21 November 1997

Key requirements to meet standards

Further details of the

assured combinable crops

scheme for England and

Wales are now emerging

through regional roadshows.

Charles Abel reports from

the first meeting, in Kings

Lynn, Norfolk

SINGLE purpose grain stores are not the aim of the assured combinable crops scheme. Neither are complicated, time consuming records.

"Were not looking for Rolls-Royce, industrial specification stores," stressed Peter Limb, chairman of the ACCS steering committee and NFU cereals committee chairman. "I would have to spend a fortune to do that on my own farm. But there are some key things we believe are appropriate."

He told farmers at the first ACCS roadshow in Kings Lynn that stores should be:

&#8226 Waterproof. "I dont think many growers would grumble about that."

&#8226 Clean and cleaned before harvest. "If theyve been used for other purposes or housing livestock, then clean and wash them out if necessary, and sanitise the building if there is a salmonella risk."

&#8226 Designed to prevent animals getting to the grain. "Keeping them out of the building will be best. But there is scope for adequately protecting the grain from birds and animals without having to proof the entire store."

On record keeping he said simple tick-boxes and one word entries were all farmers needed to complete. Field records are already a statutory requirement and ACCS only requires a few extra details on establishment, cultivations and environmental issues.

"What is new are storage records. Poor storage is where problems have arisen, associated with poor drying and poor store monitoring."

Growers will be required to specify the date the store was cleaned, the product and rate of any disinfectant used and the name of the person responsible for the operation. Each bin, bulk or bay will also need identifying, with records of when that grain was harvested, the fields it came from, the variety name, moisture content, post-harvest treatment, product name and rate, operator name and reason for treatment. On-going checks of store condition will then be needed.