There really wasn’t any doubt
When brothers Lasse and Andreas Johansson built a hall at Kronogården farm outside Grästorp in Sweden, several years ago, it was probably intended to serve primarily as a place to store grain. The farm comprises 320 hectares of cultivated land with some fields of its own and some leased. It has 100 dairy cows but much of its land is used purely to produce grain for sale. The hard clay soil is fertile and can yield eight or nine tonnes of wheat per hectare, but the clay can require a bit of extra care and attention.
TEXT: EVERT BLOMKVIST | PHOTO: THOMAS HARRYSSON
“The main thing we have to look out for with this type of soil is soil compaction. Machinery that is too heavy or narrow tyres can cause the soil to compact right down to the subsoil, which has a detrimental effect on the harvest,” explains Lasse.
When it came to building a hall, it was, as previously mentioned, primarily intended for storing graining. The farmers dry the grain themselves at the farm and, for economic reasons, storage facilities have become an important part of a cereal farm’s operations.
“It is simply a recognised fact that prices vary throughout the year, so we make more profit if we can store the grain and wait until the prices are higher before delivering it.”
However, as the hall was being built, the brothers happened to lose a lease on a farm with a good machine hall, so the new building also fulfilled their need for a place where they could keep machinery.
In addition to running their own farm, the brothers also provide machinery and carry out jobs for other farmers, usually with their own pasture equipment. The services they offer include both haymaking and rolling hay into round bales.
When looking for a supplier for the new hall, they chose Borga.
“There really wasn’t any doubt over which supplier we would choose. We had a little look at some other manufacturers, but Borga has a good reputation and offers competitive prices, and we have seen for ourselves that they make great halls.”
Together with builder Benny Larsson, who is Lasse’s father-in-law, the brothers laid the foundations for the hall themselves before the hall construction team took over.
“The materials were delivered on time and the builders were really efficient,” Lasse remarks.
“In fact, it only took about a day for them to put up the framework and the whole hall was finished in two weeks. They brought their own scissor lifts with them and the work progressed very quickly.
And they did a really good job too; the rows of screws in the metal sheets are dead straight. Everything fits together perfectly, with a neat finish.”
The hall was initially built with an open ridge for ventilation, but it became apparent that this solution did not really work for this space.
“Water got in when the weather was bad, which would not have been good for storing grain.
But Borga sorted it out straight away. I think they were back here working on the ridge only the day after we had talked to them about it.”
The new solution involved installing special self-powered fans on the ridge, which worked perfectly.
“We also wanted to have the option of extending the hall later on, so we discussed this with Borga and worked out a solution together.”
All in all, the hall fulfils its purpose well for the Johansson brothers, even though it is now being used more to house machinery than to store grain, which is what it was originally intended for. A round silo has also been added to supplement the storage space.
“We are really happy with how the hall finally turned out. We’re especially pleased with the response we got when we discovered that the original ridge ventilation solution was not ideal for us, and the way this was dealt with straight away with no further discussion,” says Lasse.
|Facts about the farm:
Kronogården is a family-run farm outside Grästorp. It has 320 hectares of fields, some owned by the farm itself and some leased, with mostly clay soil. The farm has 85 dairy cows but also produces grain for sale. It is run by brothers Andreas and Lasse Johansson, along with one employee and help from their retired father Lennart.