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Open days at the post-harvest lines

Open days at the PAWLICA post-harvest lines

In September and October open days were held at the three post-harvest lines built by Pawlica s.r.o. this year. Take a look at the photo gallery to see how it went. Read article about it bellow.


Line with an innovative design

In addition to plant and livestock production, the Unčovice Agricultural Cooperative also operates a biogas station, leases buildings and provides agricultural services using its own equipment and technology. In recent years the firm has been striving to centralize production in the centre in Unčovice. This is another reason why the cooperative representatives decided to work with PAWLICA s. r. o. to build a barley store and a new post-harvest line with innovative features in Unčovice. This is the second post-harvest line at the Unčovice Agricultural Cooperative; the first was built in 2010 in Náklo.

The Agricultural Cooperative has 180 employees and is based in Haná in the lowlands of the Upper Moravian Valley, between the towns of Litovel and Olomouc. “We manage some 6200 ha of farm land, approximately 5,900 ha of which is arable land, while the remainder is taken up by meadows in Litovelské Pomoraví,” said Ing. Milada Měsícová, Chair of the Unčovice Agricultural Cooperative’s Board of Directors, who is in charge of the running and economic aspects of the cooperative.

They have broad crop rotation

In the region fourteen kilometres to the northwest of Olomouc there are seven sand pits, which predetermine the quality of certain plots of land. Two thirds of the land extends into a break in the terrain, where the floodplain area of the River Morava starts, and the soil there is worse, being mostly sandy. Approximately one third of the land farmed is high quality black earth, 840 hectares of which are used to grow the traditional crop of the fertile Haná region – sugar beet, which yields an average of 68 t/ha. This year, however, yields were lower due to the drought. The main crops in plant production are winter wheat, which covers approximately 2000 ha, spring barley, which is grown on 20 % of the land, winter rape on 12 %, and sugar beet, which takes up 11 % of the total area, the same as maize. Profitable commodities include hard common wheat and peas for canning purposes, which have been grown on 3.5 % of the land for more than thirty years. The rest of the land is taken up by crops serving as feed for livestock. Unčovice Agricultural Cooperative is also a co-owner of Olseed a. s., which specialises in the production and sale of seeds.

They breed cows and pigs

As regards their livestock production they breed Holstein cattle and pigs in a closed herd turnover. Pigs are bred at the Rozvadovice and Náklo centres, each of which has around three hundred sows, for which farrowing and rearing piglets are available. Cows are bred on farms in the villages of Příkazy and Unčovice; each farm has 400 Holstein cows. The Příkazy farm as also operated a 1 MW biogas station since 2012, which is linked to the livestock production. The substrate used is mostly maize, together with dung and slurry, or less-quality grass and alfalfa haylage or sugar beet chips, which are not used as feed in livestock production.

Construction complicated by unstable subsoil

“Our aim in constructing the new post-harvest line was an effort to save on costs and centralize production. We want to completely modernise and simplify our plant production operation, so over time we are decommissioning our older post-harvest lines in Štěpánov, in Horka nad Moravou and in the village of Příkazy. Each line is operated by two or three workers. In Unčovice just two employees will alternate on shifts, which will further save on costs,” said Ing. Měsícová at the grand opening of the new post-harvest line in Unčovice. In addition to all those present, she also welcomed Father Miroslav, who blessed the new post-harvest line. The event was also attended by members of the Haná Folk Society in period Haná costumes, who organised the agriculturally-themed cultural program at the grand opening.

The general contractor for the construction project was PAWLICA s. r. o. Its managing director, Ing. Petr Pawlica, MBA, said that the post-harvest line contains cutting-edge silos from the USA, a RUBERG aspirator from Germany, Swedish conveyors and other modern and proven technological features currently available on the market. “In summer 2017 our firm was contacted by the investor Unčovice Agricultural Cooperative, which asked us to build a new post-harvest line and barley store. The work started at the end of October 2017 and, apart from problems with the subsoil, continued smoothly in line with the agreed schedule. At the end of June 2018 PAWLICA handed over the post-harvest line and barley store to the Unčovice Agricultural Cooperative, to enable them to be put into operation at the beginning of the harvest,” stressed Ing. Pawlica, adding that he hoped everything on the post-harvest line worked as it should.

“I must heartily commend our cooperation with Pawlica, as the conditions for the placement of the line initially seemed very complicated; we faced problems with high ground water, the adjacent watercourse and unstable subsoil. The high ground throughout the whole of Litovelské Pomoraví is at a depth of two and a half metres, so a total of 97 eight-metre-long foundation posts had to be used. As many as 140 foundation posts were planned for the original version,” explained Ing. Měsícová.

