Working alongside BDC Systems and its partner Irish Grain Handling Services (IGHS), the Hobson family were able to complete the third phase of developing their high tech grain cleaning, drying and storage plant in time for harvest last year.

"Previous wet harvests and no control over green grain prices, meant that investment to improve productivity and efficiency of our grain handling process was imperative. A grain dryer was essential," explains David Hobson, who farms with his father John and brother Robert.

The family currently farms 570 hectares of cropping which includes winter wheat, rye, milling oats and oil seed rape, spring barley, beans and camelina and herbal leys at their Warrenstown Farm in County Meath, north of Dublin.

BDC Systems and IGHS were involved in the design of the first phase of the new plant thanks to their proven reputation in successfully designing and installing grain processing plants. Phase one included a 27tph Svegma continuous flow drier, a Soby aspirating pre-cleaning and a Zanin rotating drum cleaner.

"The Svegma drier is crucial to our business," continues Mr Hobson. "It has allowed us to increase our contract storage business, which includes working with multiple grain merchants in the east of Ireland and storing and handling imported feed for grain traders … Most of the grain that we handle is sold either directly to pig and poultry users or to feed mills for the manufacturing of feed rations for livestock farmers."

"We have also been able to open up new revenue streams with the Zanin rotary drum cleaner. Its four interchangeable screens are used to suit the crop and sample requirement," he adds.

The Hobson family. From left: Robert, John and David.

During the process, grain is fed into the plant via a Skandia curved intake chain and flight conveyor with a six metre intake, one and a half metres below the level of the tipping trailers. From the intake, grain is sent directly to the aspirating pre-cleaner via a belt and bucket to remove any dust and chaff.


Depending on the route the grain takes, it can be sent directly to the grain store or sent to the drum cleaner and then the drier. It can also be cleaned only or dried only. Dried grain which doesn't reach the required moisture content can be returned to the Svegma drier, which also operates as a batch drier.

Successful installation of phase one of the facility meant that BDC Systems and IGHS were able to develop phase two of the plant and further increase the Hobsons' grain storage capabilities. A five 60tph Skandia chain and flight conveyors were installed, which connected the plant to two more grain stores. To dry to trailer was required, in order to transport the grain to another grain store located nearby and to handle contract dried corn to be taken off the farm.

The plant managed just below 20,000 tonnes of grain during the 2021 harvest and the drying campaign began during the winter barley harvest in mid-July, finishing in early October.

"The plant allows us to not only meet our customers' needs by separating and cleaning different varieties of grain to the highest standard, it has enabled us to focus on organic and regenerative farming practices. We have experimented with combi-cropping, growing cereal crops alongside legumes to promote symbiosis and productivity and we needed a system that could handle the different grain," says Mr Hobson.

"Anyone looking to upgrade their existing grain handling facility or build a completely new plant can do no better than to talk to BDC Systems and IGHS," he concludes.

For more information on BDC Systems visit their website, HERE.

Image credit: BDC Systems

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