Support from Tyfu Cymru enable Benton Farms to maximise the value of their investments...
Potato production in the UK has become increasingly competitive over the last decade as both raw material & finished product from Europe and further afield has entered our market and grasped market share. It is vital for growers to continually invest and innovate with their production to remain competitive.
This involves careful decisions on investment to ensure their businesses are fit for the future. In 2017 Benton Farms Ltd invested in a brand new 1200 tonne box potato cold store which allows their crop to now be stored safely & sustainably on farm right through until early summer.
A further recent investment has been Benton Farms purchase of a new Grimme potato harvester in 2018. This ensures they have the capacity to lift their carefully grown tubers as gently as possible. Very modern technology now permits almost limitless combinations on the harvester, allowing the driver to tweak settings on the move according to tuber size, tuber skin condition, soil moisture, stone content and field topography.
However, in conjunction with this there is a requirement for a skilled driver who knows exactly how to set up the harvester effectively.
Therefore a full training course conducted by Grimme UK in June 2019 and funded through Tyfu Cymru, has been invaluable to Welsh potato growers and their staff, including the whole team at Benton Farm.
“This session was really excellent. The engineers were extremely thorough and explained all the details of the harvester right from where the tubers are picked up from the soil until they are placed carefully in the trailer alongside. Topics such as operator safety, routine maintenance and methods of tuber damage reduction were all focused on.
Our team at Benton have benefited greatly from this workshop, we will undoubtedly achieve better results now from the large capital investment we have made in our harvester. We are very grateful to Tyfu Cymru for their support for helping to make this workshop for Welsh growers take place” – Morgan Scale
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