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Vertec Grain Dryer

The Vertec grain dryer designed and manufactured by George Daugela and the family firm Vertec Industries was made specifically for Canadian crops and climate. Though grain dryers had been developed in North America prior to Daugela’s design, these models were manufactured primarily to accommodate American crops like corn.

The need for grain dryers was well established by decades of Western Canadian agriculture; fall rains often delayed harvest of damp grain while the value of the crop declined due to losses from field rot. Farmers who harvested damp grain faced daunting storage problems, including dealing with losses due to accumulated moisture and grain mold.

The Vertec design was built to be portable, including a hitching mechanism for transport by tractor or grain truck, meaning it could be moved around a farmer’s yard from granary to granary or in the field where the harvest was underway.

The Vertec grain dryer was essentially two vertical grain transport chambers, separated by hot air channels, with a wet grain input auger and a dry grain output auger. The dryer also included a cool air fan which helped cool the dried and heated grain before it was sent to the output auger. The dryer was a continuous flow model, meaning that wet grain could be loaded in at the top and dry grain could be taken from the bottom.

The Vertec grain dryer’s hot air burner was powered by propane heaters, and the grain transport systems were activated by a connection to a tractor’s power takeoff drive. Temperature and moisture monitors let the dryer operator know when the specific moisture and temperature combination for particular grains was reached.

The performance and dry grain output of the Vertec VT 5600 R Grain Dryer was field-tested in 1982 by the Alberta Farm Machinery Research Centre, and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute. The dryer was rated very good for drying wheat, barley, canola and corn. It was rated with a drying capacity of 9.1 tonnes (334 bushels) of wheat per hour, 8.1 tonnes (372 bushels) of barley per hour, and 3.7 tonnes(163 bushels) of canola per hour.

The Vertec VT 5600 grain dryers were approximately 3.1 metres wide and 4.8 metres high; roughly the same size as some recreational vehicles.

In 1991, an American firm, Nebraska Engineer Company (NECO), purchased the manufacturing rights for the Vertec grain dryers. The firm continues to make grain dryers based on the Vertec design.

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