Investing in storage is still necessary, also after Brexit CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY achieve more with one pressure duct and wider and longer ducts, each with a much more economic ventilator. These are just a few ideas, of course, but it’s still a bit too early for that’, Wijngaarden thinks. 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. Package and sell on the free market But there are also solutions used on British potato farms that correspond with practices on the European continent and that could also be conveniently applied outside the UK. We saw an example of this on our next visit to Long Sutton, where father and son Michael and Jamie Chapman of crop farm O.G.E. Chapman & Son are gradually developing their potato business. On their crop farm, they currently grow 65 hectares of Agria and Markies. They sell their produce to the many fish & chips shops in the United Kingdom. These require a high-quality, fresh product and the Chapmans work extremely hard to achieve this. Jamie apologises that he can’t be there himself to show us the new box storage that contributes towards meeting the quality requirements. At the time of our visit, he’s busy putting Agria Quality Potatoes into bags for Crowland Fresh Produce Ltd, the local trading company in Peterborough. Chapman Jr has only a few minutes to explain how he and his Dad have organised their business. ‘About thirty years ago, my Dad started growing potatoes here on 10 hectares’, he says. ‘We’ve now gradually expanded to over 60 hectares. As we can’t cultivate the current 65 hectares in our own crop rotation scheme, we exchange land with fellow farmers in the region. We don’t grow on contract, not even after a potential Brexit; all our potatoes are currently sold, and have been sold in the past thirty years, at free market prices. And they’re fantastic this year, certainly as far as quality is concerned’, he laughs out loud. In an especially-designed wooden wall, in the middle of each row of boxes and at every box level of each row, narrow, 30x5 cm grooves have been cut to obtain optimal air distribution through the boxes. At the big crop farm of Ian and Robin Griffiths, Andrew Marsh is fully responsible for the potato side of the business, and therefore also for the storage of 20,000 tons of annually harvested crisps potatoes. Sophisticated box storage A little later, Director Dudfield – who is also responsible for the design and costing at Farm Electronics – shows us the reason behind that quality in one of the two new box storehouses that can each store 1,200 tons. It’s right next to two older stores with bulk storage, which also have a capacity of 1,200 tons of potatoes. Unlike the older stores, the new one is equipped with a more sophisticated layout and ventilation technology, for the main part supplied by Farm Electronics. Incidentally, this company also makes the drawings of the total layout of the storehouse and, if required, also places installations they haven’t designed themselves. Dudfield tells us that the modern box storage system at Chapmans has now been operational for three years. He points to a few remarkable construction and layout techniques in the building. The cooling has a central position, for example, using self-designed grills that blow the cooling air optimally through the store room and the potatoes. The boxes are placed at one side against a specially-designed wooden wall. In the middle of each row of boxes and at every box level of each row, narrow, 30x5 cm grooves have been cut. The idea behind this, according to Dudfield, is to create optimal air distribution through the boxes, but also optimal distriPotato World 2017 • number 4 37 Pagina 36

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