For barley storage

The line is designed primarily for the storage of barley. However, it is so universal that it can also be used to store any commodity, from beet to maize. In the past the Unčovice Agricultural Cooperative used to clean barley on three older post-harvest lines. The new line has a total capacity of 6800 tons of barley. For storage there are four BROCK silos, each with a capacity of 1700 tons of barley, with the option to expand this to include another two silos with a total capacity of 3400 tones. “One bad decision on my part is that there are no scales by the underpass bins. It is typical for the Haná region that the local people often thinks too much of cost-cutting, which then ends up costing them more,” added Milada Měsícová with a smile. The line has an hourly output of 150 t/h of wheat placed into storage, 80 t/h when wheat is removed from storage without the final cleaning process and 75 t/h when wheat is removed from storage with final cleaning.

PAWLICA dealt with the subsoil problem using the proven solution of a bottom structure, i.e. a residue-free intake hopper for shallow foundation and reinforced concrete silo slabs, separate for each silo. “The specially-shaped intake hopper saved us 1.5 metres of excavation work, bringing us easily above the ground water level,” explained Project Manager Ing. Ondřej Bucher from PAWLICA s. r. o., who was in charge of the construction of the new post-harvest line in Unčovice. “The reinforced concrete silo slabs have channels in the middle for the unloading conveyors, and are built on CFA reinforced concrete foundation posts, which have double the friction area and thus double the stability under dynamic load. This silo design in combination with picker conveyor enables us to create simple slabs with no walkway channels under the silos,” he said, adding that the 12 x 4 m intake hopper is merely 1,5 m deep and has a heaped capacity of 120 m3.

Two innovative solutions

The production programme of Brock, the American manufacturer of grain silos, now offers the EAVE VENT KIT, which is situated between the cylindrical part of the silo and the roof. “This innovative feature significantly shifts the dew point outside the silo and, combined with the fully perforated grille floor, creates the ideal environment for long-term barley storage. The optimal air flow throughout the whole of the inside of the silo prevents the formation of mould and keeps birds and microorganisms out. The Unčovice Agricultural Cooperative is only the second business in the Czech Republic to use this solution,” said Ing. Bucher.

Another innovative solution is the temperature measurement technology in grain silos, where PAWLICA has used thermowell cables with a semi-cross-section and a sliding coating. These cables are housed in the internal structure of the roof, thus eliminating the risk of the cables buckling when the grain is removed. According to Ondřej Bucher, the advantages of this solution are that the roof panels of the silo are completely smooth and free of holes, thus extending the lifetime of the roof as a whole and further protecting the commodities stored in the silo.

Aspirator and conveyors

The heart of the entire post-harvest line is the 2018 modified version of the German Ruberg RVS150 sieve aspirator, which is fitted with a more stable supporting base and a more efficient aspiration system. The advantages of this aspirator include the fact that it is compact, easy to install and its performance is guaranteed during the main harvest intake. “The RVS150 cleans very efficiently thanks to the pressure fan housed directly in the head of the aspirator. The sieve unit together with the pre-sieves, main and sand sieves, covering a total area of 36 m2, ensure the material is of the very best food industry quality during the main intake! The sieve unit can then separate secondary quality material with the same movement. The aspirator can clean one ton of barley for 0.90 CZK, which makes the entire post-harvest line more economical,” stated Ing. Bucher.

The intake, aspirator and storage silos in Unčovice are connected by conveyors – Redler conveyors and elevators –from the Swedish SKANDIA top-of-the-range Industry line. “As with the RVS150 aspirator and the conveyors we guarantee to the investor that their output is as stated. The Industry line comprises precision-crafted galvanized zinc-coated parts and chain conveyors with plastic chainplates, which are highly durable, reduce conveyor noise and guide the material precisely. When fully operational and in automated mode on one eight-hour shift in Unčovice they are capable of taking in more than 1000 tons of barley,” said Ondřej Bucher.

A container instead of a control room

In Unčovice, on the site of what was originally to be a brick control room and substation, there now stands a technological container, which also contains its own sanitary facilities sanitary facilities. The advantage of this is that the container is manufactured in the contractor’s assembly hall and is ready to use when it is delivered to the site. This saves on the costs and time needed to build the other technological elements of the line.

“The work was a success, and I’m proud of it. A big thank-you is due to Project Manager Ing. Bucher, as well as to my colleague Ing. Jiří Procházka, who monitored the entire project together with technical supervisor Luděk Mlčoch. Thanks also to our entire team of employees. Last year we embarked upon a series of construction projects. We are building a new fattening plant for 2000 piglets in Rozvadovice, a building with sanitary facilities and a shop for employees, as well as a milking parlour in Příkazy. We are planning to build a cowshed for 400 cows and a silage trough and a slurry pit,” said the cooperative chairwoman, outlining the building plans for the future.


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