New grain sampling guidelines designed to give growers a much better idea of what they have in their stores have been launched by the HGCA
The recommendations are based on grain sampled as it comes into store to give more accurate indications of quality and, especially, mycotoxins.
“Research has shown that this type of sampling gives the most representative results,” says Jenny Batchelor, arable business groups manager for HGCA.
“The information should help avoid rejections or disputes at a later date and help growers make crucial marketing decisions.”
Grain that will be cleaned and/or dried should be sampled from the outlets of the cleaner or drier.
Small, 250g samples should be taken frequently, with a target of 10 for every 100t. These should then be thoroughly mixed to create a composite sample for that 100t.
A 1kg portion should then be removed from the composite sample using a drum mixing or cone and quartering technique (see below).
Samples should be bagged and labelled, including farm details, storage location, and date.
Grain which is not cleaned or dried should be sampled from the trailer. Two 500g samples should be taken, a quarter and three-quarters of the way through tipping and mixed with other samples to produce a composite sample for every 100t.
If wet, the 1kg samples taken will then need to be dried before testing, by spreading thinly over a paper/polythene sheet and leaving in a warm place overnight.
Full guidelines can be found at www.hgca.com/supplychain
Cone and quarter
- Mix the aggregate sample by gathering grains into a cone-shaped pile and flattening the surface – repeat at least twice
- Quarter flattened sample and discard two opposite quarters
- Mix two remaining quarters
- Repeat whole process until a 1kg sample remains.
- Put all samples in a drum with a securely fitted lid
- The drum should be less than half-filled by the samples
- Roll drum and invert at least five times
- Take five sub-samples from the drum to make a 1kg sample.