HGCA advises on grain sampling

By FWi staff

AS the unsettled weather continues, concern over the quality of the crop is mounting and the importance of grain sampling will be essential, according to the Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA).

An HGCA levy-funded project found that sampling error accounts for most inaccuracy in grain-quality assessment.

As a result, the HGCA has drawn up a Topic Sheet Sampling grain on-farm offering practical advice, uncluding:

  • Sample grain as thoroughly as is practical.
  • Sample grain going into store, rather than from the bulk.
  • If bulk grain must be sampled, collect samples of at least 0.5 kg from at least five points/100 tonnes, making sure to cover the full grain depth at each sampling point.
  • Spread sampling points to cover the whole bulk.
  • Assess samples individually, rather than as bulk samples. Use results to estimate variability.
  • Use traps to assess insect infestations.

Consultant Robin Wilkin said the number and size of samples were more important than sampling method for most assessments.

“Samples should be taken from all parts of the store – bottom, surface layers and sides – with at least five samples/100 tonnes,” he said.

  • HGCA Topic Sheet No 26 Sampling grain on-farm is available free of charge from HGCA, Caledonia House, 223 Pentonville Road, London N1 9HY. Phone: 020 7520 3945

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