FAQ’s – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The AgraTronix Customer Service Representatives compiled a listing of some of the most frequently asked questions farmers and ranchers have when installing and maintaining their Hay and Grain Moisture Testers and Power Wizard fence chargers.

Hay & Grain Moisture Tester Questions and Maintenance

01210 Portable Silage Moisture Tester

QUESTION: My silage has some foreign matter in it. Does it matter if it’s there?
ANSWER: Yes, it does matter. To get an accurate reading, be certain your test sample is free from dust and foreign matter.

QUESTION: My silage has been in the wagon, and the silage on top is much dryer than on the bottom. Should I mix them together to test?
ANSWER: No, do not mix material that is obviously very dry with similar material where the bulk is much wetter. On fresh chopped silage, do not delay the test more than 30 minutes. Do not attempt tests on silage where fermentation or heating has taken place, or where mold has started to form.

QUESTION: Can I test grain in my 01210 Silage Tester?
ANSWER: Yes. Follow the instructions in the Owner’s Manual for testing grain. The moisture testing range for grain is 10% to 47% moisture.

QUESTION: What is the moisture testing range for silage?
ANSWER: The testing range for silage is 30% to 75% moisture.

07100 DHT-1 Portable Hay Moisture Tester

QUESTION: My tester always reads 14.5%, how do I know if the moisture is reading properly?
ANSWER: The DHT-1 tester’s lowest moisture reading is 14.5%, but to check the unit to see if it is calibrated correctly, put a piece of foil around the tip of the probe and push the moisture button. If properly calibrated, it will display 45%. If you still get 14.5%, please call customer service and send unit for repair.

QUESTION: Should I take multiple readings in my bale and average them?
ANSWER: No. Take readings in at least five places in the bale and use the HIGHEST reading as a guideline. Do NOT average the results. If one reading is over the recommended moisture content, do not bale.

QUESTION: Should I place the probe in the wound end of the bale?
ANSWER: No. Do not insert the probe into the wound end. If inserted in the wound end, the probe tip could end up in between the hay wraps and not have sufficient contact to produce an accurate test reading.

07120 HT-PRO Portable Hay Moisture Tester

QUESTION: Why does the tester display 99.9 during calibration?
ANSWER: If the tester displays 99.9 at any time during the calibration process, this indicates an error has occurred. Try repeating the calibration procedure.

QUESTION: Can use the HT-PRO to test hay in the windrow?
ANSWER: The manual for the HT-PRO gives instructions for testing hay in the windrow using the HT-PRO, but this reading should be used as a guideline only. For accurate results when testing hay in the windrow, use the Windrow Hay Moisture Tester. This tester is specifically designed for this purpose and will give you a much more accurate reading.

QUESTION: Where is the ON/OFF switch?
ANSWER: The HT-PRO does not have a specific ON/OFF switch. Press any button and the HT-PRO will turn on. The HT-PRO turns itself off automatically when not in use.

07140 WINDROW Portable Hay Moisture Tester

QUESTION: Can I use the Agratronix Windrow Hay Moisture Tester to test baled hay?
ANSWER: No. The Windrow Tester has been specifically designed to test windrow hay that has been placed in a 5-gallon bucket. To test baled hay, use a product designed for this purpose, such as the Agratronix HT-PRO Hay Moisture Tester with Calibration Clip.

QUESTION: How much hay should I put in the 5-gallon bucket?
ANSWER: Measure 10” from the bottom of the bucket and mark it. Fill the bucket and compact the hay until the compacted hay reaches the rim of the bucket. This ensures that the tip of the tester will not be any closer than 3 inches to the bottom of the bucket.

QUESTION: Should I only test hay from the top of the windrow?
ANSWER: No. Hay on the top of the windrow may be considerably drier than hay on the bottom. When filling the bucket, grab hay from both the top and bottom of the windrow and thoroughly mix in the bucket.

QUESTION: Does the windrow tester only measure moisture at the tip of the probe?
ANSWER: No. The windrow tester takes a moisture reading from the dish and from the probe, and automatically averages that reading, which is displayed on the readout. The actual area measured is about the size of a small soccer ball.

