I saw it once in the office and I saw it again at IRRI. The second time, the person who made the low cost instrument possible told us what it is and explained to us how it works.
It is a project aimed to help rice farmers avoid the guessing game of drying their harvest. With this, no more sending the sample to laboratory testing, which is usually not their habit. No more guessing game as to palay moisture content. The more accurate measure can be known in few seconds, a sign whether to continue or stop drying.
The device has a sample compartment equipped with a large screw for crushing grain samples. Analyse by placing sample in a compartment and crushing it with a screw. The moisture content will then be interpreted by led lighting patterns.
1) Red – paddy is wet and needs to be dried (above 14%).
2) Green – paddy is dry enough for safe storage and at optimum MC for milling (12-14%).
3) Yellow – paddy is safe for seed storage (12% or below)
Within the range of 10-16% the moisture content can be determined in 1% increments by observing the lighting patterns of the LEDs. Refer to user manual for more info.
The moisture tester can be used for other crops after proper calibration. Ask help from any nearby laboratory for the calibration process.
You may get the instrument at Nanodevice, www.nanodevice.co, for only 5,000 pesos.