Investing in storage is still necessary, also after Brexit CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY During our tour, Marsh shows that the oldest British-designed storehouses are still divided into two units with a pressure duct in between. The ventilators, two per unit of 500 tons, have been horizontally positioned here at a height of 3 metres, inside the duct, and there is also a humidification unit. bution of Chloro-IPC when the potatoes are treated. A great system, Wijngaarden agrees. ‘If we do our calculations for the air distribution, we come very close to those of Tolsma. If we also add a few of our own ventilators, the picture would be complete’, he smiles meaningfully. From British to European storage Where that picture seems to be almost complete, from Tolsma’s point of view, is Duncote Farms, the big crop farm of the brothers Robin and Ian Griffiths from Walcot. One of the two farm locations is fully geared to the cultivation of potatoes. Behind an impressive fence with a heavy entrance gate lies a field, a few hectares in size, with storehouses in which the Griffiths can store a total of 15,000 tons of potatoes. In the midThe layout in the new sheds with a European design is completely different and clearly recognisable. At the top end of the storehouse is a pressure duct with ventilators positioned low down. These blow ventilation air through the familiar, spacious, above-ground, semi-circular ducts with a ribbed profile and air holes. dle of the field, farm manager Andrew Marsh is busy with the forklift truck. He’s just been unloading a shipment of Arsenal seed, class A, size 40/50, originating from the Netherlands. Arsenal is one of the seven crisps varieties that are grown on Duncote Farms. Duncote Farms cultivates a total of 1,240 hectares of land, 540 hectares of which is used for the cultivation of crisps potatoes. Some of the land is leased, 40 percent of the potato area is owned, Marsh tells us. Within the company, he’s fully responsible for the potato side of the business, and therefore also for their storage. ‘We store a total of 20,000 tons, 15,000 tons here and 5,000 tons on the main farm. Here in this field, we’ve now got around a dozen sheds that have ‘grown’ with the acreage and have been gradually added to. We’re currently at the top of what we can manage, because it’s rather Striking detail: the British storehouses are already half empty by mid-March and these European ones are still completely full. Marsh tells us that the crisp potatoes of the Hermes variety will remain stored here until the end of June. ‘It’s our best storage.’ 38 Potato World 2017 • number 4 Pagina 37

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