Farm Industry News spotted a new trend at this year’s National Farm Machinery Show among companies in the grain drying and storage industry. Many of them have developed solutions for monitoring grain while it drives from anywhere around the farm. Some systems even allow for controlling what’s happening during the drying process from the comfort of your home on a mobile device or computer, eliminating late night trips to the dryer and inefficiencies.

Here we offer a few examples of what was seen throughout the show. If you’re looking to make the drying process easier this fall, these are some technologies to consider for your operation.

Three steps to efficient storage and drying

AgriDry, LLC, was on hand at the show to talk about their grain control solution, which they describe as a three-step process. Their system can be installed on any existing dryer or bin on your farm.

Step one involves installation of the AgriDry grain spreader in the bin in order to create uniform airflow within the bin or dryer. It also eliminates hazards, such as hot spots, bridging, crusting or personal injury from bin entry.

Step two is operating the aeration system with the AgriDry Bullseye electronic controller located on the outside of the bin. The monitor allows an operator to control grain temperature and moisture to allow for consistency throughout drying. And it eliminates inefficiencies such as shrinking, spoilage, wasted energy, stress cracks and condensation.

Lastly, step three is the management of the drying process through the ADLink remote monitoring system. An operator has 24/7 access to what’s happening in their bin or dryer through a computer, or a mobile or tablet device. Settings can be changed remotely, and on-event status alerts keep the operator informed. Data is logged hourly, and multiple users can access that data. The result: Fewer trips to the bin site, elimination of manual monitoring and assurance that grain is drying properly and efficiently. For more information, visit agridryllc.com.

Watching grain from afar

GSI has a dryer control and remote monitoring system available for their grain dryers that they say will make life easier when it’s time to dry grain this fall.

The first component in the system is the Vision Network dryer control, which monitors just about everything that’s happening during drying. A dryer status chart shows grain temperature, moisture in, moisture out, and temperature out, and all that data is logged every minute. The Vision controller has color, touch screen control, a 32 bit microprocessor, a log of all shut-downs, a safety disconnect, a low voltage safety circuit, and other features.

The second component is the WatchDog remote dryer monitor, an optional add-on to GSI dryers. At the show, the company said interest in the system has spiked dramatically over the past year as more growers are using their smartphones and tablets to help them farm more efficiently. The WatchDog system allows a grower to remotely monitor a number of dryer functions on a mobile or tablet device. Moisture, temperature and dryer status can all be controlled from the comfort of home, or anywhere around the farm. For more information, visit grainsystems.com.

Tracking it all

Matthews Company (M-C), which focuses primarily on grain drying equipment, is also on board the remote monitoring train. Called M-C Trax, the technology allows an operator to monitor critical dryer data remotely, including all active alarms, discharge moisture percentage, discharge temperature, mid-grain average, all temperature readings, plenums and more. The information is easily scanned on either a home computer or mobile device.

M-C Trax pulls all that data from M-C’s Pinnacle Lite AccuDry controller located on the dryer. The system has a full color touch screen where all information can be controlled. In order for the remote M-C Trax system to work, a wired internet connection is needed. The company is offering a risk free trial of M-C Tracks, and users can return the system within 30 days if unhappy with the product. Visit matthewscompany.com.

Dryer status via text message

Sukup says the QuadraTouch control system for its tower dryers is rugged enough to withstand harsh environments and is simple to operate for easy start-up. Two options are available for monitoring a Sukup dryer remotely. The first is a GSM phone modem that works with the QuadraTouch display and functions through the GSM cellphone service. A user receives a text message if the dryer shuts down, and can also send a text to receive the dryer’s current status, moisture, unload speed and temperature in a text back. And moisture content, plenum temperature and unload speed can also be adjusted from your cell phone.

The second option is remote monitoring software, which can be installed on a laptop or PC. All data being collected through the QuadraTouch system can be monitored from home on your computer. And as a safety precaution, the dryer cannot be started remotely. Visit sukup.com for more information.