Farmers could soon have a better, cheaper way to monitor conditions in their grain bins thanks to work being done at PAMI. Bolt FM announcer Jonathan Charlton spoke with research scientist Joy Agnew for the details.

The problem: Grain storage monitoring is critical for producers to help reduce the risk of spoilage during storage, Agnew said. “We’ve been doing a ton of research on things like natural air drying and best management practices for that, but it all comes down to what kind of information you have about the actual condition of the grain.”

Because grain is such a good insulator, however, a typical sensor on a cable can only monitor the temperature and moisture of a relatively small area. More advanced 3D scanning technology is too expensive to be viable for all but the largest bins. Her team wondered about a cost-effective way to better monitor smaller bins.

The solution: The proof-of-concept looks like a large egg. It’s a sensor in a protective casing that’s able to transmit real-time environmental data, including air flow, over wifi, and the idea is to have multiple sensors free-floating in the grain bin. Down the road, the sensors could be programmed to automatically activate environmental controls in the bin, Agnew said.

The team made the egg with existing, off-the-shelf technologies, Agnew said. “This is two months in the making. So it’s not like we spent years and years developing this. This was, ‘hey, do you think you can do this?’ ‘Sure, why not, let’s give it a try.’”

What’s next: Agnew plans to demonstrate a prototype at Ag In Motion on July 19th. Already it’s an impressive device, able to transmit the conditions at PAMI after setting up a quick wifi connection on your phone. Assuming the need for the product is sufficient, or the air flow sensor proving to be as important a feature as Agnew thinks, the sensor could be available to the public within two to three years, she said.

More Local News

Quilt Presentation To GoFundMe Initiators

During a time of need where no one knew what to do next, two individuals had an idea, they never thought it would become something so large. Sylvie Kellington and Cailin Hergott just wanted to find a…

Moose Jaw Gives Bench To City in Memory of Broncos

Even eight months after the crash, support still continues to pour in across the province after the bus crash on April 6th. On December 13th, the City of Humboldt and the Broncos organization were…

A Breakfast For The Better

A pancake breakfast was organized to benefit a family in need. The Knights of Columbus raised funds for the Shabatoski family at the St. Augustine Parish Hall on Sunday and money was also raised for…

Harpauer to Have Competition for Humboldt/Watrous MLA Position

The current MLA for the Humboldt and Watrous areas constituency, Donna Harpauer, will have some competition for her position in 2019. Before the next provincial election on October 26, 2020, each…

Visit To Pinehouse Misunderstanding With Harpauer

Saskatchewan's Finance Minister and Humboldt/Watrous MLA, Donna Harpauer, had a misunderstanding at a Pinehouse accommodation two years ago. Donna Harpauer and her partner visited Pinehouse,…

Social Workers Host Hotdog Roast and Winter Fun

The Social Workers of Humboldt are hoping to donate to a great cause, as well as get their name into the public eye. On Monday, December 17th, at the Regional Campground, for just five dollars…

Humboldt Public School Hosts Third Annual Santa's Workshop

The third annual Santa's Workshop at Humboldt Public School was held last Friday. During the school hours of December 14th, students had the chance to bring in their gently-used toys and items to…

Final Blood Donation Clinic of 2018 In Humboldt

The final blood clinic in Humboldt for 2018 has wrapped up. On December 17th from 2 to 7 PM, at the Jubilee Hall in Humboldt, about 160 donors in the area donated blood to those in need. Mike Fisher,…

Sensitive Santa Visits Humboldt And District Community Services

A sensitive Santa made an appearance in Humboldt on Saturday. The Humboldt and District Community Services hosted a sensitive Santa from 2-3 PM in their office. A total of 11 children visited with…

Christmas Angels A Huge Fundraiser For HDHF

The Humboldt District Hospital Foundation is hoping to have their wishes granted this holiday season. At the end of November, the Humboldt District Hospital Foundation (HDHF) sent out letters to all…

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login