Storage systems essentials
- A well-sealed and insulated potato store will allow the crop to be kept at a stable temperature largely unaffected by diurnal (daily) variation in ambient conditions. It will help maintain a relative humidity of 90–100 per cent to minimise tuber weight loss; it will also allow crops to be stored free from condensation in changeable weather conditions.
- Controlled ventilation allows crop respiration heat to be removed and a crop to be dried and cooled. Fans are best positioned to create a flow of air through the crop (positive ventilation, bulk or box) or, less efficiently, to form a rolling mass of air that flows over the stack of boxes and through the pallet slots (space ventilation)
- Insulation is a key factor for a potato store, much more so than it is for general purpose buildings. The quality of the insulation will determine to a large extent how well a potato store performs.
- Fabric or door leakage to wind-induced ventilation reduces the effectiveness of the store, as it is likely to lead to loss of environmental control. Crop weight loss and possible condensation on the crop will result as ventilation or refrigeration running hours will increase, in order to cool the crop warmed by the leaking air.
Know your storage costs?
The Storage Cost Calculator enables you to assess your cost using an Excel-based template. The model is designed to use a combination of data that you can access supplemented by industry average cost data. Results are shown in a table format and also graphically.
The Calculator was last updated in 2017 and references to some sprout supressants/costs will be out of date.