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Ten golden rules for crimping
In order to produce Crimped Grain of the highest quality every time, we recommend that you follow these 10 Golden Rules:
- Ensure that all areas where the grain is to be handled and stored are clean. Grain handling machinery must also be thoroughly cleaned before use.
- Treat storage areas prior to harvest to eliminate grain-storage pests such as grain mites, weevils and grain beetles. If possible avoid storing straw close to crimped grain – infestation by grain-storage pests can be transmitted from straw.
- Check grain moisture content and use the appropriate Crimpstore Preservative at the recommended rate for the tested grain moisture. Contact your Kelvin Cave Ltd representative for advice on checking moisture content correctly. N.B. Normal moisture meters will not give accurate readings above 30% moisture. However, Kelvin Cave can supply an easy to use, specially calibrated moisture meter that will give accurate readings up to 50% moisture.
- Process and ensile all grain within 24 hours of harvesting.
- Ensure that the Murska or Korte crimper is set correctly so that all grains are crushed and that the preservative applicator is correctly calibrated to apply the correct amount of Crimpstore. The crimper should be fitted with spray nozzles to ensure even coverage with Crimpstore as the grain travels along the bottom auger.
- Make sure the clamp walls are solid and can withstand the pressure of clamp consolidation.
- Consolidate the crimped crop well, in thin layers, using the Dorset Wedge method.
- Keep the clamp sealed for at least three weeks before feeding. Make sure all air is excluded. Use new, heavy-duty polythene side-sheeting and cover the clamp with O2 Barrier 2in1 top sheet for the most effective air-tight seal. Alternatively, use ClampFilm vacuum-film covered with a good-quality 125µm top-sheet. All covering should be weighted-down evenly, ClampTiles from Kelvin Cave Ltd are ideal for this job providing even weight and protection from bird damage.
- Cut the feed neatly from the face and manage it so that feed is removed across the whole face at least once a week, or more frequently in warmer weather. Keep the face of the clamp uncovered, pulling the sheet down over an open face can create an ‘incubator’ for spoilage organisms.
- Take precautions against vermin. Rats, mice and birds can cause damage to your crimped grain; your local Kelvin Cave representative can give you useful advice on how to avoid this.
12 June 2014