Submitting Grain Samples for Grading

It is important to know the grade and dockage of your grain prior to marketing to ensure that you receive a fair price for your grain. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) provides the following grain grading services:

The Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program
The Harvest Sample Program provides unofficial grade and quality results at no charge for most grain, oilseed, and pulse crops.  Samples are submitted at harvest time and results are emailed to the producer.  Producers who have previously signed up for the Harvest Sample Program will receive a Harvest Sample kit annually.  For more information on the Harvest Sample Program or to sign up visit the CGC website.

Producer Request for Inspection Services
Producers that did not participate in the Harvest Sample Program but would still like to receive a grade for their grain can submit a sample to the CGC for a fee.  It is important to submit a representative grain sample as the grade received should accurately represent grain stored in a bin.  Instructions on representative grain sampling can be found on the CGC website.  Once you have a representative sample, complete the request for inspection services form I-106 and send the sample by mail or courier to the CGC Weyburn office for inspection.  Instructions and additional tests available are found on the form.

What steps can be taken when you disagree with an elevator’s assessment of your grain’s grade and dockage?
As legislated under the Canadian Grains Act producers can dispute a licensed primary elevator’s assessment of their grain. If you do not agree with the assessment of your grain at the time of delivery, you can ask that a representative sample of your grain be sent to the CGC for inspection. Payment for your grain will be subject to the inspectors grade and dockage. For more information, visit the dispute your grain grade section of the CGC website.

 

Submitted by Anne Kirk, Cereal Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

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Tips to Marketing Downgraded Crops

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard about the impact of the poor weather conditions over the harvest period on the quality of harvested grain.  With the crop off the field and into the bin, marketing now becomes the focus of many producers.

In the attached article (updated from 2014) by Gary Smart, Farm Management Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, he provides excellent information to cope with downgraded crops.  Some highlights include:

  • When marketing poor quality grain, be prepared and don’t panic, especially right at harvest time.
  • Know the quality and find a buyer who will offer the best value.
  • Take good samples. Without thorough samples, it is tough to know what is actually in the bin.
  • Communicate with the buyer if already some of this year’s crop is already contracted.
  • Unless cash flow is an issue on the farm, being patient could be the best action to take as new markets may arise for poor quality grain.

ARTICLE: Marketing Poor Quality Grain (2016)

For further information, support and resources, contact the Manitoba Agriculture’s Farm Management Team at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/business-and-economics/farm-business-management-contacts.html

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

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What Moisture/Temperature is Recommended Grain Storage?

Submitted by Anastasia Kubinec, MAFRD Oilseed Crop Specialist

Within the first 6 weeks of harvesting grain, bins should be checked regularly for change in temperature, moisture and watching out for spoilage.  After the 6 week mark, sampling and monitoring should still be occurring to ensure grain is at the appropriate temperature/moisture to store long-term over the winter. 

The Canadian Grain Commission has charts available on their website that indicated the proper temperature and moisture of each type of grain.  http://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/storage-entrepose/ssg-de-eng.htm

Continue to monitor your grain over the winter months, until it is shipped to the buyer, to ensure that the quality put into the bin is the quality coming out of the bin!

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Check Your Grain Bins Before the New Year to Reduce Spoilage Issues

Most of the grain/oilseeds harvested in Manitoba in 2012 went into the bin very dry, but also very hot (>28C).  Good news for not having to dry the grain in fall, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the potential risk of spoilage.  There are reports of grain deliveries in December 2012 being slightly heated, or having some other spoilage issues or insect damage.

 As we get colder, a convection cycle starts in the bin, moving the humidity from the  cooling grain downward, into the bin centre and then up to the top of the bin.  During the process, two things can happen that causes spoilage issues. First, at the top of the bin, moisture can condense and accumulate, creating an ideal zone for spoilage and crusting. Second, grain is an insulator and the ‘bin heart’ that is warm with moist air moving in, can continue to heat, forming ‘hotspots’ of heated grain and/or creating ideal conditions for insects.

To avoid this unpleasant discovery, go check the bins before the New Year.  Routine monitoring for symptoms of spoilage (smell, visual signs), checking grain temperature and moisture will help manage the stored grain quality. 

  • Watch for bins that the snow has melted off.
  • Open hatch to check inside. Grain/oilseeds should not smell musty, mouldy or sour and should not have any white or greyish crusting. 
  • Probe the core of the bin and the probe should penetrate the grain easily.  If not, a crust could be forming underneath the top layer of grain or a heated/dense spot may have occurred.

 The practise of taking ‘a load’ out of the bottom of the bin and putting it on top or ‘turning’ the bin is also helpful in moving the layers of grain around in the bin and fracturing the heart to reduce pockets of hot and moist grain.

 

More information on preventing and managing stored grain insects: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/cropproduction/faa06s00.html

Grain Drying and Storage of Damp Grain: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/cropproduction/faa05s00.html

Manitoba Listing of Grain Handling, Storage and Process Technology: http://www.gov.mb.ca/trade/globaltrade/oem/english/grain.html

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