TIMING OF VENTILATION
Ventilation dries beets out, and dehydrated beets respire more quickly: i.e. have greater rates of loss. At the same time, ventilation can reduce dirt tare by drying out soil, and increase sugar concentration and thus increase bonus payments per tonne of beets and reduce transport costs per tonne of sugar. If it was possible to get these benefits from only ventilating a pile of beets for a week (and thus be able to use the one drying unit in multiple locations during the season), how long prior to delivery could this week be before the negatives of ventilation outweigh the positives? For example, if beets were ventilated (and thus dried) a month prior to delivery, would the increased respiration over this month cost more than the increased bonuses and savings?
The first thing that needs to be done is to investigate if this idea can be tested using already available data. If the data available from the Lafta and Klotz Fugate paper linked above and from other sources is sufficient, it might possible to do a desktop study. This would also require that we have a good idea of air flow rates through a clamp at different points for a given system – something that we’re working on. If it looks like a project is needed, then it would go something like this:
- 1: Not ventilated.
- 2-5: Ventilated for one week at week 1, week 4, week 7 and week 10.
- All treatments would sit in the same constant environment (eg 6 degrees, 90% RH) the whole time.
Four reps of each treatment should suffice. Each rep would weigh ca. 30kg (25 beets) at loading. We would run it in a climate controlled shipping container, using a ventilation system we already have. I would also want to sit the beets being ventilated on some load cells to log weight loss during ventilation.
This is an easy project to run so could be done now, but there is not a pressing need in terms of there being a commercial drying system available for sugar beets.
COST STAB IN THE DARK:
To load and move 20 boxes, we would need help from one person from Hushållningsällskapet (4 hours). The same for delivery day (4 hours).
Beet material we could source from one of our other trials or the research farm.
Other materials we already have.
Analysis of 20 boxes = ca. 6000 SEK
Driving to the research site 14 times in total (set up days + start + end for each treatment) = about 56 mil.
Otherwise, the time would be NBR + Student.
So, 12,000 SEK should cover it.
WHY THIS MIGHT NOT HAPPEN:
It being deemed not necessary.
This would be an easy student project – we have everything available for minimal cost.