Capability to combine drying, cooling and storage of post-harvest crops drives increased demand for Sukup grain drying silos

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 Rather than extend their existing grain sheds, two Lincolnshire famers, David Casswell and Boo Parkes, invested in Sukup grain drying silos, supplied by McArthur Agriculture, in time for harvest 2022. The Sukup silos cost-effectively combine the capability to dry, cool and store combinable crops with minimal labour and potentially no costly re-handling.

“Needing more grain storage, I originally looked at extending my existing grain store but looking at the figures it worked out as an expensive option. Especially when trying to get quotes for the steel, we were told that we would have to pay the price that it was on the day of delivery.” explained David Casswell, who has a family farm of nearly 2,000 acres growing wheat, barley, OSR, sugar beet, vining peas, onions and spring beans, at South Kyme in the east Lincolnshire Fens. 

Casswell then looked at ordinary silos but saw that Sukup drying silos, as supplied by McArthur Agriculture, would deliver more flexibility providing the ability to not only store grain but to also condition grain for long-term storage, and in wet weather be used as a batch drier. 

“I talked to the McArthur team and they came across as being very professional and very well organised. Importantly, they gave us the confidence that they would deliver what they said, when they said,” continued Mr Casswell. “It was also very helpful that they were able to take us to look at an existing local Sukup installation.” 

Installation of the 4207 Sukup, which is filled by an auger, was much quicker than Mr Casswell had anticipated. Once the groundwork had been completed the installers began work on a Sunday and finished on the Thursday night. “We were amazed that four men could build something that quick,” he added.

“From first contact, both McArthur Agriculture and Sukup did an outstanding job”, continued Mr Casswell. “Importantly, support has been readily available as required during our first harvest with the new system. We now have approximately another 700t of additional storage and currently have 500t of spring barley in the Sukup, where it will stay until it is sold.”

Boo Parkes, who farms 520 acres of spring barley, winter barley, spring beans, wheat and OSR, at Weelsby Estates, Grimsby, north east Lincolnshire, was an existing McArthur Agriculture customer and aware of its proven track record as complete grain processing and storage equipment specialists.

“Needing additional storage and drying capabilities, I first looked at installing a drier and grain handling kit in one existing shed and then upgrading the underfloor drying system in another shed. On looking at the costings they were very similar to purchasing two Sukup drying silos which would provide the extra storage I needed,” said Mr Parkes.

“It was important that my grain storage and drying system was easy to operate as I have limited manpower – just me!” added Mr Parkes. 

Drying silos

Two x 3607 Sukup drying silos, providing an additional 1,000t of storage, were supplied by McArthur Agriculture. As Parkes’ farm yard is not large, the silos are fed by a Skandia trench intake, rather than an auger which would mean tying up his tractor and moving an auger from one silo to the other is a two-man job.

2 Sukup Drying Silos 500t and Skandia trench intake

“My two Sukup silos are overall very cost-effective. They have greatly reduced wear and tear of machinery previously used to handle grain, particularly my telehandler, plus help to maximise my time,” continued Parkes.

“For example, previously when grain left the farm, I had to spend time using the telehandler to load the lorry. This meant the telehandler was heavily used and tied up my tractor. If I was using the tractor for something else, like drilling, I had to stop to load the grain. Now the lorry driver can press a button and the grain is discharged without me having to be in the yard,” Mr Parkes added.

Once harvested grain is put in the top of the Sukup drying silo and is distributed evenly using a spreader. Once grain reaches 0.5-1m depth, the farmer starts the fan and heater to begin the drying process. 

Air is heated to 40-45C and enters from the perforated base and exits the silo via the roof vent. The stirrers mix the whole area. Once dry, the Sukup silo switches to the controlled cooling stage.

Mr Parkes’ two Sukup drying silos replaced an ageing silo system and have hugely simplified his harvest operations.

“The Sukup drying silos are a great fit for me and delivered the extra storage and drying capacity I needed and they easily meet the additional demands of a larger combine. In a word they are brilliant!” stated Mr Parkes.

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