FARMER CO-OPERATIVE Ridgeway Grain is to spend £500,000 expanding its storage capacity to 38,000t ahead of the 2005 harvest campaign.

The improved site at Membury, Berks, will store 20,000t of rapeseed and grain on-floor, with 15,750t grain silos and 11 holding bins.

Ridgeway manager Curly Haskell said CAP reform and EU working time legislation threatening the haulage industry made it more attractive for farmers to deliver grain from the combine to a central store.

“A central store can reduce the amount of labour required on farm during harvest.

“And removing the risks associated with drying and storing grain on-farm eliminates a major source of worry throughout the storage period,” he said.

All grain stored at the site will be marketed by agent Centaur Grain.