Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
Innovative post-harvest technology is helping farmers optimise crop storage, reduce energy consumption and ensure a higher-quality end product. Storage technology saves energy and reduces waste

• Wireless crop temperature sensors

• Monitor and manage grain storage

• Highly efficient crop cooling system

Innovative post-harvest technology is helping farmers optimise crop storage, reduce energy consumption and ensure a higher-quality end product.

Crop storage specialist Martin Lishman reports strong interest in its grain cooling FloorVent system – which uses the same high airflow perforated tube as the company’s popular Pile-Dry Pedestals but via underfloor ducts instead of vertical columns.

Fans are placed on the outside of the building to vent hot air directly to the exterior to remove the possibility of warm air being drawn back into the grain, making the cooling process highly efficient.

Barn Owl Wireless provides store managers with the convenience of monitoring crop store temperatures from anywhere in the world. Using wireless crop temperature sensors, the temperature data is transmitted to the user’s Barn Owl Wireless web portal.

This web portal allows the users to easily check the crop temperatures, humidity levels, and even CO2 readings for all their stores. Additionally, users can efficiently manage cooling programmes for their stores with this system.

Optimum condition

Bulk tipper haulage company T French & Son, located in Cumnock, Scotland, began their venture into crop storage when they were approached by several grain merchants about storage of their products.

“Ensuring that our customers’ products remain in optimum condition while stored at our facility was an important consideration for this project,” says T French & Son director Liz-Ann McMenemy.

“The large part of our work is deliveries and collections within the agricultural sector. Our farming customers asked about crop storage, and as we had the space within our yard, we decided to build a large grain store to accommodate their storage requirements.”

The new storage facility is 78m long, 60m wide and 9m high. It has a capacity of up to 20,000 tonnes. Given the size of the store, a highly efficient cooling system was required to rapidly reduce grain temperatures.

In addition, the facility’s movable concrete bunker walls had to cater for different commodities – which meant designers opted for a versatile modular approach to the installation, says Ms McMenemy.

“The FloorVent appealed to us as it can be quickly installed or removed depending on what type of products we had, and the Barn Owl Wireless system would handle both the remote and on-site monitoring and automatic control of cooling fans.”

Zonal cooling

The T French & Son team opted for 48 floor vents, 48 Martin Lishman Pile-Dry fans and 28 Barn Owl Wireless crop sensors to cater for the changing store layout – and to ensure the store is cooled efficiently and effectively.

Utilising Martin Lishman’s wireless fan controllers, the fans are connected to the Barn Owl Wireless network and controlled automatically. In automatic mode, the system uses a choice of control programmes and zonal cooling.

This means fans are turned on only when it is most efficient to do so, which results in faster cooling and a vast reduction on energy bills. The wireless crop sensors have been very reliable, and the online portal is easy to operate, says Ms McMenemy.

“Joel from Martin Lishman was very helpful during the installation – speaking to both us during the planning stage and the electricians during the installation stage – which made the process incredibly smooth.”

Cooling system is versatile and efficient

Floor-vent cooling offers a balance of versatility, installation cost and performance, says Joel Capper, managing director at Martin Lishman.

“We were thrilled when T French & Son approached us for a FloorVent system, and we were even more excited when they opted for a Barn Owl Wireless System to accompany it,” explains Mr Capper.

“Individually, the products work very well, but together they create a trouble-free storage solution that can quickly drive down grain temperatures while using less energy. Plus, with rising electricity prices, the energy cost savings will become even more apparent.”

Martin Lishman’s Barn Owl Wireless and FloorVent systems are versatile and scalable, making them suitable for any size storage facility. Originally designed for larger-scale operations, these systems are now being more widely adopted.

Smaller farmers like the system, thanks to its modular design. With these products, Mr Capper says farmers can enjoy the benefits of fast, efficient cooling and reduced energy costs, regardless of their operation’s size.

“Farmers have come to recognize the value of optimizing the cooling and management of their stored crops, and hundreds of farms in the UK are using these systems.”