Measuring moisture content in grains
Measuring moisture content in grains does not require a degree or diploma. Anyone can do it. Previously when moisture meters were not a thing, farmers bit into their grains to check for moisture content. A grain that easily breaks when bit into is considered dry, otherwise, it is not.
However, with the advent of technology, agricultural scientists have developed a Grain Moisture Meter device to adequately measure grains’ moisture content which is more effective and efficient.
Methods of measurement
With the introduction of grain moisture meters into the agricultural industry for grain farmers, traditional methods of detecting moisture content have been replaced. Farmers are no longer biting into their grains to check for moisture content. Instead, they have resulted in using more effective ways through other means. Now there are various methods of measuring grain moisture content and these methods are grouped into two;
- Primary Methods: these include weight measurements where grain is weighed for its initial weight. The water in the grain is then evaporated using heated air, while the weight is being monitored for changes until no change is observed. The new weight is then subtracted from the initial weight to get the moisture content. It is often called the microwave or oven method.
- Secondary Methods: these refer to measurements using either electrical resistance or electromagnetic properties. It makes use of the electrical properties of the grain; which is that grain is a conductor of electricity; since it contains water. This method is often used in moisture meters.
Nevertheless, we will focus on the secondary methods of how moisture is measured in grains using a grain moisture meter device.
Using grain moisture meters to measure moisture content in grains
Moisture meters come in different forms. Click here to learn how to choose the right moisture meter for your needs. Some require that you grind the grain to detect the moisture content, others require that the grain is weighed and for others, such as the GrainMate GM-101 by Sesi Technologies, you only have to insert the probe part of the device in a heap or bag of grains.
How to use the GrainMate moisture meter to measure moisture content in grains
- first, insert a battery into the device in preparation for use
- then connect the metal probe to the handheld device by connecting the male connector of the probe’s cable into the female port on top of the device
- now press and hold the power button for two seconds until the LCD turns on
- now select the appropriate grain type you want to measure
- ensure that grains to be measured have been stored in the bag for at least two hours prior. to measure grains while they are still being dried, heap to a height of 50cm
- now insert the connected probe into the bag or heap of grains
- the Grainmate will measure the moisture content of the grains in less than 5 minutes
Thanks to technology, there are various methods to choose from when measuring moisture content in grains. These methods are grouped into primary and secondary methods. Knowing how to measure the moisture content depends on what method and device you are using. The GrainMate moisture meter offers you a simple and fast way to measure your grains’ moisture content and it comes with an app that contains many learning resources. Download the GrainMate App for Android on Playstore.