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Feed Truck BinTalk Article

The Benefits of Wireless Feed Bin Sensors for Growers and Integrators

August 30, 2023

Headshot of BarnTools COO Jim Ryken

Jim Ryken


For pig and poultry growers, traditional feed monitoring methods have long been the standard, with growers relying on guessing the volume of feed in the bins.

Lee Foos, a swine grower in Ohio, has been relying on old-school methods to measure feed and “beating on the side of the bins” to guess how much is left.

Lee Foos BarnTalk Customer
“It’s a crapshoot,” Lee said. “We’re just shooting in the dark.”

Lee said feed mills sometimes require growers to order at least two days in advance, which can be difficult on weekends and during holidays. “Some companies don’t even want their drivers climbing bins for insurance reasons since they could slip and fall."

As pigs continuously consume more feed as they grow, it’s difficult to determine the exact amount of feed needed at all times. Lee said that coordinating medicated feed for newly weaned pigs can also be challenging, as it requires close monitoring and accurate dosing. The traditional methods of feed monitoring make it difficult to determine how much feed is left in the bin or has been consumed when it’s time to send the pigs to market.

Feed bins used in pig and poultry farms are highly susceptible to extreme weather conditions, as Lee pointed out. In the winter, feed bins and lids can freeze, making it difficult to access the feed. On the other hand, in the summer, high humidity can cause the feed to stick and cake-up in the bins, making it hard to dispense the proper amount of feed. This can lead to feed wastage and additional costs for growers.

Wireless feed bin sensors can provide accurate real-time data on feed levels and consumption, allowing growers to plan their feed orders more efficiently, reduce waste, and avoid costly feed outages.

A study conducted by the University of Missouri found that:
The use of wireless feed sensors led to a 50% reduction in feed waste and a 10% reduction in feed costs.

By enabling real-time monitoring of feed levels and consumption, growers are able to optimize feeding schedules, reduce waste, and improve animal health. As this technology continues to evolve and become more widespread, the benefits to swine and poultry growers will only continue to grow.

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