An innovative wireless system for monitoring the condition of stored grain has been introduced by Farmex, a Reading company specialising in farm energy and control systems.
The system is based on a 2m-long grain lance (right) that will measure temperature and relative humidity and give a calculated moisture content to an accuracy of 0.4%. It is self-calibrating and does not need regular resetting.
It can be used to continuously monitor changes in the grain and transmit the information to a laptop. An alert system can also be incorporated to give an early warning of problems. This can be linked to ventilation controls so remedial action can be started automatically.
The lance is battery operated, so can be moved around without cables causing obstructions. The basic lance costs £215. A simple data capture and charting program can be put together for monitoring farm stores for less than £1500 (excluding laptop), and a more sophisticated logger system would cost £2345. One lance is enough to cover 10sq m (about 100t).