07100 BHT-1 Portable Hay Moisture Tester

QUESTION: On which side of the baler should I mount the sensor?
ANSWER: Mount the sensor on the uncut side of the chamber. Readings from the cut side of the bale will result in greater variations and overall higher readings.

QUESTION: How do I turn the moisture tester on?
ANSWER: Press the moisture button to turn the unit on. The moisture button is the button with the drop of water above it.

QUESTION: The unit will not turn on. What could be wrong?
ANSWER: If the unit will not turn on, it is not getting power. Check power cord installation and connectors. Check 2 amp fuse on power cable and replace, if necessary.

QUESTION: The meter is displaying 00.0 at all times. What happened?
ANSWER: There is an open circuit between the display module and the sensor. Check that the cable is not damaged and that the connector is plugged securely. The connector may be corroded and need replacing.

08155 MT-16 Portable Hay Moisture Tester

QUESTION: I lost my cap, can I buy a replacement?

ANSWER: Yes. To order, call our AgraTronix Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-821-9542.

08125 MT-PRO Portable Hay Moisture Tester

QUESTION: How many grains does the MT-PRO test?
ANSWER: The MT-PRO has over 40 grain scales: alfalfa, barley, beets, buckwheat, canary, purple clover, white clover, high moisture corn, low moisture corn, dactyl, fescue, flax (linseed), lentils, millet, mustard, navy beans, oats, Spanish peanuts, fodder peas, green peas, yellow peas, phleum, white popcorn, yellow popcorn, rapeseed (canola), long rice, medium rice, rye, rye grass, safflower, sorghum (milo), soybeans, sunflower, striped sunflower, triticale, wheat durum, hard red spring wheat, hard red winter wheat, soft red winter wheat, white wheat, and yellow lupins.

QUESTION: My native language is Spanish. Will I be able to read the Operator’s Manual and operate the tester?
ANSWER: Yes. The Operator’s Manual is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Italian and Portuguese. The MT-PRO Moisture Tester can be changed to operate in Spanish, as well as a choice of English (default), German, French, Italian, Swedish or Portuguese. If your manual does not have Spanish (our older versions did not include other languages), please call our AgraTronix Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-821-9542 and request a new manual. We can email you a PDF or mail you a printed version. You may also download the current version by visiting the product manual link.

08160 Corn Stove Portable Moisture Tester

QUESTION: Can I use the Corn Stove Moisture Tester to test other grains besides corn?
ANSWER: No. The Corn Stove Moisture Tester has been specifically designed and calibrated to measure the moisture in corn only.

QUESTION: What moisture percentage should my corn measure?
ANSWER: Most corn-stove manufacturers recommend a corn moisture percentage of 15% or less. Corn with a higher moisture content does not burn as efficiently (meaning heat loss), and corn with a higher moisture content an cause damage to the corn stove or impede proper corn stove operation.

20100 Moisture Match Portable Grain Moisture Tester

QUESTION: What makes the Moisture Match different from the MT-PRO? They look very similar.
ANSWER: While the outside case of the Moisture Match and the MT-PRO may appear similar, the Moisture Match includes more features:
1. The LED screen is larger and provides you with more information.
2. It displays the running average of your tests, as well as the last six test results.
3. The test cell is much larger than the MT-PRO’s and provides a more representative sample.
4. The Moisture Match also features a computer interface for updating moisture scales and software upgrades.

QUESTION: Where is the TEST button?
ANSWER: There is no TEST button. The tester automatically determines when to take the reading as the cap is screwed on.

07160 BHT-2 Where to Mount Sensor Pads

QUESTION: Where Do I Mount BHT-2 Sensor Pads?

ANSWER: Sensor pad is mounted in the tailgate. Make sure the second one is directly across from it on the opposite side.

This sensor pad is mounted on a flat spot 12″ up the sidewall of the bale chamber. Mount the second pad directly across from the first one but on the opposite wall.

Power Wizard Fence Charger Installation Questions and Maintenance

Why is the ground system important in electric fence?

