Supporting British farming since 1975

Getting the most out any crop is one of the biggest challenges farmers face. For Lincolnshire-based crop storage and quality specialists, Martin Lishman Ltd, this challenge has fuelled the creation of products, now well-known in the industry, that have supported UK farmers in becoming more efficient and less wasteful.

Martin Lishman’s first automated crop monitoring and control system (left) led to the development of the company’s flagship Barn Owl Wireless system (right) by embracing technological changes.

The birth of the original vertical crop cooling system, Pile-Dry Pedestals, in 1975, was Martin Lishman’s first step into the world of innovation driven by the challenges of farming. This new way of cooling grain was adopted by thousands of UK farmers, enabling existing grain stores with no cooling system to be used to store and cool grain quickly enough to retain quality and reduce spoilage, saving farmers time and money.

Fast-forward to the present day and Pile-Dry Pedestals is still one of the most used methods of cooling grain, albeit the range has been updated to meet the demands of larger stores and now features a FloorVent variant developed from an initial use in storage bins. This vents hot air extracted from grain directly out of the store, which makes the system highly efficient.

In their quest to improve production quality and reduce waste, Martin Lishman innovations have embraced technological changes to develop break-through products that were once unheard of in the industry. These include the first electronic potato, Bluetooth crop temperature sensors and portable crop fan automatic controllers. The business developed a strong position in the agricultural market as a manufacturer of specialist equipment for monitoring and maintaining crop quality.

“Each generation of farmer brings with it even higher expectations of what can be achieved. At Martin Lishman we continue to introduce products with the goal of meeting these expectations with innovation,” explains Gavin Lishman, managing director of Martin Lishman Ltd. “We have shown that simple, cost-effective solutions can be used to yield more by reducing waste. Our products have helped UK farmers optimise production and streamline processes, saving both time and money”.

The most notable product from Martin Lishman in recent years is their award-winning Barn Owl Wireless monitoring and control system. When launched nearly 10 years ago it was the first system of its kind to harness the power of wireless sensing combined with cloud-based data storage. It gave UK farmers the ability to monitor and control crop stores remotely. The wireless crop sensors, fan controllers and online portal provide not only a view of crop condition, but also use fully automatic fan control modes to turn cooling fans on and off when it is most efficient to do so. The result is significantly reduced energy costs over conventional cooling methods; in most cases saving at least 40 per cent of the energy that might be used.

The company’s latest innovation is ImpacTrack, a shock sensing data logger with a family of 3D printed food shapes that reduces the amount of food wasted due to damage. They replicate the movement characteristics of fruit and vegetables during handling, packing and transport processes and show where damage and bruising is taking place.

Looking to the future, the Martin Lishman team says it continues to adhere to its core principle of meeting change with innovation, so it can address the expectations of the next farmer generation. To keep up to date on the latest developments from Martin Lishman, visit

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