Investing in storage is still necessary, also after Brexit CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY expert Tim Dudfield from Farm Electronics. Dudfield is the supplier of the control equipment and the air inlet and outlet louvres in the Durdy storehouse and, as a British manufacturer of storage technology, he has a long track record where storage technology is concerned. He works with both UK-made and Dutch-made equipment. ‘I’ve worked with Tolsma for many years and I’ve also known export manager Kees Wijngaarden a long time. Tolsma knows that we make good-quality products, focusing on the British sector. These still differ from the techniques used on the European continent, but that doesn’t mean that this can’t change’, the storage specialist laughs. Last year, the Tolsma Grisnich Group in Emmeloord took a first step towards taking over Farm Electronics. In this way, Tolsma hopes to gradually introduce its own storage technology via a channel that British crop farmers already know well, Dudfield explains. Big construction differences In the Durdys new storehouse, Dudfield and Wijngaarden briefly highlight a few differences between the British and European construction methods, which could improve both systems in the long term. The construction and layout of the storehouse are still largely based on traditional British design. For example, the pressure room is right in the middle of the two units. Each unit has 40x40 cm cross ducts, with wooden bars on top and narrow air gabs in between, just as in many of the older storage sheds. Each duct can be closed separately with a wooden slide. There’s a wooden partition at the end of the pressure room. This has three closable apertures one above the other with a big ventilator behind each aperture. Depending on the capacity required, one, two or three ventilators blow the necessary air into the pressure room. However, the total capacity is only adequate for one completely-filled unit; so you always need to manually close the slides of the other unit, Dudfield explains. All the ventilators are placed in a separate space at the top end of the storehouse. When the ventilators are switched on, the slat system made by Farm Electronics opens. A disadvantage of using the slat system is that you can’t properly insulate them: ‘The insulation layer is only 2 centimetres, while the storehouse walls have a layer of at least 10 centimetres’, Wijngaarden notes. In order to ventilate on the inside as well, the wall between the ventilation chamber and the storage units have also been fitted with a slat system. This means that potatoes can easily be stored in the new storehouse, but there is still scope for improvement, which can be obtained from Dutch technology, according to Wijngaarden. The roof already carries an impressive number of solar panels to provide the necessary electricity. Even more energy could be saved if energy-saving EC fans were installed. ‘Whenever you need less capacity, for example, when the unit’s not yet full or the potatoes are already dry, you could use an EC fan to ventilate with less air. It would also help if we placed gear rack / ventilation hatches with thicker insulation, these are better and also make the construction of the barn less complex. In addition, you can In order to ventilate on the inside as well, the wall between the ventilation chamber and the storage units have been fitted with a system with slats. The pressure room is underneath the gangway between the units. At the time of our visit, Jamie Chapman (r) is busy putting Agria Quality Potatoes into bags for Crowland Fresh Produce Ltd, the local trading company in Peterborough. He apologises that he can’t be there himself to show us the new box storage that contributes towards meeting the quality requirements. In Chapman’s box storage, grills designed by Farm Electronics have been used that blow the cooling air optimally through the store room and the potatoes. 36 Potato World 2017 • number 4 Pagina 35

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