19 January 1996

Lorry grain sample better than store

GRAIN sampling methods vary a lot. And doing the job in-store is not generally thought to be as effective or accurate as on the lorry, according to a Home-Grown Cereals Authority report*.

An Imperial College survey found over half the respondents used their own techniques. Only 25% used the Institute of Brewing standard and 17% the approach advocated by the International Standards Organisation.

The findings highlight a "degree of unease" over the results of testing, according to Robin Wilkin, consultant with Imperial College. Disagreement between buyers and sellers over the "perception" of quality is a common result, he notes.

Speed, operator safety and the need to limit walking on grain are all important. But a "pragmatic" view of industry needs shows any new approach should be flexible rather than following a precise, standard method, says Mr Wilkin.

The investments required for a store handling 300 lorries a day and a farm with a 1000t store are very different, he points out.

*The Collection of Samples of Grain: An Assessment of Current Methods and Problems. £2 from HGCA, Hamlyn House, Highgate Hill, London N19 5PR.