30 November 2001

Corner cutting knocks prospects

GRAIN producers are damaging their market prospects by cutting corners on pest control and failing to identify exactly what they have to sell.

Over-economising and trying to correct insect infestations when outloading are particular concerns, says Graincos Gary Bright, who markets for members of the Tyne Grain and Farmway co-ops.

In one example, where 500t of fumigated grain was still infested on delivery, it emerged the grower had tried to economise by telling operators the store contained only 300t.

"Another time, when we needed to know the grain had been treated, the lorry driver told us the farmer was just shovelling Actellic on during loading."

Final loads can also cause trouble with insects and other contamination, as growers try to clear every last grain from the store, he warns. "You really do not need to sweep out every nook and cranny."

Drilling date can also affect quality. Storing early and late sowings of the same variety together, and assuming it will all meet the same quality standards, can lead to rejections, he warns.

"There are so many little things that cost the trade and farmers money. But invariably the cost comes back to the farm." &#42

The NFU-supported grain clinic attracted plenty of interest at Grain 2001, where Graincos Gary Bright urged growers not to cut corners with grain hygiene.