Grain Viz: Like an MRI of your stored grain


What if you could take a scan of your grain bin and know the condition of each bushel inside that bin? And what if you could do this even if the bin held 500,000 or even a million bushels? Grain Viz has taken technology originally designed for breast cancer research and brought it to the grain monitoring business and the upshot is, it can do all these things and more.

Paul Card is the president and CEO of Grain Viz. He says this technology is cutting edge for agriculture, but also cutting edge in every other area it is being applied to.

RealAgriculture’s Dale Leftwich spoke with Card recently at Agri-Trade about this new option for farmers, an innovation that was recognized with an award at the trade show.

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According to Card, Grain Viz is very much like an MRI or a CT scan. “We shoot energy through the bin and that allows us to evaluate the moisture content of every individual bushel,” he says.

Because Grain Viz produces an actual image, you can know the moisture content of every level and every corner of the bin, regardless of size. This can give you more confidence when deciding what size of bin to purchase. As Card says, “We get a full 3D image of what’s happening in that bin, and it allows people to buy larger bins because you’re not trying to mitigate your risk by using multiple small bins.”

The imaging provides a scan of current condition of the grain and also allows a farmer to see the impact of any management decision that you might make, such as starting a fan or removing some grain. Card says, “Unlike a lot of systems where you’re taking point readings and trying to make a prediction of how the grain’s going to react if you bring fans on underneath to aerate, we can see in real-time what’s happening.”

It’s remarkable where else this technology is also being used. Card is quite clear that he is serious when he uses the term MRI. “I call it MRI or CT because that is exactly where it came from. This is a technique developed at the University of Manitoba for doing reduced cost, lower frequency (scanning), very much like an MRI or CT scan. The guys there continue to work on breast cancer imaging.”

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