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The Essential Components of a Yield Monitor

Food and Beverages | Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Yield monitors are an integral part of a large number of site-specific management schemes.

FREMONT, CA: Yield Monitoring is a component of precision agriculture that enables farmers to make informed decisions regarding their farms. Yield monitors are a relatively recent discovery that enables farm equipment such as combined harvesters or tractors to collect a wealth of data about grain yield, moisture levels, and soil qualities. Due to the wealth of information provided by yield monitors, farmers are much better equipped to judge factors such as when to harvest, fertilize, or seed, the effects of weather, and much more. Yield monitors operate in three relatively basic steps: grain is harvested and fed into a grain elevator equipped with sensors that measure the grain's moisture level. Following that, more sensors monitor the grain yield as it is transported to the holding tank. As both of these sensors operate, data is transmitted to the driver cab and displayed on a screen; additionally, the data is geo-referenced, allowing it to be mapped and further analyzed at a later time or date. There are numerous advantages to farmers using yield monitoring equipment, but one of the primary advantages is providing farmers with reliable and often geo-referenced data on their fields. A farmer can better understand crop output and related data to prevent potential hazards or capitalize on potential opportunities.

Additionally, a yield monitoring system enables farmers to export data to a personal computer, making it available in various formats, including on equipment displays, at home, or printed. 

Additionally, a farmer can use specialist computer software in his or her home or workplace to assess and better understand the recorded data. Yield monitors may track grain on a field-by-field or load-by-load basis, which provides the farmer with great flexibility and fast information on the load they have gathered.

Yield monitors vary in their design; however, the standard pieces of equipment are utilized in the yield monitoring process. These sensors are critical components of the yield monitoring process since they contribute to the farmer's knowledge base and provide more accurate results when collecting data.

Mass Flow Sensor: A mass flow sensor is a sensor that assists the yield monitor in establishing a grain yield measurement by providing sufficient information. The mass flow sensor is attached to the top of a clean grain elevator via a load cell. When grain is fed through the combine, it finally comes into contact with this load cell, which converts it to an electrical signal communicated to the yield monitor. The yield monitor uses this reading to determine the amount of grain being taken into the combine at any one time. This sensing technique is prevalent, although there are other variations on the same technique.

Humidity Sensor: Knowing the moisture content of harvested grain can be crucial for a farmer, especially when harvesting, storing, and drying crops. When farmers take these moisture measures, they may more accurately determine the market worth of their crop. The moisture sensor works by moving the grain between two conductive surfaces that detect the amount of charge the grain can store, called capacitance. The moisture sensor can be mounted in various locations, and it is an integral part of the yield monitoring process.

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