement
  • Tax environment friendly – classed as equipment

Sukup drying solos

© Limestone Farming Co

Sukup Drying Silos – how they work

Grain is loaded into the silo from the highest, and a spreader ensures that grain is unfold evenly, relatively than forming a cone. As soon as grain reaches 0.5-1m depth, farmers begin the fan and heater to start the drying course of.

Air is heated 12-15C above ambient and enters the silo by the perforated ground and exits by way of the roof vent. The stirrers combine the entire space. This runs till grain reaches the goal moisture content material.

It is a slower course of in contrast with batch and steady dryers that use larger temperatures for shorter intervals. Consequently, grain stays at decrease temperatures.

“The grain temperature is decrease and it’s continuously stirred, so eliminating the danger of hotspots within the silo,” says Scott McArthur.

The silo system sometimes makes use of air heated to 35-40C, in contrast with 120C for decent air drying techniques.

Malting barley

Mr McArthur sees these silos having a job for Scottish malting barley growers, as they are often stuffed quickly, so avoiding any bottleneck at harvest.

The low temperature methodology is right in serving to farmers preserve germination, as UK maltsters have a minimal commonplace of 98% germination.

“Many Scandinavian malting barley growers use the system to dry and retailer their crops,” he says.

Moreover, the silo system can address grain at 25% moisture and has confirmed itself in difficult harvest areas reminiscent of Finland and Sweden, that are just like Scotland.

As soon as dry, it then switches to the cooling stage. Farmers can run followers to maintain grain conditioned and stirrers will keep away from compaction. Silos with out stirrers might solely cool and situation grain.

On the subject of unloading, one benefit is that it occurs on the push of a button utilizing an auger, and there’s no want for a telehandler.

For Mr Meeson, his silos are stuffed and emptied utilizing 60t/hour Skandia Elevator grain dealing with tools related to the present shed, which homes the pit and holding bins.

Renewable power

Whereas Mr Meeson makes use of LPG burners, Mr McArthur says hovering power costs imply there’s rising curiosity from farmers trying to make use of renewable power.

“The 1,000t silo solely wants a 217KW heater and it may be coupled with a 300KW scorching water radiator, so might slot in with renewables. This reduces power payments and breaks grain drying’s dependence on fossil fuels,” he says.

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