Technology for Grain Bin Safety
There are a number of tasks on the farm that we’d all choose not to do if we didn’t have to. Towards the top of that list would be anything the involves getting into a grain bin. A Nebraska-based company called Grain Weevil has developed a robot to take over many of these tasks for farmers. Ben Johnson is co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer.
Johnson… “Grain bins are hot and dirty and dangerous workplaces. To adequately manage stored grain farmers are exposed to potential falls entrapments , auger entanglements, and long-term conditions such as farmer's lung. On the nearly 450,000 American farms with grain bins, farmers take these risks over 6 million times a year. Grain needs to be managed during the entire storage process, and a farmer with a shovel has always just been the best solution. Unfortunately, this led to 23 entrapment deaths in 2019 alone.”
Johnson says his robot can not only keep farmers out of a grain bin, but also fundamentally change the way grain bins are managed. It scurries across the top of the grain which lets gravity smooth out the walls of the grain and break up the crusts and bridges.
Johnson… “The Grain Weevil addresses two big issues that grain farmers face today. The first is grain bin safety and managing the quality of story. The grain weevil is impacting the quality of stored grain and farmer wellbeing by controlling costs, controlling risks and removing the farmer from the bin.”
Grain Weevil was one of five participants in the recent pitch event put on by AgLaunch an organization that attracts, creates, and grows agtech startups.