For farmers, quickly measuring samples of wheat, barley, soybeans, rice or other products to determine which are ready to harvest reduces uncertainty and saves time. It also reduces risk of buyer rejection due to improper moisture content, and maximizes the sales price by enabling the optimum amount of moisture to be counted toward product weight or volume.

Measuring moisture content is also essential to prepare and store grains to deter spoilage. Although monitoring rainfall, irrigation, and temperature is necessary, it is not sufficient to determine the best time to harvest in order to achieve ideal water content. Inevitably, there is some variation in water content within crops that farmers cannot estimate with any certainty.

“Without periodic testing within various fields or plots, farmers will miss out on optimizing both quality and yield—which produces the payday that they must survive on,” says John Bogart, managing director of Kett US, manufacturer of a full range of moisture and organic composition analyzers.  

Fortunately, accurate, portable, and easy to use moisture meters are now available that help farmers harvest at exactly the right time.

Today, transportable single grain moisture testers can quickly measure the moisture within each grain of rice, barley and wheat. This can be achieved in minutes without sample preparation with results displayed on an LCD screen.

With advanced models like those from Kett, farmers select the calibration, pour a sample in to a hopper and press the “measure” button. Models are factory-calibrated for wheat, brown, polished and paddy rice, as well as naked and standard barley. The devices measure from 10 to 1,000 kernels in each batch, at 150 kernels per minute.

When farmers need to test a wider range of agricultural products, some advanced portable moisture meters use capacitance technology to provide instant measurement with 150 calibrations for common grain and seeds. If greater accuracy is required, Near-Infrared light analyzers are a highly accurate, non-contact, secondary measurement method that can deliver immediate laboratory quality moisture readings. Portable NIR meters do not require contact or sample preparation. The user simply points the instrument at the product and the moisture content is displayed, with results accurate to 0.01% in a 0-100% measurement range.

For more information, call 800-438-5388 or visit

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