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Device electronically monitors conditions inside grain bins

The GrainSight monitoring and aeration control system allows farmers to use the Internet to monitor and control conditions inside their grain storage structures. Special to The Forum

SHARON, N.D. – Rick Bergenheier has come up with something he believes will help small-scale farmers better manage their stored grains.

It’s called GrainSight, and what it does is electronically monitor conditions inside grain bins while also giving farmers the ability to activate or deactivate aeration systems to achieve optimum quality for stored grains.

All of it is done over the Internet and at a price smaller operators can afford, Bergenheier said,

“You can do it from your phone, or any Internet-connected device,” said Bergenheier, owner of Sharon Electric Motor Repair, which has been repairing motors for area farmers since 1992.

Bergenheier also manufactures embedded control systems, primarily for the paving industry.

He said he developed the GrainSight system after talking to farmers about their frustrations with managing and maintaining grain aeration equipment.

With GrainSight, which costs about $3,000 per bin, a farmer can set the system to automatically alter conditions within storage bins after gauging temperatures inside and outside of the bins.

“You can put it in an automated mode, where you set parameters where it says: ‘Run the fans whenever outside air temperature is at least this much cooler than the average grain temperature,’ ” Bergenheier said.

The automatic nature of the system reduces wear and tear on motors, reduces energy costs and results in better-conditioned grain, he added.

In recent years, a number of fan controller systems akin to the one Bergenheier developed have entered the market and as grain prices have increased, the value of such systems to the farmer has also increased, said Ken Hellevang, agricultural engineering specialist with the North Dakota State University Extension Service.

“What the controller does for us is provide some technology that allows us to do things with less labor and in a different way than we did years ago,” Hellevang said.

More information about the GrainSight system can be found at Bergenheier’s website – at – which is still under construction.

Bergenheier can be reached by calling (701) 424-1602 or (888) 524-1602. He can also be reached by email at: