The Co-operative invests £350k in new grain-drying facility

THE Co-operative Farms is building a brand new grain-drying facility at its estate in Goole, which will more than double its current capacity, following a £350,000 investment.

Work is already underway to replace the existing 30-year-old equipment at Pasture Farm in Swinefleet with a new building, intake system, grain dryer and conveying equipment.

When it is completed and ready for the harvest in July, it will dry more than 44 tonnes of grain per hour, double the current capacity. It will also increase the storage capacity of grain on site by 600 tonnes to 8,400 tonnes, which it produces for milling into flour and for animal feed.

The new grain drier and handling equipment is being installed by Northallerton-based manufacturer and supplier, Allmet, and the shed is manufactured by agricultural steel building specialist, Minshall Construction.

The new facility will also feature a covered 200 tonne bunker with a 14m intake trough below, with a further 600 tonnes of undercover wet grain storage, which can be utilised as dry grain storage at the end of the season. It will also include a new 44 tonne lorry loading silo, which will allow dry grain to be loaded straight from the drier onto trucks.

Jack Parsons, The Co-operative’s Farm Manager at Goole, said: “This major investment in our operation at Goole will bring many benefits, especially increased efficiency, by dramatically improving the whole process for drying and storing our grain harvest.

“It will stop us having to double and even triple handle grain before it reaches dry storage, and we will no longer have to store wet grain outdoors. It will also radically reduce the amount of maintenance required, compared to the old machinery.”

The Co-operative Farms has been farming the land at Goole since 1917, when the estate was purchased by what was then the Co-operative Wholesale Society.

It produces up to 7,000 tonnes of high-quality pre-packing potato crop grown annually, which are delivered into Co-operative Food stores across the UK.

Over the course of a year, it also produces vining peas, winter wheat, oilseed rape, winter barley and sugar beet.