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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pretty large problem I've been trying to find a solution for since last harvest.

In 2020 I grew yellow mustard on my flax stubble as I have for the past 7 years. Usually, I end up with a very small amount of flax in the sample, under .75%. Problem is that 2019 was a pretty terrible harvest, and we changed how we normally did things for that harvest.

Normally in flax, we'd chop straw and that would be it. However in 2019, there was enough straw and it was late enough in the year that we decided to have it baled. We dropped the straw while combining through standing water. Apparently, balers don't like water any more than combines do so only about 70 acres of 640 got baled.

So plan B went into effect, which was to bunch and burn the straw. The problem is that the act of dragging the straw caused the seed we couldn't get with the combines to get worked into the ground and start to germinate. This left us with yellow mustard that has around 30% flax in it.

I've got around 12,500 bushels of the stuff. As is, they want to discount at least $4.50 per bushel just for the dockage and they'd keep the flax.

That's around $135,000 in lost marketing opportunities with todays flax prices.
I'm having a hard time finding anyone that's interested in cleaning it. I keep hearing how expensive it will be to clean, and getting estimates of 2 to 3 dollars per bushel. I've told everyone that gave me an estimate that I would pay upfront, but they immediately back off and lose interest. The colour sorter I've been in contact figures he'd have to run it through 3 times with that level of dockage.


162975
162976


Anyone have suggestions? Would one of the Air sorters work since they have a completely different shape? As you can tell, I have quite a bit of room to work here.
 

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Find someone with an old set of spirals.
It will take a while as those run very slowly, but you should be able to pull the mustards and flax apart. Also, gravity table might work, but those things don't like oilseeds and they will need to be cleaned regularly.
 

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I can tell you for sure that can be done. With the proper scalping screens it isn't difficult. With the money you are talking about a small cleaner could be purchased and screens put in with money left over.

To get the right screens contact these people in Winnipeg. They almost for sure have the screens you will need (they had the screens I needed to do the same job). If you are not sure about it you can send them a sample of your mustard and they can do a cleaning test on it and tell you what you need. They manufacture grain cleaners there too so you can talk to them about that.
 

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Spiral is the ticket if you have the time. Otherwise color sort.

I bought a single unit for ~$8000 to take buckwheat out... we can grow buckwheat with the best of em.

5bu/hr is about max though per unit.

The other option is to color sort it. $0.50/bu roughly if you catch them in the off season. Those things work wonders!
 

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Scalping screens can and will work, but the weather outside will play a role. Can't remember if flax likes cold or hot, but one of them does not work in flax. They will gum up the screens really fast, and then you have to use a wire wheel on the screens to remove the gunk. Trust me, been there done it. Had to clean flax to export standards to load 4 railcars going to Europe, and that took several weeks. I think it was closer to spring time, so it was not cold or hot, but quite humid. Could not run the cleaners for more than a couple hours before the screens plugged, then a couple hours with a wire wheel to clean them, then do it again.
 

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Taking flax out of a cold bin into the warm air causes condensation on the seed which does not work well with screens. It is especially bad if the humidity is high. Same thing as taking a beer out of the fridge on a warm day. Warm flax on a warm day is fine, cold flax on a cold day is fine, cold flax and warm day is an issue.
 

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Often wondered about a vibrating tube on an angle. Like how chaff sorts to top of spout when dumping a truck. Scalp that off. 10 percent difference in bushel weight in theory
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Spiral is the ticket if you have the time. Otherwise color sort.

I bought a single unit for ~$8000 to take buckwheat out... we can grow buckwheat with the best of em.

5bu/hr is about max though per unit.

The other option is to color sort it. $0.50/bu roughly if you catch them in the off season. Those things work wonders!
I tried to get a mobile colour sorter in, and he figured with that amount of flax in the sample we would have to run it through 2 or 3 times. He says it works best at about 5 to 10% dockage and not 30%

5 bu/hr per unit would be insane. That's over 2000 hours for just cleaning.
 

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I tried to get a mobile colour sorter in, and he figured with that amount of flax in the sample we would have to run it through 2 or 3 times. He says it works best at about 5 to 10% dockage and not 30%

5 bu/hr per unit would be insane. That's over 2000 hours for just cleaning.
Indeed I almost can... I usually end up having to run my entire crop through it after screening it. 125bu a day generally if you could keep it running close to 24hr/day. Ran about 6000 through it the first year, and 4000 or so the second.

This year will be quick. 600 ac and I doubt I'll grow a super b. Bloody awful
 

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These guys can also help get it separated. All they do is build processing equipment for seeds. Wheat, barley, hemp, mustard, flax, they work with all of it. Also do color sorters. Send them a sample. They will likely have a good product and plan for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Indeed I almost can... I usually end up having to run my entire crop through it after screening it. 125bu a day generally if you could keep it running close to 24hr/day. Ran about 6000 through it the first year, and 4000 or so the second.

This year will be quick. 600 ac and I doubt I'll grow a super b. Bloody awful
I've been considering cleaning every bushel of mustard that leaves the farm because the amount they're docking is getting ridiculous.

I'll have years that I'd have 30,000 to 40,000 bushels of yellow to clean..
 

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Have you talked to Tom at Manitou Holdings (Young, Sk) yet? He has his larger color sorter up and running and also dabbles a bit in flax as well as yellow mustard so the "screenings" might work out well.
 

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Have you talked to Tom at Manitou Holdings (Young, Sk) yet? He has his larger color sorter up and running and also dabbles a bit in flax as well as yellow mustard so the "screenings" might work out well.
Tom is a awesome dude! I take my flax there every spring to get cleaned for seed. However his flax cleaning is slow, depending on what's in there but expect 100 bu/hr max, I'd say probably slower.
 

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Yes, no complaints dealing with Tom. He handled the last of my yellow mustard this year, it was sample grade due to all the dockage and the deal we stuck up ended up about 7 cents/lb under #1 if I remember right. Would have to check. Other buyers were around 20 cents/lb under #1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have you talked to Tom at Manitou Holdings (Young, Sk) yet? He has his larger color sorter up and running and also dabbles a bit in flax as well as yellow mustard so the "screenings" might work out well.
Thanks for the suggestion, I will try giving him a call on Monday.
 
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