7 June 2002

Sample on entry to gain best results

KEEPING different grain batches separate and having a clear idea of grain quality in store will put growers in a much more commanding position when it comes to marketing.

That is the advice from the initial stages of a £1.1m Treasury-funded grain-sampling project co-ordinated by the HGCA.

Sampling bulks is notoriously inaccurate, says the HGCAs Julian Bell. Taking samples while tipping into store or as grain comes out of the drier can give a much clearer picture of quality.

Keeping different batches of grain separate can also help a lot.

"Put headlands in a separate heap, or where the soils are different, especially with milling wheat and malting barley. Growers tend to know where the wheat will come off differently, so should be conscious of that when filling the store," he adds.

When it comes to analysing samples, NFU cereals committee chairman Richard Butler says growers should be wary of relying on samples taken by third parties after the store has been filled.

"All too often growers sell on the basis of the best analysis supplied by five different buyers. If you sample it yourself and get it independently analysed youll stand a much better chance of avoiding rejections." &#42

&#8226 Sample grain as store is filled.

&#8226 Many small samples better than one large one.

&#8226 Undertake your own, independent analysis.

Taking plenty of samples as grain goes into store will provide a better picture of true grain quality, says the HGCA. That should cut disputes.