N M Stovin Farms works with McArthur BDC to expand and enhance on farm seed cleaning capabilities, reducing costs, improving the bottom line

Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire: 5 March 2024N M Stovin Farms has expanded and enhanced its on farm grass seed cleaning capabilities with the addition of two Indent Cylinder Separators, supplied and installed by McArthur BDC, to complement the farm’s existing JK Machinery’s JCM VibroMAX vibrating sieve cleaner. The Indent Cylinder Separators will enable the cleaning of grass seed to the certified standard of above 98% purity, eliminating seed merchants’ cleaning costs and allowing the farm to expand its seed cleaning business, to provide an increased revenue stream.

“By cleaning grass seed to the certified standard, we no longer have to pay our seed merchants to complete the cleaning process. This is a considerable saving, as cleaning costs were in the region of £45K a year, and we no longer have to worry about crop rejections as we can deal with any purity issues on farm,” said Andrew Stovin who, with his father Alan and brother Mathew, farm 500ha on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Grass seed is grown on 160ha and the grassland has the added benefit of improving the farms biodiversity.

“Our increased cleaning capability also provides us with the opportunity to drive up our bottom line by expanding our seed cleaning business to more farmers,” added Stovin. “They will be able to benefit from reducing their own seed cleaning costs.

McArthur BDC had provided valuable advice and support around the setting up of the first phase of the farm’s seed cleaning operation, supplying and installing the JCM VibroMAX which had performed extremely well, delivering cleaned seed to a purity percentage in the high 90s.

Having taken the decision to take the farm’s seed cleaning capabilities to the next level, and with an existing trusted partnership relationship with McArthur BDC, the Stovins worked with them again on the choice of and installation of the Indent Cylinder Separators.

An additional Skandia belt and bucket elevator has also been installed to feed the Indent Cylinder Separators – existing Skandia grain handling equipment is already in place to load and unload the cleaning system.

The Indent Cylinder Separators separate impurities from seed based on its length. This is crucial when cleaning grass seeds as when the plants go through the combine, the stems can snap into different lengths.

The seed passes from the inlet housing of the Indent Cylinder Separator into the interior of the rotating cylinder, the cover of which has impressed pockets or ‘indents’ for very precise length separation. Seeds that embed themselves in the indents are carried upwards on the rotating cylinder and after a certain distance, fall out into the trough below the cylinder and are then discharged by a screw conveyor.

Material which is larger (shorter or longer) than the indents remains inside the rotating cylinder and is carried to the end outlet and emptied into the outlet casing.

The Stovins have two Indent Cylinder Separators, one is positioned on top of the other. The top Indent Cylinder takes out the shorter material, and when the seed passes through the second, the longer material is removed.

Grass seed continues to be passed through the JCM VibroMAX, which is also used to clean the Stovins’ farm saved cereal seed, before entering the Indent Cylinder Separators.

The combined cleaning process of using both the JCM VibroMAX sieve cleaner and the Indent Cylinder Separators delivers grass seed which meets the certified standard.  

By meeting the certified cleaning standard, the Stovins’ seed merchants are also benefitting. Cleaned seed is heavier and denser than uncleaned seed which means that more fits into fewer lorries which is important in terms of seed merchants being able to reduce their carbon emissions.

Growing 160ha of grass seed also allows the Stovins to farm with the environment in mind. Operating a two-year cropping cycle has led to a boom in wildlife with key species such as hare, skylark and yellowhammer dramatically increasing since the family expanded its grassland.

The two-year cropping cycle also reduces the autumn workload as no cultivation takes place, saving on resources, machinery and reestablishing costs.

After the first harvest, sheep graze the grass over the winter. “We have found grazing tight to the floor makes a real difference to the second crop and also helps with volunteer growth, and the sheep provide a constant top-up of organic matter,” said Andrew Stovin.

As well as providing hay for the Stovins’ Charolais x Limousin suckler herd, the grassland helps to keep more of the farm under green cover in the winter, which is good for the wildlife as well as reducing soil erosion and nutrient run-off.

“McArthur BDC’s grain and seed handling expertise has ensured that we have made the right decisions around which cleaning equipment to install. They gave us the confidence that our cleaning process would work and deliver the results we needed.

“The entire McArthur BDC team did a great job for us when installing the additional Indent Cylinder Separators, we gave them just two weeks from finishing the cleaning of our cereal seeds with the JCM VibroMAX to needing to start cleaning the grass seed – and they delivered!” said Stovin.


About McArthur BDC

McArthur BDC specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of post-harvest, combinable crop drying, storage and processing systems for farmers and commercial operators.

For more information visit mcarthurbdc.co.uk or call +44(0)1724 747110

Media contact:

Sarah Chidgey, ChidgeyPR, tel: +44 (0) 7795 288302 | email: sarah@chidgeypr.co.uk