Innovation Profile –
Introducing innovative solutions for on-farm grain drying, storage
An idea from an Iowa State ag engineering course sparked new technologies that are helping growers preserve the quality of their harvested crops and reduce energy use.
An idea in an Iowa State University agricultural engineering course sparked the innovative technologies that are now helping growers across the United States preserve the quality of their harvested crops and reduce energy use.
Just two years after the initial discussion, Ames-based Haber Technologies was founded to develop and commercialize a unique grain aeration and management solution for on-farm grain storage bins. The company now sells it DRI-Stack® air delivery system and Auto-Bin remote monitoring systems to farmers in 10 states to more efficiently and effectively dry and store harvested corn, soybeans, wheat, walnuts and more.
Co-founders Eric Harweger and Dillon Hurd developed the DRI-Stack system which includes a series of stacked air tubes with valves to direct airflow to specific locations within a grain bin. The first system prototypes were installed on three farms in 2019. In 2020, they built custom circuit boards, an IoT platform and proprietary modeling and control software and expanded their network of test farms. The system was launched for commercial sale in 2021.
“The DRI-Stack system can be installed in an existing grain bin setup and can save time, money and peace of mind during the busiest time of year for a farmer,” said Dillon Hurd, co-founder and president, Haber Technologies. “It is the only in-bin drying solution available for farmers today.”
Because the system can dry grain harvested at 23 percent moisture, farmers can harvest crops two to three weeks earlier, helping manage time constraints during harvest. It also reduces energy costs by up to 40 percent compared to conventional drying systems.
Haber Technologies has grown to about 25 team members and the decision to build the business in Ames has benefited the young company in a number of ways.
“The pipeline of high-quality talent coming out of Iowa State University has been instrumental to the success of our business,” said Eric Harweger, co-founder and chief technology officer, Haber Technologies. “We provide both internship and full-time opportunities for students with expertise in agriculture, engineering and customer success.”
A central Iowa location also provides access to customers, researchers and potential partners.
“The grain science expertise and deep agricultural ecosystem that exists in central Iowa has really set us up for success,” said Hurd.
Haber Technologies has also focused on providing solutions that farmers can manage remotely, whether in the combine, truck or office or on their phone or computer.
“The Auto-Bin system also gives farmers remote monitoring over their bin 24-7 and enables them to control their fans and see energy-use metrics from their phone or computer,” said Hurd. “In addition, all our products come with a dedicated crew of remote bin site support to help farmers with all their drying and storage questions and support while they are busy in the field.”
As sales increase, the company has plans to expand their facilities in Ames to keep up with production. The company is also developing specific applications of their technology for seed production, larger grain cooperatives and additional crop types in production around the country.
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