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East Anglia Future 50

Estate takes grain drying to next level after scooping £23k grant

PUBLISHED: 06:09 29 May 2018

The grain store at Thurlow Estate Farms, near Haverhill, which is set to benefit from the new technology Picture: JCB

The grain store at Thurlow Estate Farms, near Haverhill, which is set to benefit from the new technology Picture: JCB


A Suffolk farm is celebrating a windfall of nearly £23,000 to improve the drying of its grain crops and to improve systems across the farming industry.

Thurlow Estate Farms Ltd, based near Haverhill, plans to invest the grant from the Agri-Tech Grant Programme to improve its grain drying systems with bespoke automated grain sampling and testing functions. The new system will offer better control and accuracy in measuring the moisture in the grain; providing a more sustainable and fuel-efficient system for the business overall.

The equipment upgrade will also enable more accurate moisture measurement during both wet intake and post drying stages, using specific grain data to deliver a more consistent grain output and quality assurance for customers.

Farms director Andrew Crossley said: “Over the last five years we have reduced the over drying of crops significantly, saving fuel and reducing weight loss. This grant will enable us to develop an automated system with even more accuracy making further savings. Demonstrating this success to others will be an integral part of the project.”

The grant will help fund two strands of the project including the purchase of sampling and analysis equipment, and the development of software.

The bespoke system will achieve a much more sophisticated level of control over the results and of the drier automation than has been achieved before, enableing the farm to determine and reduce weight loss from grain drying, and costs associated with fuel consumption directly relating to tonnage.

End user data shows that farmers tend to over-dry grain the most in wet years, so making high fuel use years even worse than they need to be.

Agri-Tech Programme manager Martin Lutman said: “We’re delighted to support Thurlow Estate Farms with their ambitions to shape the future of the farming industry and revolutionise the sustainability of grain drying. This investment will enable them to lead the way in establishing a new standard for grain drying and storing, that will ultimately raise the ambitions of the industry, which is exactly what the Agri-Tech R&D Grant programme is all about. We look forward to hearing more about the development of this project after the trial harvest of 2018/2019 takes place.”

The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is run by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority with support from New Anglia LEP and the local authorities covering this area.

Grants are available to organisations looking to invest in specialist equipment, new market and supply chain development, ways to improve productivity and efficiency, and the application and commercialisation of Research and Development.

To find out how the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative could help to grow your business, visit or call 01480 277180.

- Ends -

Notes to editors

1. The Initiative has two separate funds that are available for businesses. The first is an Agri-Tech Growth Fund, which will provide grants of between £10,000 and £150,000 to support improvements in agricultural productivity. Whilst the R&D and Prototyping Fund will provide grants of between £10,000 and £60,000 to support the development of innovative technology. Find out more at

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