Agriculture Industry News

Aaron in Illinois

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20161205_102523Aaron has a smaller 1610 Grain Handler dryer that he uses to dry about 200,000 bushels of oats and corn. He has now had his DM510 for 2 seasons and uses the Dryer Master moisture sensor chute with a rotary feed which helps provide a consistent flow of product past the outlet moisture sensor.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?

I had not heard anything about Dryer Master but my bin dealer and the Grain Handler folks recommended it.

How does the Dryer Master change the way that you dry, or help your drying operations from an
operational perspective?

It allows me to be a little freer to do otaaron-1her tasks.

How often do you typically calibrate your outlet moisture sensor?

All throughout the first day, then if it is staying close to the bench tester, just once a day.

How much difference does it make to have real time moisture information versus having to go out and take a sample?

A lot. I’m able to check the moisture of the dryer discharge no matter where I am.

aaron-2Do you use DM-Mobile for remote access.

Yes, I use it on my smartphone all the time, day and night.

Ryan in Ontario

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Dorssers dryerRyan has been a Dryer Master user since 1999. The first Dryer Master installed was a DM500 model and it went in at their then only drying location. In 2009, with the construction of a new facility at a new location, two Dryer Master DM510s were added for their Dorssers dryer. (For those unfamiliar with the Dorssers dryer it is an Ontario made dryer that you can see at quite a few locations around Southern Ontario.) In Ryan’s case each Dryer Master controls 1/2 of the dryer and so you can have the two sides running at different speeds. Combined, Ryan dries around 750,000 bushels of corn a year.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?

The ease of controlling the dryer and improving the output consistency for storage. We also liked the idea that you could run it in an automatic mode which allowed us to focus time on other areas of the business during harvest.

file-2016-09-29-10-18-28-amHow does the Dryer Master change the way that you dry, or alter your drying operations from an operational perspective?

When operating the Dryer Master, patience is key. You have to have trust in the system to follow the targets that you set out to achieve. It allows you to focus on other areas of operations during the peak time and yet have faith that the targets will be met.

Did anything surprise you about how your Dryer Master worked when you first used it?

It takes a bit of time to have faith that the targets will be met. At the conclusion of the year, it is surprising how close the targets are met when the final report is generated. This goes to show that corrections are made throughout the drying season and in the end you achieve what you had set as a goal going into harvest.

file-2016-09-29-10-18-14-amWhat drying tips (if any) would you like to pass on to other dryer owners about how to get the most out of their dryer and/or their Dryer Master?

Patience is key, give the DM time to learn the characteristics of the grain and it will meet your requirements. Keep an eye on all the moisture pods for blockage as this can give false readings.

How often do you typically calibrate your outlet moisture sensor?

We calibrate quiet often and likely too much.Every half hour if we have issues. On average we likely calibrate every 1.5 hours. When things are busy every 2-4 hours. It is nice to be able to go to the screen and know that the physical product is accurate to what the reading is giving you.

Pete in Michigan

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Pete is a long time Dryer Master user. He bought his first two Dryer Master systems (DM150 models) way back 1996, one for an older Delux dryer and one for a Redex. He currently has two DM510 models, one on a 2014 model Delux DPX16GT dryer and the other on an older Meyer 2000 bu./hr. dryer. He uses them for drying over 2 million bushels a year of corn, soybeans and soft red wheat.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?

I was unhappy with our drying results. We would over dry and also under dry. Also we had acquired another location where the drying was even more erratic due to varying corn moistures and an inability to control the dryer.

Did anything surprise you about how your Dryer Master worked when you first used it?KIMG0181.jpeg

Yes it would adjust the speed when we did not think it should but it was correct and the dry corn coming out of the dryer was much more stable.

Have you found a financial difference in your drying performance using Dryer Master? In what way?

Yes we can ship corn right at the target level of moisture that we want to. The over drying of corn costs much more than most people realize. Also we dry wheat to ship to flour mills that have strict moisture requirements.

What drying tips (if any) would you like to pass on to other dryer owners about how to get the most out of their dryer and/or their Dryer Master?

I would stage corn in a wet bin and run air for two days then dry it. This means more wet storage and then drying 24 hours a day when you start to dry. The longer we run the dryer the better job we do.

Any other KIMG0168.jpegadvice or comments you would like to pass on?

p22.jpgWe have tried three different dryer controllers that were dryer manufacturer based and the Dryer Master simply works better in my opinion. The experience that they have with other industries and other products gives them much more knowledge than just about grain drying.

 

 

DM-Mobile from Dryer Master: Adding mobility and peace of mind to your drying season.

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DM-MobileDM-Mobile brings true real time remote moisture monitoring and drying control to the grain industry.

