Temp option needs care
Good yield prospects from
a big cereal crop promise a
bumper harvest, in tonnage
terms at least. How best to
store that is the focus of
this grain storage special,
starting with a look at how
to cope when theres more
grain than storage space,
by Amanda Dunn. Edited
by Charles Abel
PICTURE the scene. The combine is running at full speed, the stores are full and theres nowhere for the grain to go. What do you do?
With a little planning there is plenty of scope to use other buildings as temporary stores. Given this years big cereal crop and the likelihood of good yields that could be time well spent.
Under Assured Combinable Crops Scheme rules grain in a temporary holding may be stored until Sept 30 or for four weeks after harvesting, whichever is later.
"Farmers should be aware that standards for temporary grain storage are very similar to long-term requirements," says ACCs Robin Pirie.
The only difference is that temporarily held grain may be kept in an open-fronted shed, he notes.
Stores must be appropriately cleaned and tested for pests before intake. Walls, floor and roof must be weatherproof and of solid/ hard construction. Pest and vermin control must be in operation and regular grain monitoring done.
Under the Genesis assurance scheme grain may be held temporarily for up to six weeks from the time it enters store, says managing director Martin Barker.
"The store must be built to keep weather out, and there must be a concrete floor and hard roof. You dont need a door, but you do need a policy to keep vermin and pests out. Grain should be monitored for moisture and temperature regardless of long or short-term storage.
"When awaiting transport, grain may be kept in a weather-proof trailer for up to two days or in the open air for a reasonable period only. That we deem to be 24 hours," says Mr Barker.
In Scotland much of the cereal crop is spring malting barley, notes Scottish Quality Cereals David Houghton. "It is usual for this to be shipped off farm fairly quickly to maltsters at harvest so we have a category termed temporary storage. For this, stores must have a concrete surface and hard roof. The building doesnt necessarily need to be enclosed, but all precautions to exclude vermin should be taken.
"We recognise that if the barn shed is open it is more difficult to control vermin, so we need to see measures undertaken."
Any building meeting these requirements may be used provided it has been suitably cleaned and disinfected.
"There is no strict time limit for temporary storage. But if it is longer than one month, its not really short-term storage. We are flexible, as uplift at harvest may be easier in some years than others. As long as our members concur with the spirit of things, this is acceptable.
"We also advise them to look after their grain while it is in store, use cooling fans and make regular moisture and temperature checks. With malting barley were looking to identify hot spots and preserve germination.
"We do say no open-air storage. We require grain to be under cover. But if it is a case of a couple of hours during the day, then we are not too concerned.
"Our scheme is built on practicalities. I am a working farmer myself. We try to build in a certain amount of flexibility."
Wheres it all going? Temporary storage is an option, but be aware of assurance scheme rules.
• Use temporary storage only for dry, cool grain.
• Check for moisture uniformity pre-intake.
• Blow hot/damp grain to reduce moisture.
ACC Genesis SQC
Maximum To Sept 30 or four Six weeks While awaiting uplift
period of weeks after harvesting, after intake. (less than one month).
storage whichever is later.
Buildings Solid floors, walls Hard floor and Sound rainproof
and roof. No door roof. No door roof and clean
necessary. necessary. floor. Not
Hygiene Grain stores must be Hygiene as per Buildings used
cleaned and, where long-term for livestock
appropriate, washed storage. must be cleaned
and insecticide treated and washed with
before use. Livestock a pressure hose.
buildings intended for
grain use must be
power washed and
sanitised at least five
weeks before storage.
Pest and Effective rodent Effective rodent Where there is
vermin control measures control measures evidence of
control must be adopted. must be in rodent activity,
operation. control measures
must be taken.
Grain Moisture monitoring Moisture and Monitoring
monitoring required. Temperature temperature advised.
monitoring not monitoring
DEMOUNTABLE buildings can provide flexible, temporary grain storage, says Cover-All UKs David Richardson.
The firms offerings are made of high quality galvanised steel covered with durable, woven polyethylene fabric with 10-year guarantee.
"The buildings are modular, like a Meccano set," says Mr Richardson. "They can be as long as you want, as wide as you want, in a choice of three different shapes."
Foundations or concrete base provide stability but not permanency – the stores can be demounted and re-erected in a matter of days. "They are ideal for a tenant farmer or someone on an FBT."
SQC expects the design meets its storage standards. "We have to be open to changes in technology all the time," says chairman David Houghton. "In this case the building looks pretty good and I am sure it would meet our requirements.
"It has financial advantages over conventional alternatives," adds Bidwells Robert Cumine.
"The Cover-All building is a low risk option, with shorter payback period than conventional buildings and has the benefit of a reasonable secondhand value."
Bidwells costings comparing a 1500t Cover-All with a conventional building show a payback period of just nine years for the former, a 30% saving/t (see table). *
Coverall buildings offer a cheaper, portable storage option.