Agriculture Industry News

How Canada’s Agricultural Edge Is Securing a Strong Future

Posted on Updated on

Canada has the eleventh-largest economy in the world, which means its industries are wealthy and strong—but not without stiff competition from across the globe. While the country has major logging, oil, energy, forest, and mining industries, one undoubtedly sticks out among the rest: agriculture. In the past decade, Canada’s agricultural industry net worth increased by 78 percent, and many outlets credit global demand and innovation as to why the sector is seeing such great success.

Following the second-largest harvest on record in 2012, Canadian exports are driving revenues up for the long term. The global population is growing, which means demands on agriculture are nothing but a positive for Canada—especially as consumers lean toward high-quality, organic, and halal products found primarily in North America.

Canada’s gross output quadrupled in the past five decades because technology, consolidation, and management innovations propelled and expanded the industry. The current exports and imports of the country are valued at between $31 and $41 billion, and as long as the global reliance on the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector increases, there’s nothing but higher numbers in the future.

Dryer Master is a prime witness to Canada’s growth in the agricultural sector. Our headquarters are in Ontario, but our moisture measurement and control technology benefits companies in China and the Midwestern U.S. Since 1983, we have seen a steady growth in companies who need our technology to dry a range of products from coffee beans and grains to pet food and powders. Despite our customers’ rapidly changing technology and processes, our systems can adapt to whatever job they need completed, and we couldn’t be happier to assist the booming industry.

Automation and the Future of Farming

Posted on Updated on


For more than 10,000 years, farmers have kept humanity fed and clothed. And while the basic concept of farming remains the same, the past two centuries as seen industrialization change the face of agricultural. From the tractor, to the combine harvester, to modern fertilizers and pesticides, agricultural has never been shy about innovation.  So it isn’t a shock that the worldwide automation revolution has found its way into the world of farming.

One of the main reasons for the surge in automation is the shift from small family farms to large industrial farms. Thousands of small farms have turned into tens of giant corporate farms. With fewer people cultivating more acres, farmers are demanding modern tools to increase output and efficiency.  This has lead to amazing advances that include using GPS to plant and harvest crops, and grain dryers controlled through your smart phone. It is important to make clear that this automation is not about taking jobs away from workers, but more freeing up those who farm from the ancient sun-up to sun-down lifestyle.

Grain drying is a perfect example of this seismic shift. Before automation, farmers would have to physically visit each grain dryer every couple of hours to measure moisture levels. With modern equipment, like our DM510, once-labor intensive tasks become as easy as looking at computer screen or smart phone. In addition, automation also improves accuracy, which decreases costly damaged crops. If you think about it, automation isn’t just changing output levels and product quality; it is changing the fundamental nature of farming.

So, what is next? It is hard to say, but clearly these first steps into the world of automation have kicked of an exciting new era in agriculture and farming.

Spring Still Waiting for Winter to Leave

Posted on Updated on

Dryer Master Winter to Spring Image

According to the calendar, spring is here again but in many parts of North America, winter refuses to let go. Across the U.S., from Kansas to Texas to New York, this past month has seen temperatures stay in the 20s and 30s making it the coldest March since the late 19th century. As if the record low temperatures were not bad enough for crops, last summer’s drought refuses to abate. More than 80% of Nebraska is experiencing exceptional drought conditions and NOAA is saying that it is unlikely to ease before the middle of this year. These conditions have led to a number of different problems. Because no one knows for sure if there is or will be enough moisture, farmers are buying buy less fertilizer and equipment. Farmers are also planting cheaper seed because there is no guarantee that their crops will even grow. As you might expect the entire industry is having a hard time in Nebraska and other drought stricken areas.

On the flipside, another Midwestern state, Minnesota, is benefiting from the late winter. Unlike Nebraska, Minnesota (as well as Iowa and Kansas) has received a decent amount of snow this winter and early spring. One would think snow would damage crops, but in actuality, a good snow cover often guarantees that crops will have enough moisture to really bloom. Of course, too much late season rain or snow will lead to flooding. In the end, even the areas that survived the drought have something to worry about as spring turns into summer.

All of this uncertainty has the entire agricultural industry on edge. Most experts believe that despite the chaos, 2013 should overall be a good year for grain in North America. Of course, when it comes to weather, there are no guarantees, so everyone in the industry will be watching the maps and forecasts closer than ever.

Recognizing the Threat of Global Water Stress

Posted on Updated on

Since humans first walked the Earth, finding potable water has been the key to survival. Enough water you live, not enough you perish; period, end of sentence.

Even in these modern times, even with new and breath taking technological advances occurring almost hourly, we still are still fighting (sometimes literally) for water. Major research organizations forecast that by 2030, global water requirement may outstrip sustainable use by 40%, almost 50% of the world’s population will be living under severe water stress, and 1 in 5 developing countries will face water shortages. Countries like Australia are facing a future where a complete depletion of aquifers will make a large portion of their country unlivable.

These numbers are staggering and it is more than just finding enough to drink. As the population explodes and moves into major metropolises, the demand for food and water will become overwhelming. Moreover, it is not just about feeding larger populations; it is also a case of the urbanized developing more complex food needs. Just moving from a grain based to a meat-based diet is incredibly water intensive. In fact, this shift requires 10X as much water per kilogram to produce.
Governments and farmers must come together to create a comprehensive grain growth plan that accounts for among other things, geography, weather, water constraints, and regional economic factors.

One was to help, is through proper control of irrigation. This is so important because a great deal of irrigation water is wasted to evaporation.  For example, if you run an industrial irrigator during a sunny day, you automatically lose about 1/2 of the water to direct evaporation.  This eventually leads to mineralization of the soil making the area unusable.   Not running irrigators at inopportune times and doing something as simple as installing proper soil-moisture sensors could raise agricultural water efficiency by 10-15% by reducing waste in irrigation systems.

