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The agricultural sector goes digital

Farmers are often seen as being traditional souls, living the simple life. Today, however, agriculture is very much a part of the digital age, and the agricultural sector is increasingly embracing advanced technologies in an effort to maximize, optimize and achieve larger, more predictable and more profitable harvests from the same fields. To do this, it calls for sophisticated machinery to help farmers get the most out of each square metre.

Efficiency is key

It is big business. To market grain in the most efficient way, it may need to be stored over a number of seasons to get the most favourable price. The ability to control the temperature during storage, clean the grain, remove unwanted products, eliminate mould and insect infestation, and monitor each process is critical.

Scandinavian companies such as Skiold, are at the forefront of this digital revolution, exporting total solutions and know-how to the global agro industry in areas such as Western Europe, the Ukraine, Russia, China, Vietnam and Australia via their website www.skiold.com and many are following in their footsteps.

A new generation of equipment and farmers

Grain separators, cleaners, sorters and baggers can be tailored to each customer be they small-scale, individual farmers or large industrial plants. What farmers need are cost-effective, precise, reliable and user-friendly machines that are easy-to-operate and easy to maintain. Today´s seed processing equipment can clean, grade and sort quantities that vary from just a few to several hundred tons per hour. There is a wide range of fully-computerised equipment on the market. Some gravity separators use air flow to separate grains/cereals into two levels, where the lighter grains float on the top level. Others separate grains by weight, using galvanized steel flatbed screens that move in different patterns. Cylindrical separators can be used to separate by seed length – removing broken grains or seeds. These can be operated by touch screen using high resolution CCD cameras – technology which allows the material to be scanned from multiple angles – a far superior method to optimal sorting.

High quality and higher margins

Cleaning machines deliver consistently higher quality grains that germinate better. Consistently higher quality means a higher price in the market. They also remove parasites and reduce dust – reducing drying and storage costs. Mycotoxin-removal machines not only remove Mycotoxin, they also scrub and polish each individual grain, reducing the bacteria and fungi content and optimizing the level of hygiene. All of these machines can also be monitored using fully-integrated digital systems that are accurate, easy-to-read and which eliminate the need for constant manual checks. Using this leading-edge technology, the new generation of farmers can even access and control their drying, sorting, cleaning and monitoring equipment for seed and grain production via smartphone remote access.

What this translates to is higher quality, reduced waste, greater efficiency and thus better prices for seeds – in the long run, good news for producers and consumers alike.

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