B J Arkell & Partners, from Fairford, Gloucestershire, who operate an Arable farm business in excess of 1100 acres, have recently commissioned a new Grain Drying facility within their existing farm. Utilising an existing building, the new drying solution was tailor made to suit the fixed dimensions already in place and caters for Winter Wheat, Winter Barley, Spring Barley and Winter Oilseed Rape.
Grain, once harvested, is dried on the concrete floor system, and when the optimum moisture content is achieved, the grain is transferred to the second floor where natural cooling can occur.
Managing the entire business, Mr. Jonathan McIntosh highlights the benefits of this concrete solution, particularly noting the speed of installation to completion, along with the customisation into existing buildings which greatly helps to reuse their onsite properties.
The grain is off-loaded directly onto the concrete floor, which can accommodate heavy vehicles with axle loading up to 15tonne. This helps to speed up the delivery time which is always critical during harvesting. Air is then blown into the rear of the concrete Air Chamber. The air in this sealed chamber is then blown out through a series of under floor ducts across the building’s sub floor and up through the concrete ventilated floor where the process of grain drying begins.
A similar process can be repeated for drying other arable crops or indeed woodchip for biomass fuel, highlighting efficiencies through the use of this multi crop drying floor system. The concrete Air Chamber has a series of closing doors on the floor ducts allowing any portion of each floor to be shut off as required.
The moisture content is checked at intervals, and when reduced to the required levels, the product is removed to the next bay ready for storage and cooling.
Spanwright supplied all the concrete elements to this solution which consisted of the concrete ventilated floor units and the main air chamber. The ventilated mesh system used in the floor units – although securely fixed in place, can easily be removed for cleaning or replacement through time. The concrete air chamber also provides excellent structural stability and can be manufactured to suit various chamber widths as required.
Due to the unique and simple nature of installation, the entire solution can also be easily removed and re-used at other locations if so required.
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