The entire idea of global water stress may seem overwhelming and it is clear that there are no quick fixes, but at Dryer Master, we believe that if we start making the effort now, future generations will be able to survive and thrive.

Aflatoxin Strikes Again This Summer

Posted on Updated on

This summer’s relentless drought did quite a number on the grain growers of North America. As if that wasn’t bad enough, now it seems as though the entire grain industry, including makers of milk products and crop insurers, are on the lookout for the carcinogen, Aflatoxin.

Aflatoxin is a fungus that forms in grain both before harvest and during storage. Though rarely deadly, it can cause liver damage in humans and animals that ingest it in sufficient quantities.  The FDA has very strict action levels for the level of Aflatoxin present in food or feed – 20 parts per billion for humans and 300 ppb for animal feed. A breaching of those levels will cause the crop to be discounted, destroyed, or slowly blended with clean grain.

So far this year, trace amounts of Aflatoxin have popped up in a small sampling of the harvest. The fungus creeps up in crops under extreme stresses like severe heat and humidity, which usually isolates it to the Southern US. However, because of this summer’s record drought, it is also showing up in the Midwest. While the extent of the outbreak is yet to be established, it is something to be watched closely.

One thing we do know is that proper monitoring is the key to keeping infected grain out of the food supply. For years, Dryer master has been supplying equipment to optimize the performance of your grain dryer.  Our goal is to bring as much product as close to the desired target moisture as possible.

How Happy Are You?

Posted on Updated on

As the premier maker and provider of online moisture sensors and moisture controllers for just about any dryer, we work with some of the biggest names in the grain elevator world. Most of the time, our customers have nothing but positive things to say about our products and customer service, but that is never the whole picture. Don’t get us wrong, it’s always nice to hear from satisfied customers.  That being said, it’s the people we haven’t heard from that interest us the most. Even if you don’t use Dryer Master products in your grain elevator, we are always curious about one issue in particular: are you happy with your dryer and/or moisture system? What about your particular systems could be better? How can we make your life easier, more efficient, and productive?

You see, there is no way for us to stay on the cutting edge of innovation unless we know what our current and future customers want, need, and expect. Our DM510 Dryer Master is a perfect example of how we’ve integrated customer feedback into our design process. The DM510’s ability to communicate with Windows-based PCs came about because Dryer Master was in tune with our customers’ 21st century needs. Nothing beats actually hearing directly from those who use products like ours day in and day out.

Therefore, if you rely on dryers and moisture sensors to make a living, we want to hear from you.  Drop us a line at and tell us everything you like and don’t like about your current system. Don’t worry, we’re not going to try to sell you anything, we just want to check the pulse of our industry!

The Future of Farming

Posted on Updated on

Depending on whom you ask, modern farming began in present-day Turkey and the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. For about 9,850 of those years, farming was a backbreaking, never-ending cycle of plant, tend, harvest, and repeat.  Things got a little easier (a relative term) starting in the mid 19th century with the help of the mechanization that grew out of the Industrial Revolution. Even with the advent of modern machinery, farming was still a sun-up to sundown endeavor. Despite the past ten centuries of relative stasis, it seems as if farming is going through one of its biggest changes. As younger people are taking over family farms, they want to marry the old with the startlingly new. They want to turn farming into a technology-based 9-5 occupation. This might not seem like a big deal to most people who rely 24-7 on their smart phones, computers, and tablets. However, the idea of monitoring crops, soil PHs, and silos remotely completely changes the art of farming. The time-savings alone change what it means to be a farmer. Tasks that might have taken 4 or 5 hours can now be accomplished in a matter of minutes.  It is exciting because it means that many young people, who might otherwise be scared away by the overwhelming demands of farming, will now see it as a viable future.

At Dryer Master, we already feature on-line moisture sensors that allow for remote usage. However, that is just the beginning. Currently we are working hard to make all of our dryers and sensors controllable via the internet. In order to keep up with demands of an exploding world population, farmers need to become one with modern technology. It is an exciting time, and we can’t wait to share with you as our on-line footprint grows bigger and stronger.

Northeast China Plain and Dryer Master

Posted on Updated on

Most of our readers have heard about or maybe even live in North America’s “Breadbasket” region. This fertile area covers a wide swath of both the United States and Canada. From North Texas and Oklahoma, through Iowa and Kansas, running all the way up to Northern Ontario and Southern Saskatchewan, the “breadbasket” has some of the world’s most amazing farmland.  The U.S. alone is projected to have a total grain output of 323 million metric tons for 2011-12."Breadbasket" However, a lot of people in the west aren’t aware of the ever-increasing impact of another grain-growing superstar, the Northeast China Plain. This massive plain covers an area of about 135,000 square miles (that’s about the size of Montana) and has an elevation of lower than 1000 feet above sea level.  This extremely fertile land will contribute heavily to China’s projected 2011-12 grain production of almost 198 metric tons.  Of course, when you have to feed almost 20% of the world’s population (1.3 billion people) it helps to have your own breadbasket.

No matter where grain is produced, Dryer Master is there to make sure it can be stored and monitored correctly.  While we have an impressive presence in our own region, we also play a giant role in China. We have a significant sales force in China, based in cities like Harbin, the heart and key political and economic hub of the Northeast China Plain.  Harbin has some of the most nutrient rich soil in all of China, if not the world, so Dryer Master is there to make sure that nothing grown goes to waste and is monitored with a wide variety of our amazing products, including our industry leading DM510 control system.

If you want to learn more about our services and our involvement in the dynamic Northeast China Plain region you can always call us or send us an inquiry via email.