Winnipeg company looks to keep manufacturing jobs at home

Nobody can predict our future relationship with China. But long before the current schmozzle, some Canadian businesses had already started putting Canada first and weaned themselves from dependence on China. One of those businesses is the Winnipeg-based technology company 151 Research, the firm that invented and developed GrainViz. Braden Pierce is an engineer and one […] Read more

Bin monitoring system detects everything from heat to humans

The new GrainViz technology is so sensitive, it can identify and trigger alarms when it detects anything from the smallest bug to a trapped human in a grain bin. The latest version of GrainViz technology was unveiled in Winnipeg Dec. 12. At the same news conference, GrainViz co-founder and vice-president Boyd Koldingnes announced that his […] Read more

The GrainBall includes temperature, moisture and CO2 sensors plus a radio transmitter to relay data out to a weather station.  |  GrainViz image/Getty photo

Stay on the ball when storing grain

Not everyone stores grain securely in big well-engineered bins. In many parts of the world, including North America, grain gets piled on the ground, sometimes with retaining rings. And sometimes there’s not even a steel or concrete retaining ring, says GrainViz entrepreneur Boyd Koldingnes. When he and the marketing team were in California recently to […] Read more


North Dakota’s NDAWN forecast network is giving farmers customized weather information.

There’s a better way to predict the weather

Your farmyard weather station is good at predicting weather you’ve already experienced. It predicts history. And your rain gauge is only accurate within a radius of about eight inches. These encouraging words come from Daryl Ritchison, chief meteorologist at the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network called NDAWN. He says your weather station and rain gauge […] Read more

Why do fierce thunderstorms sometimes leave very little moisture on the ground? It’s a riddle that’s puzzled humankind for thousands of years. 
| File photo

Climatologist explains the fickle nature of thunderstorms

Why do fierce thunderstorms sometimes leave very little moisture on the ground? It’s a riddle that’s puzzled humankind for thousands of years. University of Missouri climatologist Neil Fox wanted to solve the riddle. To get at those answers, he turned to a relatively new research tool called dual-polarization radar. Farmers beyond a 30-mile radius (48 […] Read more



Explain it again, Sam

BRANDON — GrainViz engineer Braden Pierce had his hands full at Brandon AgDays explaining the revolutionary new technology that uses radio waves to measure moisture in a grain bin. The easy part was understanding 24 radio transmitter/receivers attached around the circumference of the bin wall. That concept is similar to radar, where a signal is […] Read more

James Nutall applies acute high temperature treatments to wheat at Agriculture Victoria’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.  |  Agriculture Victoria photo

Breeders help wheat beat the heat

Wheat is a cool season crop with an optimal daytime growing temperature of 15 C during the critical reproductive stage. Here on the Prairies, we can see 30 C during this stage. Eighty percent of wheat plants exposed to 30 C during a three-day period around anthesis had abnormal anthers, both structurally and functionally. For […] Read more


The bean weevil larvae bore into a pod and keep eating until there’s nothing left but a hollow shell. The adults then emerge to find another free bean meal.  |  File photo

Stop Evil Kn-weevil dead in his tracks

The bean weevil is an evil little insect that bores into bean pods to devour the meal, thus leaving a hollow shell. It’s happy eating any type of bean seed. The larvae bore into the pods and continue feeding until coming out as adults to infect more seeds. They impact beans in the field and […] Read more

The LevAlert is a simple low-tech non-electronic way of monitoring grain levels while keeping both feet solidly on the ground. Grain pushes against the white canvas tongue on the inside wall. This in turn forces a rod to rotate the bright yellow indicator on the outside wall.   |  LevAlert photo

Latest bin level monitor opts for simplicity in design

The third version of the LevAlert E-Z Eye indicator helps farmers keep both feet solidly on the ground when checking levels in grain bins

FARGO, N.D. — Climbing grain bins to check levels is a nasty and dangerous business, especially at this time of year. Even a secure circular stairway can get icy and lead to accidents. Simple non-digital bin level indicators have been on the market for at least 30 years, but their acceptance by Canadian prairie farmers […] Read more