Delmhorst's well-known meters for hay moisture testing ensure that producers can maximize their profits even in years when yields are down but prices are up. The company recently released its most current innovations for measuring moisture in hay, adding the FX-20 and FX-30 to the best-in-class FX-2000 model that measures moisture in continuous or ‘on-the-go’ mode or, as a handheld device. Part of the new Navigator™ series, the two new models build on the stellar reputation of the F-series hay testers and add new features that ease the management of hay moisture levels. The FX-30 includes Bluetooth® for compatibility with Delmhorst’s EDGE™ App. The app enables meter customization and sharing of data from any location.
Hay Moisture Measurements are Critical to Capturing Crop Value
Current weather events – drought, storms, etc. – have disrupted the nation's hay markets, which have been fluctuating wildly in both price and volume. In 2022, the price of a ton of alfalfa hay was at an all-time high of $277, while the number of tons of baled hay units dropped significantly. The reduction in quantity raises the commodity's value, and capturing that higher rate requires producing an optimal crop. Delmhorst designed its FX moisture meters to ensure hay producers can do just that.
Optimizing Testing Capacities
As Moisture testing of hay requires accuracy and reliability during each production stage:
In the Windrow:
Any of the three FX devices – the FX-2000, the FX-20, or the FX-30 – can be trusted to capture moisture content of loose hay as it dries in the field, before it’s baled. The FX-2000 has a universal socket that fits any Delmhorst electrode. When equipped with the H-4 handle and 831 short-pin probe, the device can accurately measure moisture levels in loose hay, as well as stem moisture.
Monitoring hay moisture throughout the harvest process is a must. Too much moisture in the hay can wreak havoc with equipment, while too little moisture erodes the quality of the product's nutritional value. The Delmhorst FX-2000 is a dual-mode device. It can be powered off of the tractor’s 12v system and monitor the moisture as the hay is being baled. A sensor plate with two electrodes is mounted in the bale chamber, and a cable connects it directly to the FX-2000 meter in the tractor cab. The convenience of continuous moisture readings, coupled with the occasional hand held meter reading to corroborate the difference between the two, ensures you will always know each bale's moisture content, and be alerted to any wild fluctuations.
Once baling is complete, tracking %MC in the bales while in storage is necessary, as well. Bales typically go through a sweating process causing increased microbial activity in the first few weeks after baling. If they are too wet, spontaneous combustion and spoilage are serious concerns. Consequently, the Delmhorst moisture meters for hay are essential for maintaining both the safety and quality of the hay product. To maximize functionality, these meters for hay moisture testing use specially designed prods fitted with material-specific electrodes. The prods are inserted directly into the bale in multiple locations to measure and collect the MC data. Tracking and monitoring the bale’s moisture content before sale or transport ensures both seller and buyer of the optimal quality of the product.
Delmhorst Prioritizes Ease of Use
Delmorst's FX-20 and FX-30 hay moisture meters are part of its Navigator™ series, and their design maximizes user comfort while also enhancing meter performance:
- The ergonomic design of each meter in this series ensures total comfort for the user. At only 10 ounces, the lightweight device's handle nestles comfortably in the palm of your hand, and firm keys facilitate easy touch control. Pushing these meters into even densely packed bales is a breeze.
- The user-friendly interface brings cutting-edge digital resources into the hay moisture testing field. A large, custom back-lit display makes it easy to read the data as it is captured, whether in sunlight or in the darkest corners of the barn or storage facility.
- Users can set their particular moisture level, too. An audible and adjustable alarm will sound when you detect the desired %MC.
- Not least, while in 'continuous' mode, the meter takes two readings every second and displays both the average and the highest of eight accumulated measurements. In 'portable' mode, the device can average up to 100 readings, showing both the average and highest of the collected data set.
The FX-20 is perfect for both large and small hay producers for hay moisture testing in the windrow or any sized bale. It also accommodates existing Delmhorst hay prods and accessories, so you can use the add-ons that you already own.
The FX-30 takes the moisture meter experience to a whole new level by offering the most advanced technology available for agricultural moisture level testing. It measures the %MC in not just hay but also in hops, hemp, tobacco, Brazil nuts, and dates, so producers of multiple crop types can extend its convenience even further.
With its installed EDGE™ App and Bluetooth® connectivity, the FX-30 adds versatility to utility:
- Timestamps and geotags clarify the 'when' and 'where' of each moisture test so you can track your crop data over time and space.
- Data collection with the appliance is easy, and the Bluetooth® capability exports it directly to your records in a CSV format, so its capture is simplified, too.
- Further, while the customized LED ranges precisely track the information you need, the tool's multi-language capacities facilitate its use wherever in the world your agricultural crop might grow.
There's a lot at stake in today's volatile hay markets. You can maximize your hay crop's safety and quality using any of the devices included in Delmhorst's FX Range of hay moisture testing meters. Call us today to learn more.