As crops come off of the fields, the Government of Alberta reminds producers to take samples and take advantage of the Canadian Grain Commission’s (CGC) Harvest Sample Program.
“This program helps the Canadian Grain Commission, the Canadian International Grains Institute, and grain buyers to better know, in a general way, the quality of the crop,” says Neil Blue, provincial crop market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “It gives producers a free, unofficial grade on samples from the current year’s crop.”
The Harvest Sample Program can be used for cereal grains, pulses, canola, flaxseed, mustard seed and soybeans. The grading report includes:
• dock-age assessment on canola
• protein content on barley, beans, chickpeas, lentils, oats, peas and wheat
• oil, protein and chlorophyll content for canola
• oil and protein content and iodine value for flaxseed
• oil and protein levels for mustard seed and soybeans
• falling number for wheat and rye
• vomitoxin (deoxynivalenol or DON) levels for wheat, corn and barley
The individual reports remain confidential but Blue says that by collecting the grade information, they can assemble and publish aggregated data on crop quality, useful to buyers and sellers.
“The goal is to have a sample that has the same characteristics as the large volume of product that it represents. Producers will then have a sample that can be used to shop around with various potential buyers.”
Samples should be stored in a sealed container to identify the source bin, free of rodents and insects and preserve representative moisture content to maintain sample integrity. Some grain companies provide zip lock bags just for this purpose and these could be kept in a larger sealed container.
Producers can learn more and sign up for the Harvest Sample Program online, over the phone, or email. The Commission sends participating producers a personalized kit, including postage-paid envelopes for the samples. Producers fill the envelopes with representative crop samples and mail them to the CGC.
Producers can submit samples of newly harvested crop prior to Nov. 30 and obtain base grade information for their marketing at no charge.
For more information visit grainscanada.gc.ca