Standards for grain storage
GRAIN stores need not be purpose built to pass the assured combinable crops scheme standard.
That was the good news for mixed farmers at an assured combinable crops meeting at Craven Arms, Shropshire, last week.
"Provided they are power-washed or steam cleaned prior to filling, then they present no problem. Verifiers will indicate a stores suitability for short-term storage for 1 to 2 days, medium-term for 1 to 4 weeks or long-term storage," said Mr Young, scheme manager.
Many existing stores could reach scheme standards for long-term storage with minor modifications, he explained. Simple measures such as fitting plastic light covers to contain glass in the event of breakage, wire combs to prevent bird access through the eaves of buildings may be all that is required.
Mr Young stressed the importance of keeping stores dark to discourage birds, and that rodent control must be effective and documented. "In Scotland, where the parallel Scottish Quality Cereals scheme has been running for 3 years, we have seen many ingenious methods of upgrading stores."
On field records an absence of data on wind speed and direction when spraying will be the most common failure, Mr Young forecast. Machinery maintenance, cleaning and calibration procedures must also be documented and recorded.
Mr Young anticipates that 10-20% of applications will pass first visit. Most growers will be issued with notice-to-remedy letters detailing minor upgrades to meet the scheme, and only 10-20% will fail outright. "Those will probably be due to vermin levels." Outright failures will lose the registration fee, he noted. *
Simple measures to exclude vermin and protect grain – thats all that is required in many stores, says Bill Young of ACCS.