There’s increasing anguish over grading standards. The Canadian Grain Commission always says that it tries to apply all the grading standards equally from one year to the next, but a lot of the grading factors are open to human interpretation. Beyond the official standards, buyers are often able to blend grain to come up with an improved grade while processors can use gravity tables, cleaners and colour sorters to achieve an improved result. However, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. This year, the quality problems are so pervasive that buyers and processors are likely to have more limitations on what they can achieve. There’s a viewpoint among producers that buyers always benefit from the downgrading – that they sell grains, oilseeds and specialty crops at a higher grade than what they buy from farmers. Due to the competitive nature of the business, I believe this benefit is limited. In fact, buyers can easily be offside on the grade of the product they’re shipping and it can cost them a lot of money. For producers, the best advice is to have lots of accurate samples of what’s in each bin. Show those samples to reputable buyers to see what they can do with it. Buyers and brokers are inundated with samples this fall so it may take a while to find the best marketing options.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

DynAgra, an independent Western Canada-based Company, is dedicated to providing growers with the tools to manage the risk and maximize the profitability of their farm business through the continued innovation of agricultural products and services. We are committed to developing and providing growers with the latest in precision agronomics, variable rate technology, soil fertility, crop protection, fertilizers, custom application and financial solutions.