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How Moisture Meter Calibration and Proper Testing Can Save You From Grain Spoilage

With 30 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry, we understand the critical role that moisture meters play in determining grain quality. Maintaining an acceptable moisture level is one of the most critical elements in successful grain storage. Everyone knows the importance of monitoring moisture and temperature, which is why superior-quality moisture meters are such vital tools. 

Even with the right tools it is possible to run into difficulties that can result in inaccurate readings and cause issues with your grain. Proper calibration and testing can help you avoid some of these potential pitfalls.  


Understanding the Importance of Moisture Meter Calibration


Simply put, if your moisture meter is not properly calibrated then you cannot rely on the readings it is giving you. By calibrating your moisture meter correctly, you can avoid monetary loss and preserve the quality of your grain. 


Calibration


There are two ways of measuring moisture 

  1. In primary methods, the actual moisture levels are measured directly – this is the oven test 

  2. In most cases it is faster and more economical to use secondary methods for moisture measurement. These methods are based on the way moisture affects the physical properties of the grain in question. They require calibration based on samples of that grain measured using oven tests 

The good news: the calibration work has been done for you.  Over the last 40 years, calibrations have been developed for every type of crop grown.  These calibrations will come preloaded into your moisture meter - just make sure you are using the correct one! 


How Moisture Meter Calibration and Proper Testing Can Save You From Grain Spoilage


Insight: Proper calibration and testing of your moisture meter are not just tasks; they are investments in the quality and profitability of your agricultural operations. By taking the time to calibrate your equipment accurately, you are safeguarding your grains from spoilage and ensuring that your harvest remains in optimal condition. 


Use accredited calibration samples


Calibration samples can be obtained from Sinar Technology based on oven testing. These should be used regularly to check that your meter is not varying. 

Keep calibration check samples in a watertight container, with minimum free air space, at an even air temperature. 

Mix each sample thoroughly before testing. Repeat testing of the same sample should give meter readings within ±0.3%. 


Controlling for Variability


It is important to test at least three different samples from different points in your grain store and average the results. Remember, the more samples you take the more representative the readings will be of your grain. 

Pockets of moisture can form because of temperature changes and convection currents, so a good range of samples is critical. Keeping track of where samples were taken can help you pinpoint any issues in your grain storage that might be causing moisture to accumulate. 

Make sure that your moisture meter has full temperature compensation. This negates the need to measure the grain temperature and adjust manually. If some of your grain is hot (from a dryer) or cold, try to allow it to reach a stable temperature before measuring moisture. Grain that is hot or cold may lead to inaccurate readings in some moisture meters. Also, the moisture content can change during the cooling process of freshly dried grain. 


Caring for equipment


While all our moisture meters are built to be stable, reliable, and long-lasting, no piece of machinery is 100% immune to malfunction, and proper care is necessary to keep your tools working for you. 

In addition to checking multiple samples using a given moisture meter, you can test the consistency of your readings by comparing the results of the same sample using multiple meters. If one of your meters is giving you significantly different readings from the others, it should be serviced before it can be considered a reliable source of information. 

Another potential source of inaccurate readings is low batteries. If your meter is stored away without being used for an extended time, remove the batteries to conserve their life. Battery testers are inexpensive and available anywhere. Taking the time to check on the strength of your batteries can save you many headaches from confusing readings. 




Call to Action


Ensure Accurate Grain Moisture Readings 

Remember, accurate moisture measurements are the key to preserving grain quality and maximizing your profits. Calibration diligently and make informed decisions based on reliable data. 










Sinar has been in the business of measuring moisture since 1980, and the decades of expertise show in our products and our many satisfied customers. Have a question about how Sinar meters can help keep your grain supply safe? Get in touch today 









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