The ability to accurately and automatically check moisture content of wet grain whilst it passes through a grain drying plant has long been the challenge for grain drier suppliers. Several manufacturers have in the past attempted to find a solution to this challenge with varying results.
After many years of research and development, BDC Systems Limited now has its own system ready for market.
Using bespoke sampling units designed and developed by BDC systems, grain is taken from the both incoming (wet) elevator and outgoing (dry) elevators on a plant. These samples are then processed through a multi-chamber duct incorporating a Sinar moisture probe specifically designed for this application. Live readings showing the moisture content of both samples in a percentage format are displayed on a screen along with a graph showing the moisture trend. Historical data is also stored in the system’s memory for future reference.
The MMS, as it is known, can be linked in with BDC’s grain drier control panel and the data can be remotely viewed on devices such as mobile phones. The system can be retro-fitted to any grain drying system, subject to a site survey.
Matt Grainge, BDC’s technical manager and head of product development commented: “Following extensive on-site testing at several plants around the country, we are confident that MMS is producing accurate real time data. This information can be used to adjust drier settings which will save money and ensure grain goes into storage at its optimum moisture content. The ultimate aim it to automate the entire process.”
Much of the product development was carried out with the assistance of Benny Smith of Manor Road Farm in Wantage, Oxfordshire. Mr Smith commented: “After 3 years of development work at my grain store, the BDC Moisture Monitoring System has now become a valuable tool during the harvest season. I can instantly see any changes in grain moisture going in to the drier or coming out, and react accordingly. It’s easy to operate and the information is easy to see at a glance. This is what I have been waiting for!”
Kensham Farms near High Wycombe was another of the test sites. Owner Charlie Edgely was hugely impressed saying “It’s absolutely fantastic. It saved precious time during harvest because at a glance I could see which way the incoming and outgoing grain moistures were trending and I could make adjustments to the drier accordingly. Previously, wet samples were taken from the intake pit and dry samples had to be taken from the final destination bunker which could be awkward and time consuming. Everything is now really convenient: we have the sampling point next to the grainstore office and the control screen in the office next to the other grainstore control panels.”