Now your moisture and drying information can be easily accessed through your web browser on your smart phone, tablet or PC. There is no app to run. Just open your browser and go to my.dryermaster.com and log in to your Dryer Master DM510*

With DM-Mobile you can view real time moisture and drying information (including alarms) as well as up to 24 hours of historical data. You can also even make changes to moisture and rate set points all directly from your browser. Now you no longer always have to be close to the dryer to know what’s going on.

Why not try out DM-Mobile at my.dryermaster.com (log in: demo, password: demo). If you are not yet familiar with the DM510 you might want to take a minute to read the help page for a quick run down of DM-Mobile’s features.

To help promote this valuable new feature Dryer Master is adding DM-Mobile as a standard component to its industry leading DM510 computerized drying control systems at no additional charge for 2014.

If you would like to learn more about the DM510 and how it can add profits and peace of mind to your next drying season why not check out our product page on our web site or one of our DM510 training videos on our YouTube channel, or even better give us a call at 1-888-318-0009 (toll free in North America) or at 1-519-725-4700.

* requires connection of DM510 to an internet enabled router

Drying the traditional way

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Sun dried coffee beans
Sun dried coffee beans
In the last post we described a visit to an organic coffee cooperative in Guatemala. In addition to the economic lessons we drew from the cooperative experience, we also saw how drying often happens in a developing economy.

At La Voz there is no need for a Dryer Master computerized drying control system at this time because the cooperative does not even have a coffee bean dryer. This is a situation that is mirrored in many smaller scale operations in the developing world for a whole variety of crops. The cooperative’s coffee is all sun dried in an open area right next to where it is washed and cleaned.

The actual harvest extends over a long period running from November to March, which coincides with the dry season in the region. During this period rainfall is almost unheard of and the cooperative can take advantage of almost constant day time sunshine to dry the beans outdoors on a drying pad, a process that takes about 5 days. As the harvest occurs over an extended period it is possible to use a relatively small area to dry all the beans harvested.

Once the beans are dried they are hand sorted by women from the cooperative, to ensure that the ones headed for export are top quality. The beans are then bagged in burlap sacks and shipped to the capital where they are processed to remove the parchment skin and then repacked for export from the Pacific Coast to the end customers in Japan, California and Alaska.

High altitude organically grown coffee

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Over the years we have seen a continued rise in the average farm size in North America, yet in many parts of the developing world there are still many small farmers trying to eke out a living on quite minimal acreage. Recently we had the opportunity to visit a coffee cooperative in Guatemala to observe how they are handling the challenges of global markets in the face of small individual land holdings.

Coffee Plants
Coffee Plants at 5,000 feet

The La Voz Cooperative is located in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala. All together 150 families are part of this small 33 year old cooperative that produces organic coffee for export. On average each family has only 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of land from which to make a living. They farm Arabica coffee organically at an altitude of over 5,000 feet with 60 per cent shade using trees like banana and avocado to provide the shade cover. They also harvest the bananas for personal use and try to sell the avocados outside the area to earn some additional cash.

In a good year the cooperative, which maintains a basic processing facility, is able to process and sell 5 container loads of export quality coffee beans. They have just 3 customers, one in California, one in Alaska and one in Japan that buy 95% of the coffee they produce. The remaining 5% is kept to be sold locally, especially to visitors to the cooperative. The cooperative is an interesting example of how small growers with minimal land holdings in a developing economy are able to access an export market for their specialty crop.

Of course there is no doubt that the quality of the coffee also helps. Coffee grown at over 5,000 feet is referred to as “very high altitude” coffee and it is known that as altitude increases the coffee’s flavour profile becomes more pronounced and distinctive. Add in the impact from the region’s volcanic soil and we can attest that the La Voz coffee definitely delivers a lovely coffee drinking experience.

23% increase in corn acreage since 2000

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As we hopefully soon leave the snow behind and head towards planting season it is intriguing to look at how and where the amount of corn planted in the US has grown over the last number of years.

If we look only at the time since 2000, we have seen a substantial 23% increase, and while almost all corn producing states have seen some sort of growth, the size of the increase has varied a lot between states.

The big winners in percentage terms have been Arkansas (up 556%), North Dakota (up 361%) and Mississippi (up 244%). While Mississippi and Arkansas are relatively small producers (around 1,000,000 acres planted in each), North Dakota has become a major producer, now essentially planting the same acreage as Ohio (roughly 3,900,000 acres). It has added a massive 2.8 million acres in just 13 years, with most of that increase being quite recent. This is especially evident in this map which shows the change just from 2006 through to 2012.

In terms of the largest areas planted, Iowa continues to lead with 14 million acres (up14%) followed by Illinois with 12.2 million acres (up 9%) and Nebraska with 10.2 million acres (up 20%). Rounding up the top 6, which together represent about 60% of corn acreage planted are Minnesota (8.7 million), Indiana (6.1 million), and South Dakota (5.9 million).

This map gives a nice overview of the concentration of production, including the extension now up into North Dakota.