Farmer-Built Grain Pearling Machine

Progress report for FNE19-945

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2019: $14,748.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2022
Grant Recipient: Weatherbury Farm
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Nigel Tudor
Weatherbury Farm
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Project Information

Project Objectives:

This project seeks to build a small farm-scale pearling machine. The pearling machine will have a theoretical throughput of 1,000lbs of grain per hour.  I will design the machine in CAD so that when I am finished plans will be available for other farmers to build their own pearling machines. Once construction of the machine is finished, I will test it with several different small grains. I intend to figure out the settings to partially pearl grain in one pass and fully pearl grain in 2-3 passes.  I will also work with project advisor Dr. Elizabeth Dyck to get grain that has elevated DON levels and pearl it to different levels. The grain would then be sent out for testing to benchmark the potential for DON reduction.


Pearled grains are used commonly in cooking but machinery doesn't currently exist to do this on a small scale. The goal of this project is to develop a small scale pearling machine that can be run on most farms. Local pearled grains would be a unique value added product.

Lightly pearling grain reduces the cooking time.

Pearling also shows promise as a way to reduce DON content in grains and help farmers be able to market higher DON grains.




Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Dr. Elizabeth Dyck - Technical Advisor (Educator and Researcher)


Materials and methods:

I have designed the pearling machine in CAD (Fusion 360). I have begun fabrication. The base is complete and I am working on the housing for the machine. As I build the machine, I am making blueprints for the individual parts from the 3-D rendering before I fabricate the parts. I have been taking pictures throughout the build process and have begun to assemble a construction manual.

Progress is going slower than anticipated. Last year was hectic as people were home during the pandemic and baking and we ground an amazing amount of flour. This year, in addition to the usual breakdowns we have been busy doing things that didn't get done last year. That is life on a farm!

I plan on working on this project through the winter when there are less demands on my time.

Participation Summary
1 Farmers participating in research

Education & Outreach Activities and Participation Summary

Participation Summary:

Education/outreach description:

I will have a field day and have a page on my website devoted to this project when I am done. This has been very successful with disseminating the information from my previous two SARE projects. I have been contacted by people around the country and globe who are building spelt dehullers and compost turners based on my designs from the SARE projects.


Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.