While grain cleaning may not be the most scintillating of subjects, a new machine in this field has the potential to add significant value to harvested crops, according to Lincs firm Plot Feeds.
Developed by a lecturer in fluid dynamics at a Russian university, the CAD (or Cleaner Aero Dynamic) uses a fast-moving stream of air to sort grain into five different fractions.
As seeds fall into the airstream, they drop out of suspension at different points dependent on their weight but irrespective of their size.
This gives the machine a significant advantage over sieve-type cleaners and provides an opportunity to sort heavier, healthier grains for seed, milling or malting from lighter, smaller ones that might only make feed grade.
Machine output ranges from 4t/hour to 150t/hour and a typical farm-scale unit churning out 30t/hour will cost around £25,000.
This outlay is said to be easy to offset if claims of a 20% reduction in disease, 10% increase in germination rates and a 35% increase in yield from the following crop are to be believed.
Plot Feeds says samples that fail Hagberg milling quality tests often pass after cleaning, with just 30% of the crop removed to be sold as feed wheat.
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