State of the art crop storage building wins Royal Welsh award

21 July 2014

An excellently designed refrigerated potato store in Radnorshire has been awarded the 2014 Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Farm Buildings and Works Competition.

The competition, confined to farms in Radnorshire, the feature county at this year’s Royal Welsh Show, sought the farm building throughout the county which best incorporated the farming needs of the 21st century.

The economy of Radnorshire is predominantly sustained by the diverse and varied agricultural enterprises found in the county and all the entrants for this year’s competition reflected this diversity, coming from the beef and sheep, poultry and arable sectors.

However, it was the crop storage buildings at Cwmwhitton which the judges felt had provided sound capital investment in the future of the farm business and the 2014 award was given to C V J and P M Pugh of Cwmwhitton, Whitton, Knighton.

The refrigerated potato store holds 700 tonnes of seed potatoes in 1 tonne boxes at around 2.5 oC Refrigeration equipment is roof mounted to ensure no loss of storage space and the compressor is externally located to allow ease of access for maintenance.

Adjacent to the potato store is a clear span steel portal framed building which houses the potato grading and sorting equipment. This is ideally located to avoid excess movements at harvest and grading time. Adjacent to this building is a 500 tonne grain store. In order to be more energy efficient and use a sustainable source of energy, two banks of solar PV panels were installed respectively on the roofs of the potato store and grain store in 2012 and provide 50kW of electricity. These have resulted in a saving of approximately 60% in mains consumption as well as providing the ability to manage the seed better once in store.

Judges, David Henderson and Trevor Lloyd, were keen to congratulate all entrants for their presentations. “Careful and thorough planning, attention to detail and commitment through capital investment were evident throughout.

“The need to evaluate and compare the relative qualities and attributes of such diverse entries was no easy task. All the entries had commendable rationale supporting their investment and each farm demonstrated the attributes of good planning and building design required to sustain their enterprises into the future. It was encouraging to see the opportunity taken to incorporate installations which take advantage of sustainable sources of energy.”

The competition was sponsored by the NFU Mutual Insurance Society Ltd.