Crop value increased through on farm seed cleaning

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N M Stovin farms, based in Lincolnshire, has used JK Machinery’s JCM VibroMAX vibrating sieve cleaner to clean grass seed on farm, leading to an increase in the crop value following the machine’s launch last year.

The Stovin family (Andrew, alongside his father, Alan, and brother, Mathew) farm the 500ha holding in Alford and acquired the machine from McArthur Agriculture. Andrew Stovin said that the sieve cleaner allows the farm to meet merchant standards: “As well as growing wheat, barley and spring beans and having around 60 suckler cattle, we grow around 160ha of grass seed. Before we had the JCM VibroMAX we had to pay our seed merchants to clean the seed for us.

“They would come and take a sample and anything below 98% pure seed had to be cleaned. It is not hard to see that paying for cleaning quickly eroded our profit margin.”

Mr Stovin saw the potential of the JCM VibroMAX when he saw it in action at another farm. He said: “Following discussions with Scott McArthur, Director at McArthur Agriculture, my father, brother and I took a sample of our grass seed to McArthur’s Flixborough depot to conduct a trial with the JCM VibroMAX,”

“Seed cleaning of any kind has a lot of variables that can affect the quality of the outcome and predicting the quality of the cleaned seed can be difficult. However, the results achieved with the JCM VibroMAX gave us the confidence that it would deliver the high standard required by our seed merchants.”

Vibration technology 

The Stovins’ JCM VibroMAX 10122 moves the grass seed across two vibrating sieves and the impurities are separated based on physical dimensions, before entering an aspirator where they are separated by weight and aerodynamic properties. The VibroMAX’s vibration technology delivers simple to control high-output processing with low energy requirements, on a small footprint.

For the 2021 harvest, the farm used the equipment as a stand-alone machine. Mr Stovin said: “The JCM VibroMAX performed extremely well so we asked McArthur Agriculture to design a handling system to further streamline the processing of our grass seed in time for harvest 2022.”

Grass seed is now tipped into a Skandia Elevator AB KTG above ground intake which feeds one of two Skandia SE140 belt and bucket elevators transporting the grain to the JCM VibroMAX. Once cleaned, the seed is taken by the second belt and bucket elevator to feed a Skandia KTF horizontal chain and flight conveyor which carries the seed to one of three bunkers housed in the same shed as the cleaner. One outlet allows filling directly into a trailer, whilst another has been fitted with ducting designed for filling bulk bags.

Profit increase

Mr Stovin said: “The JCM VibroMAX plays a key role in helping to drive up the all-important bottom line. We have reduced what we pay for grass seed to be cleaned by our seed merchants, plus as we can now clean our home-saved seed on farm, we are no longer having to pay for a mobile seed cleaning lorry to clean it for us. We don’t have to wait for the mobile seed cleaning team to fit us in, we can clean the seed as and when we need to, which helps speed up our entire seed handling process.”

McArthur Agriculture has designed the current seed handling system so that it is easy for the farmers to extend their cleaning or handling capability.

“We are hoping to generate another revenue stream by offering neighbouring farmers the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits which the JCM VibroMAX has delivered for us, by allowing them to reduce their costs by producing their own cleaned home saved seed, regardless of the crop.

“Looking at the big picture around how we have been able to successfully utilise the JCM VibroMAX, I anticipate that we will meet our expectation of achieving a return on our investment within three to four years,” said Mr Stovin. “Anyone considering on farm cleaning would do well to talk to McArthur Agriculture about JK Machinery’s range of vibrating sieve cleaners.”

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