Grain Samples - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Grain Samples

Quality assessment is one of the most important areas in grain marketing.

I was wondering how many elevators on average does everyone present samples to for quality assessment after harvest to find out their best marketing deal.

Last year I presented 14 elevators with my wheat samples and 7 with my canola samples and 3 with my peas.

The variance in quality and dockage between elevators was as astounding!

How many representative samples of each bin do you make up for elevators?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 12:37 AM
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Fourteen elevators? I'd have to pack a bag and drive for two days to visit 14 elevators in this part of the world.

Montana law gives producers the right to request a third-party sample, which virtually everyone uses. Most elevators aren't even equipped to do grade and dockage tests, just protein and test weight. A few companies have in-house labs and the producer can settle a contract on the basis of the company test if he chooses but most ask for an independent analysis.

I take one sample from each bin, pulled from each truck as it unloads. After harvest, I divide those samples into two from each bin and send one to the State Grain Lab. The other samples I keep. I'll take a small sample from each of those to the nearest elevator (25 miles) to get an idea of the protein content. I can test for moisture and test weight myself.,I take the sample report from the state lab with me when I visit the elevator.

I think Montana is the only state in the US that requires grain merchandisers to use third-party grain sampling if the producer requests it.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 02:28 AM
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14 elevators???
I don't even know what to say.
I take mine to one or two places. I keep a large harvest sample and split it down to take and get graded. Problem is that the sample is just that, a sample. You can still have variations when delivering the product. Fusarium is extremely hard to predict because of fluctuations in the field.
Grade is important but what the elevator offers is another, especially 14. If your wheat grades as a #2 13.5 Protein but the feed wheat price is higher than the #2 13.5 Protein price, your going to sell it for feed. What you get in your pocket is most important.

Not sure what I would do if there was 14 elevators to deal with.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 11:35 AM
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I take my samples to my nearest elevator 30 miles away and to the next closest at 75 miles away. Mostly all goes to closest elevator, but not all. I send a sample into the Canadian Grain Commission which is a third party also and that has helped with the grade a time or two. Also agree grade isn't the most important, I will sell to whatever market is highest regardless of grade.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 01:19 PM
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It depends on the year and circumstances.
It was not that long ago, I would usually take samples to one elevator. We had a good relationship, and there was no need to go elsewhere. Sigh.....I miss that.
That elevator has since shut down it's location near us. Now I take our samples to three elevators. I have hauled to all three of them, but when you factor everything in, one of them is starting to stand above the others in regards to money in our pocket.

I don't even take canola samples as I have never saw the need to take them in.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 09:05 PM
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As a buyer we base our dockage off of the official dockage from the state grain lab.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 02:30 AM
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I often send samples into a lab get results back then take results to the elevators. I am lucky and have a close one that is only 10 miles away the the next one is 70 miles away over two mountain passes. I find it amazing most guys haul to the one far away I think for different reasons. 1 they usually do not run out of room 2 that is where all the big boys haul (so even if they can not haul themselves they hire it done) the most common reason I here is price. Which 9 out of 10 the far away place is no better than the close or withen 1 or 2 cents. once you figure in freight. ( I just use what most custom haullers charge for the rate... could I beet that rate maybe but I really have no big desire to run my truck that hard and far over two mountain passes. I have figured out if you do have crappy dirty grain the far away elevator does dock less... Normally I do not have that problem . The one thing most farmers are forgetting is one day the local small elevator will be their no longer ... then I am willing to bet about anything that the little extra they give a guy for the extra freight will vanish and at that point the only other option is hundred of miles away...
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