A new innovative wireless system for monitoring the condition of stored grain has been introduced by Farmex in the UK, the Reading-based company specialising in farm energy and control systems.
Heart of the system is a sturdy 2.0 m long grain lance which will measure temperature and relative humidity and give a calculated moisture content to an accuracy of 0.4 per cent. It is self-calibrating and does not need regular re-setting.
A particular and unique feature, however, is that it can be used to continually monitor and chart changes in the grain and this can be transmitted to a laptop and logged for reference, enabling the farmer or store operator to check easily what’s happening over a period of time. An alert system can be incorporated to give an early warning of problems. This can be linked to a ventilation controls so that remedial action can be started automatically. The lance is battery-operated enabling it to be moved around without cables to cause obstructions.
Suitable for any type of grain, the basic lance costs £215 (€253). A simple data capture and charting program can be put together as an entry level system for monitoring farm stores for less than £1,500 (€1,766), excluding laptop while a more sophisticated logger system offering a more flexible approach for a typical farm store would cost £2,345 (€2,762). The number of lances depends upon the size of the store, but one every 10m2 is a general recommendation.
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