The ground system completes the circuit during operation. The output pulse travels down the fence wire into the cow touching the wire then into the soil under the cow’s feet. And then through the soil back to the ground system, which completes the circuit. A completed circuit causes a noticeably unpleasant shock that creates a psychological barrier that trains your cattle to stay away from the fence.

How do soil conditions affect my fence operation?

Soil conditions vary throughout the year. During the spring, the soil conditions may be wetter than in the middle of summer. As the moisture level of the soil decreases, the soil becomes more resistant to electrical flow and more ground rods may be needed to ensure proper fence operation.

Do I need to bring the wire from the end of the fence back to the output or “hot” terminal?

No, you do NOT need to bring the wire from the end of the fence back to the terminal. A properly installed ground system completes the circuit when the animal touches the fence, without the fence wire connecting to the fence energizer at both ends.

How can I protect my fence energizer from lightning damage?

You can protect your Power Wizard fence energizer by installing a lightning arrestor, a lightning choke and a surge protector (on AC plug-in models). Always install at least one more ground rod for the arrestor than the amount of ground rods used for the energizer ground system. The extra ground rod makes the arrestor ground more attractive to the lightning. For effective use, ensure that the arrestor ground rods are a minimum of 50 feet from the energizer ground system. See the Power Wizard manual for more details.

What is the best way to monitor my fence performance?

The best way to monitor your fence performance is to use a DVM (Digital Volt Meter) designed for exclusive use with electric fencing. This allows you to monitor the voltage levels on the fence that will alert you to changes in the fence condition. Without a DVM, you may only notice the fence condition has deteriorated when your cattle are able to penetrate the fence.

I have no voltage of the Power Wizard fence charger?

To test the model, disconnect the unit from the fence. With an insulated screwdriver, lay the screwdriver across one terminal then across the other terminal. If you see a spark, then the unit is putting out voltage.

Another way to test the voltage is with a DVM (Digital Volt Meter) designed for electric fences. In order to see a spark, you must create a small air gap to allow the spark to “jump or arch” from the tip of the screwdriver to the opposite terminal. The size of the spark will vary depending on the size of the unit, the screwdriver material and the relative humidity in the air.

When I touch the fence I receive no shock. Is the energizer working?

We never suggest touching any kind of electric fence. However, should you come in contact with the fence, the reason you may not experience a shock is that your shoes may act as an insulator, protecting you from electric shock. We suggest you purchase a DVM (Digital Volt Meter) designed for electric fences so that you can safely check the voltage.

Why does my ground system need to be 25 feet away from any metal sided buildings and 75 feet away from any buried telephone lines and buried water lines?

The reason your ground system needs to be 25 feet away from metal buildings is that your fence may pick up stray voltage. This is evident if your fence receives pulsing shocks from water tanks or if you can hear the pulse of the fence controller in your phone, television or radio. If you experience any of these issues, you will need to move your ground system further away from any metal buildings.

How many ground rods do I need?

We recommend using three galvanized ground rods driven into the soil for maximum performance, but depending on your soil conditions you may need to add additional ground rods. If you live in a climate where there is sandy, dry, soil conditions refer to page 21 in the manual to set up a ground return system.

I have a household voltage meter. Can I use that to test the voltage on my fence?

No, household volt meters are designed for household usage. The output voltage of our energizers exceeds the input voltage of most multi-meters, which typically have 600 or 1,000 DC volt limits. We recommend using a DVM (Digital Volt Meter) designed for electric fences.

How do I locate shorts, poor slices, broken wires and faulty insulators?

To locate shorts or broken fence wires, walk the fence with a DVM (Digital Volt Meter) to test each section of fence. If you find a drop in voltage, check that particular section of fence for sliced or broken wires. If you do not have a DVM (Digital Volt Meter,) an alternative is to walk the fence with an AM transistor radio tuned off the station and on high volume. The radio will click louder as you approach an insulator

If you do not find the answer to your question, please don’t hesitate to email or call our AgraTronix Customer Service Representatives: info@agratronix.com or 1-800-821-9542.