Most corn and soybean growers would likely agree that the 2010 harvest was much better than in 2009 in many ways, including the quality of grain harvested. But, just because the grain quality was better doesn’t mean you can store it and forget it. Quality grain deserves quality monitoring.
“It is a wise investment to be able to monitor the temperatures of grain in storage. Grain temperature is as important as moisture in storage. More grain goes out of condition because we do not control grain temperature than for any other reason,” says Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension engineer. “Grain spoilage and insect infestations both produce heat, so monitoring temperature trends is very important.”
Here are a handful of products to help you monitor the grain you have in storage.
Available from GSI is the Binspector-CO2. This new monitoring system alerts you of grain spoilage using CO2 levels as an indicator. Monitoring CO2 levels provides the earliest possible warning of biological activity inside the bin. Powered by a solar-recharged battery and using a passive dust filter, Binspector has a low-power design and maintenance-free sensor life.
All CO2 measurements are stored for later access of grain-condition trends, and all information can be viewed online 24/7. Should your grain temperature or CO2 level change, alerts are available via text, voicemail or email. Continuous system status and hands-free software upgrades are available via wireless cell modem communication.
Binspector can be installed any time during any season whether the bin is full or empty. It takes less than one hour per bin for installation and startup. Installing Binspector removes the need for workers to climb bins to check for condition issues.
For more information, go to www.gsiag.com.
SafeTrack and GrainTRAC
Tri-States Grain Conditioning, Inc., offers SafeTrack, a wireless grain temperature monitoring system that can be programmed to automatically take temperatures and save them for later viewing. Temperature history reports are available, and each bin can be set to specialized parameters to accommodate various crops, allowing temperature readings to be taken in minutes.
The system uses line of site radio communication between bins and the base transmitter to monitor temperatures from temperature cables installed in the bins. Power is required at the transmitter location on the bin and may be run manually or automatically, locally over the network/Internet for anytime, anywhere monitoring.
GrainTRAC is a remote bin monitoring system that uses a cell phone modem to transfer data from the TSGC temperature cables to a website. Producers login with a username and password to a website where they can view graphical and numerical temperature displays. History reports can be printed out, as well.
Requirements for GrainTRAC include temperature cables, cell phone coverage at the bin site and electrical power. An annual access fee is charged for the website.
For more information, contact TSGC at 800-438-8367, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.tsgcinc.com.
OPI-integris Advanced Grain Management
OPI-integris Advanced Grain Management is available to proactively monitor and control temperature, airflow and moisture content of stored grain. IntegrisBasic offers monitoring and alarm applications, while IntegrisPro offers fully automated control of storage conditions and energy use. The Pro version also has accurate equilibrium moisture content calculation and better temperature and moisture control strategies.
Both systems have a graphical interface with visual displays of all the storage aspects. An auto-delete function automatically removes sensors above the grain surface and provides an option for continuous level monitoring for inventory management. The Integris system offers accurate, real-time monitoring of grain with the ability to precisely condition grain to specific moisture and quality targets, allowing producers to reduce storage energy costs. The system allows for improved moisture control to sustain peak grain condition over an extended period of time.
For more information, call 877-653-8350 or go to www.advancedgrainmanagement.com
The StorMax system from OPI-integris offers several products for monitoring stored grain. The system starts with temperature-monitoring cables installed in bins. Insector Pest Detection System can also be installed and connected to the temperature cables. The Insector system provides real-time monitoring of insect activity, with each insect tracked by species, time and temperature.
A handheld monitoring system can be paired with the temperature cables for fast and easy data collection for a year’s worth of readings. The display on the handheld unit will show four sets of readings at a time or graphic formats.
Data from StorMax can be uploaded from the handheld unit to your PC using the handheld unit. All data on the handheld unit can be stored, displayed and emailed from your PC. Multiple bins can be connected so only one handheld unit is needed.
OPIGIMA/C software reads StorMax devises and continually monitors temperature cables, Insectors and other field devices from the PC. Data is stored and alarms sound when conditions exceed pre-set limits. Software to automate control of aeration, heaters and ventilation fans is also available from OPI.
For more information, call 800-661-1055 or go to www.advancedgrainmanagement.com.