Trailblazers of mobile seed processing in the South West, for over 40 years, Evans and Pearce is all too aware of the nuisance crop contamination causes, especially when it prevents growers from achieving the crop’s full market value. Managing Director Rob White had wanted, for a long time, to offer a different type of mobile, grain handling service; not for seed but for the processing of contaminated crops.
“At a meeting with our accountants, they mentioned a potential funding opportunity, a LEADER grant; an EU initiative, available to rural business hoping to create new employment opportunities. We had wanted to build a machine like this for 10 years” says Rob White. “Securing the expressions of interest necessary for the grant convinced us the project had merit. The application was submitted and awarded. With funding in place, the team put theory, sketches and ideas into a physical form, to prove it could and would work. Having built various versions of mobile seed processor over the years, drawing on over 50 years of company expertise in agricultural R & D, the project quickly became reality.”
Monochromatic (Black and White) colour sorters have been used in grain processing for years but full colour spectrum sorters are less common, a mobile version of such a machine was not, to Evans and Pearce’s knowledge, available in the UK.
With key components in place, the build began in earnest in October 2018. Completed by mid-June 2019, a week of commissioning; cleaning wheat for local farmers and Einkorn for a mill in Gloucestershire, the unit was ready for work. The full colour sorter has removed poppy seed pods from organic milling wheat, immature green wheat from barley destined for seed and oats from seed wheat, with work rates at 10-18tph.
“With each positive result we increase our confidence with the machines capability. It feels like we are undertaking a lot of auditions at the moment” says newly appointed operator Martyn Franks. “Once the colour sorter is set-up, the results and customer reaction are great to see.”
“Our ethos at Evans and Pearce is ‘giving farmers more from their harvested crop’” says Rob. “Providing a nationwide service to grain producers, buyers, processors and end users which helps minimise deductions is a good thing for agriculture as a whole.”
“The chance to help growers sort an otherwise undervalued or rejected crop at a competitive price is opening up new conversations. It is really positive to see this new venture proving so useful at an early stage. Having a mobile grain processor on the road, all year round now gives growers more options. Traditionally work was carried out by mobile seed processing units out of season where outputs could be slow and availability not always to the convenience of the customer. We are already fulfilling contracts we would normally have rejected due to workload or inappropriate grading kit. On completion we have produced a video included on the seed processing section of our website to explain the new grain processor.” concludes Rob.
The self-powered unit can help with any separation where a colour differential exists between desired and non-desired fractions. For example:-
Colour Sorting to:
- remove Ergot from cereals
- sort different species
- remove discoloured grains
- reduce screenings in barley
- remove weed seeds from beans
- improve hectolitre weights of wheat