Managing part-full stores
With yields below expectations, several stores may not be fully filled this year. In the case of there being not enough spuds to fill a large storage unit, there are a number of measures that you can take to minimise energy costs and maintain a high quality crop.
- Building a false wall across the store can reduce the effective volume of circulating air within the store. This can be achieved with tarpaulin, a polythene sheet or even a stack of empty boxes.
- Reduce the risk of ‘over ventilation’ by slowing fans with inverters where possible.
- Ensure there are no short circuits available to the ventilating air by loading evenly across the store if in boxes. Close off any gaps with empty boxes. In bulk stores, close unused laterals.
The crucial element in a part-full store scenario is to reduce air ventilation volumes but do be aware that the store may rely on air speed to achieve circulation e.g. in overhead throw stores. Fitting a reducer to the air discharge can help maintain air speed at a lower volume displacement. If there is history of CIPC in your store, do not be tempted to use the extra space to store other crops.
Contact the Storage Advice Line on 0800 02 82 111 or refer to the Potato Store Managers’ Guide https://potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/publications/store-managers-guide for more detailed information.