2019 GRAIN QUALITY: THE YEAR THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Jan 13, 2020


Travis Antonsen, Director of Grain Origination at Agtegra Cooperative, would really like the challenges that growers endured last year to be a distant memory in this new calendar year. Unfortunately, those harvested crops could continue their troublesome ways into the new year.

“We’d really like to see if 2019 could stop being the year that keeps on giving,” says Antonsen. “But the less-than-optimum quality grains that were harvested have the potential for causing some storage issues in bins well into 2020.”  

He is urging growers to safely monitor their stored grain throughout this winter. Much of the crop went into storage at higher moisture levels, with additional concern of fines and foreign material adding to condition issues.

But this becomes more than just a crop quality problem, says Antonsen. There are life-and-death implications. “There’s a historically tragic correlation between years with increased on-farm grain entrapment accidents and poor grain quality,” he says. “We’re already seeing pictures and hearing about how a lot of grain is bridging and going out of condition in bins.”

Safety is paramount when it comes to monitoring stored grain. Always ensure equipment has been powered off at the main disconnect and is locked and tagged, if bin entry becomes necessary. Your cooperative is offering bin entry kits at cost, available at nearly all locations. The safety kits have harnesses and tie-off ropes, along with detailed safe-entry instructions. Never take shortcuts when it comes monitoring and managing stored grain.  

In a year like this, the safest and most thorough way to monitor grain condition is using the Agtegra bin probe service. “Our bin probe truck has really been making the rounds out in the country the past few weeks,” says Antonsen. “We’ve been doing this for ten-plus years, and our technicians and equipment have a very high track record of accuracy.”
           
Bins are power probed with representative samples collected from all levels of the bin. Technicians will notify growers of hotspots, frozen cores and other problem areas encountered in the process. The samples are then tested, with rapid turn-around results mailed back to producers. Those results include a grain quality analysis and marketing proposal that also recommends the best outlet for that grain. The grain grades are guaranteed for 30 days.
           
Antonsen notes that the post-harvest marketplace is finally settling down and the Agtegra marketing team would like nothing better than to go to work finding the best market for customer grain. “After the year everyone had, we want to put as much money back in the farmer’s pocket as we can,” he says. “That’s what we’re here for.”
 

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