Summer activity; irrigation, spraying or selection? No. Storage technology training!
Extensive groups of arable farmers have gathered in Emmeloord and Steenbergen over recent weeks to attend the storage technology training course for Tolsma Vision Control systems. It appears evident that the beneficial cultivation results from the growing season must not go to waste and, in that respect, proper storage and energy management is of enormous importance.
According to Tolsma, this is not possible if the grower does not understand the information provided by the storage computer or fails to appreciate its value. “That is why we have invited our customers to attend a short, practice-oriented morning information session where both the technical and practical part are treated”, says trainer Paul den Engelsen.
The session started with reviewing the menu structure of the Vision Control, the system that replaced Tolnet in 2009 and that can control up to twenty storage cells. This varies from fan control (including flow control), hatch control, cooling, heat stabilisers up to CO2 refreshing, germ inhibition to energy management. After this explanation, the growers could themselves try out various settings for drying potatoes and onions using the demo screen. The demo screen shows both schematic and graphical representations of the storage cycle, making deviations visible more quickly. In order to visualise the differences between the various storage seasons, a separate tab is produced for each season, specifying all settings, temperature values, operational data and alarm messages.
Insight into the storage process
Once the growers are familiar with the system, it is important to master crop-specific settings. Den Engelsen: ‘Vision Control provides for the selection of the storage product and then specifies on variety and location. The user can then adjust the fans in terms of speed, running time and direction of rotation. Also during after-ventilation. Adjusting the heater,, cooling, control and product sensor is also very user-friendly in the Vision Control system and a well-organised menu structure ensures transparency. As storage specialists, we naturally work regularly with storage computers, but arable farmers only have to work intensively with the Vision Control for a few moments a year. Even though the settings have been simplified as much as possible, a refresher course is always time well spent. The turnout at various training sessions also shows that growers need a little extra insight into the technical process of the storage facility.’
‘Better quality for the stored product’
In addition to its in-house training courses, Tolsma also regularly provides on-site information. For example, early this month, an in-house course on condensation drying took place at a customer’s business in Dronten. This training mainly concerned the (organic) onion storage requiring incessant drying, even at low storage temperatures. Den Engelsen: ‘A condensation drying installation is a cooling system in which the heat that is released during cooling is recycled to heat the cooled air. In fact, this is dehumidifying the air without cooling the product. With this, our customers are in full control of the temperature and air humidity of their products. Within this system, (after) drying is always possible, even without outside air and heaters, which ultimately ensures a better quality of the stored product.’
To complete the training course in Emmeloord, the in-house session is concluded with a guided tour of the Tolsma factory; just after lunch, the arable farmers can then return to their fields for irrigation, spraying or selection.
In the winter season (January 2020) the “Vision on Tour” starts again. Aboard a touring car, converted into a training facility, the Tolsma storage advisors will be travelling the country to provide on-site courses for regional customers.
Personal storage advice
Were you unable to attend the storage training course and/or would you like to improve your storage expertise? Please contact one of our specialists for personal storage advice.