April 15, 2015

15/04/2015: Grain analyzer gets attention

It’s easy to see why grain analyzers and testers are garnering more attention in ag circles, from the farm all the way up through elevators and even at large-scale processors, Ralph Pearce writes for Country Guide

With tighter margins and a greater focus on finding efficiencies, but also with more focus on traceability, more interest in new traits, and more markets for end uses that have very specific quality parameters, it all adds up to more potential payback for knowing exactly what you’ve got.
In 2014, for instance, moisture became the bane of many corn growers, particularly at harvest, with plenty of accounts of corn arriving at local elevators and getting tested at 30 per cent or more before heading into the dryer.

Grain analyzers won’t tell farmers anything they didn’t already know about moisture levels above 30 percent. But in the chase for margins, a little can go a long way, says John Lounsberry of Champion Industrial Equipment in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.

Lounsberry is an ag specialist, and sees the need for more precise grain analysis, primarily from a moisture perspective, although the future for grain analysis is anything but limited.

“If you’re a grain buyer in the winter months — spring and fall, too — to get your tester to work, you do it usually by warming it up in a microwave, on a hot plate or just letting it sit out,” says Lounsberry.

http://www.country-guide.ca/2015/04/14/grain-analyzer-gets-attention/46459/“But all the time, moisture is leaving the product, and that moisture is the customer’s money — it’s still in your sample.”

For the sake of argument, continues Lounsberry, say the moisture loss amounts to just 0.5 percent, which he agrees doesn’t sound like a lot. However, when that percentage is translated throughout an entire truckload sitting at the elevator, it’s money out of someone’s pocket. And if the moisture level is too high — as was often the case with harvested corn in late 2014 — some elevators or processors would send truckloads back to the farm, at the farmer’s expense.

One of the units that Lounsberry sells is the Dickey-john GAC 2500 grain analyzer, a self-contained system that provides precise moisture and density results at operating temperatures of -20 to 45 C. It has a touch screen and a USB port for portable data storage and it keeps a running Excel spreadsheet, enabling a buyer to enter the ticket number on the sample. 

http://www.country-guide.ca/2015/04/14/grain-analyzer-gets-attention/46459/The farmer can also enter the part of a field where the load or the sample originated, and it can be interfaced with a computer. Although corn was the hot topic for late 2014, Lounsberry assures growers and elevator operators alike that the GAC unit can perform the same precision analysis on all grains and oilseeds, including wheat/cereals and soybeans.

One other advantage is that it can analyze or measure ice as water — up to 19 per cent moisture.

Read more HERE.

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