Combine protein meter monitors grain quality on the move

Tecno Cientifica grain protein meter

© Jonathan Page

Near infrared (NIR) sensors are cropping up more and more in agriculture, with some more tech-savvy farmers and contractors already using them to monitor silage quality on forage harvesters.

Now Argentinian firm Tecno Cientifica is offering a system that allows farmers to keep tabs on grain quality as it comes into the combine.

See also: Deere’s high-tech slurry system allows real-time nutrient analysis

The Grain-Q system mounts on the clean grain elevator and continuously hives off small samples that pass by the NIR sensor.

This is capable of monitoring moisture, protein, starch and sugar and the readings are apparently accurate enough to tally with the instruments used by most mills.

All readings are sent back to a tablet computer in the cab and there is a built-in GPS unit to show you which parts of the field have performed best. It will also keep a record of the average condition of each tank load.

The system costs about £20,000 and is available through Master Farm Services.