Home to the 7th Duke of Sutherland, Mertoun Estate Farms Ltd, is located in the Scottish Borders and farms over 2000ha of land in total along both sides of the River Tweed.
Wheat is the estate’s main crop, accounting for over 700ha of production, with other crops including barley, oil-seed rape, potatoes, winter oats and vining peas. The remaining acreage is grassland which is let out to local livestock farmers and land in environmental schemes.
In 2012 a Svegma SVC 9/5 50tph continuous flow drier was installed on the site to replace a fire damaged drier which was part of the existing grain facility which had evolved over many years. The drier had been fed by the existing intake and handling systems which restricted the drier’s capacity. Storage was also an issue with limited dedicated grain storage and potato buildings being used to hold grain.
With a change in management of the farms it was decided to build a new grain drying, handling and storage facility, developing a site at Ploughlands Farm. BDC Systems, in conjunction with local dealer DMI Mechanical Engineers, were appointed to design and install the new plant. The existing Svegma drier, supplied originally by BDC Systems, was to be moved and fed by new 80tph Skandia handling equipment. The new storage buildings were designed and erected by Thorburn Duns.
A total of eleven Skandia machines were specified including industrial grade “I Range” chain & flight conveyors and belt & bucket elevators. The system also included an Aagaard AF80 aspirator pre-cleaner, Zanin PRA 4/9 rotary cleaner and 105tph Jema belt conveyors feeding 7000 tonnes of floor storage. The floor stores feature BDC heavy duty drive over laterals with underfloor ducts which form a low volume ventilation system powered by Soby HLSG 75 fans and a Robydome temperature control system with wireless probes. The drier itself was upgraded with Akron Turbo Clean dust extraction fans. New internal and external platforms were also installed to aid access to the drier. A new BDC control panel was installed to operate all the equipment, including remote access via iPhone for the Svegma drier.
Mertoun Estate’s Farm Manager, Jack Parsons, commented: “Having used Skandia equipment before we were confident that it was the right choice on this occasion. The support and backup we receive from both BDC Systems and DMI is impressive and reassuring.” Mr Parsons went on to add: “We now get full capacity from our Svegma drier using the 80tph handling equipment. Our intake capacity has been massively improved and allows us to keep up each day during harvest.”