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Vacuum Sampler For Grain Bins
It's important to know moisture content at different locations in a grain bin, but it's often a tough job to sample with a conventional probe when moisture content of the grain is above 20%.
Here's an easier way a vacuum grain sampler that you can make with a few simple, inexpensive materials. Designed by William Peterson, University of Illinois agricultural engineer, it runs on an ordinary shop vacuum cleaner fitted with two 10-ft. sections of 1?-in. dia. flexible hose. The hoses attach to a 3-in. dia. plastic sewer "Y" with a 2-in. dia. elbow and plug. The probe itself is made of 5-ft. sections of 1 1/4-in. dia. steel thin-wall conduit with fittings.
With the vacuum turned on, the probe sucks its way down into the grain. You add steel conduit sections as you go deeper, The grain sample collects in the chamber of the "Y" and can be emptied by removing the plug. More samples can be taken as the probe is pulled up through the corn.
Here's a couple cautions by Peterson: "Be sure the vacuum cleaner will fit through the roof hatches of your bin, and keep the fittings tight on the conduit so you don't lose a section of pipe. It's hard to retrieve from the bottom of the bin."
A sheet of instructions with a sketch of the probe is available from Peterson. In Illinois it can be picked up at county extension offices. Others should send a stamped, self-return envelope to: FARM SHOW Followup, Agricultural Engineering Dept., University of Illinois, 1208 W. Peabody, Urbana, Ill. 61801.

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #6