East Yorkshire farmer Robert Huddlestone has capitalised on changes in permitted development rights to upgrade the forty-year-old continuous flow drier and square bin grain storage.
“We harvest around 200h of wheat as a break crop to the swedes we grow for the wholesale markets,” explained Mr Huddlestone. “It was key that a new grain-drying and storage plant delivered the efficiency and productivity we needed so that harvest could be completed as quickly as possible. We can’t hold up work around our main crop of swedes which take up most of our time and manpower.”
Following discussions with McArthur Agriculture, he worked closely with Scott McArthur and BDC Systems Ltd to design a new plant.
“Changes, made in 2018, mean that it is possible to construct an agricultural shed of up to 1,000sqm, a significant increase from 465sqm, without the requirement to submit a full planning application,” explained East Yorkshire-based Killian Gallagher of Gallagher Planning which works with farmers needing planning advice.
“The permitted development rights are still subject to a prior approval process, but the main benefit to farmers is this prior approval process has considerably less red tape than a standard planning application. Additionally, the entire process is cheaper, less complex and quicker,” added Mr Gallagher.
Mr Huddlestone had obtained prior permission to construct a galvanised steel portal framed shed (42m long x 23.5m wide x 11.75m to the apex) with precast concrete grain walls.
The grain processing plant was designed to optimise the permitted space and deliver a capacity to dry 2,500 tonnes of wheat at 20 tonnes per hour from 20% down to 15%. The plant also had to operate using the existing 100Amp power supply.
It’s divided into seven 6m bays, with the first six used for grain storage and the seventh housing the intake, Skandia Elevator AB grain handler and a Svegma SVC 4/4 continuous flow drier.
“We chose a Svegma drier, not only because of its proven track record, but as we have to finish harvest as quickly as possible it is likely that we will need to combine grain with a high mc,” explained Mr Huddlestone.
The Svegma has a lateral fixing system, meaning there are not fixings or ledges in the grain column – which is especially important when the grain is wet. Grain enters the plant via a Skandia KTIG 20/40 40 tonnes per hour trench conveyor fitted into a hopper.
“Skandia conveyors were chosen not only because of their build quality, but Skandia’s range of section lengths and curve options allows for the design of a compact grain handling solution without compromising on reliability,” explained Andrew Head, BDC Systems’ sales director.
“This was crucial for Mr Huddlestone’s plant as to keep to the 1,000 sqm footprint the drier, grain handling system and control room had to be housed in one bay,” added Scott McArthur.
The plant was completed within the timescales set, despite the national lockdown, and has so far kept up with the combine.
“Before the installation of the new plant, the previous five harvests had, on average, taken around 100 hours. Last year we had our biggest yield yet and the harvest took just 70 hours!” said Mr Huddlestone.
“This time saving has been solely down to the new future-proofed plant which allows us to dedicate resources to our other revenue-generating business enterprises. I am confident that the plant will continue to meet our requirements for many harvests to come,” concluded Mr Huddlestone.