10-12-2013 11:23 AM | News

Walford and North Shropshire College Agriculture students visit Grain Store

The group from WNSC at Openfield’s National Grain Store.
The group from WNSC at Openfield’s National Grain Store.
The visit started with a presentation by an international Grain Analyst. This introduced the group to the world grain trade and focused on how it influences price of feed for livestock farmers, as well as grain for arable farmers, and ultimately the consumer.

The students met Rob Sanderson, Openfield’s National Grain Storage Manager. He explained to them about the company structure; the logistics associated with transporting grain around the country from their eighteen storage facilities, and the further challenges to transporting grain worldwide. The students also learnt about the grain store’s wide-ranging stakeholder and customer base including Weetabix and Warburtons for wheat, and Coors, for barley which is used in lager making.

The group then visited the recently built storage facility with its 80,000 tons of stored wheat. The students needed to climb to a platform, 30 metres high, to view the expanse of the storage area. It was explained to them how the company is on target to build further units on the Greenfield site with a planned capacity reaching 500,000 tons. The students also learnt that with over 25% of the UK on-farm storage facilities reaching the end of their feasible use, central storage is going to become more widely the norm.

Mark Sheridan, WNSC Agronomy Lecturer, commented, “The visit was a fantastic opportunity for the students to learn about the grain trade and associated careers. By the end of the visit they understood how the infrastructure affects the farming industry in the UK and related, local farm businesses.”

Agriculture student and Student Governor, Greg Trow, added, “We were all very interested to learn about grain management. It was particularly fascinating to see the scale of such a large operation.”


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