June 10, 2008 | Gerry Whitty
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Quality from the Ground Up

Grain quality truly begins at the ground level with the right choice of genetics, fertility, trait packages and harvest technologies.

Depending on whom you ask, most people will say that grain quality reaches its peak at harvest.

Indeed, once it leaves the farm, the primary driver of grain quality evolves from its initial function of producing a quality crop to one of grain quality preservation.

While the role played by elevator operators and those who handle grain as it enters the marketing channel is vital to overall grain quality, the upfront work done by grain producers themselves has added a much-needed boost to reshaping our grain quality reputation.

“Certainly biotechnology coupled with innovative plant breeding strategies, cutting-edge precision crop protection and harvesting equipment, and advances in storage technologies have allowed producers to bring a higher quality crop to market,” says Tom Shanower, director, USDA Grain Marketing and Production Research Center (GMPRC), Manhattan, KS.-

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From the time grain comes out of a farmer’s field to the point where it is shipped from an elevator, everyone is trying to achieve a delicate balance in moisture content.

Too wet, and grain can wind up spoiling, clogging or causing any other number of undesirable situations.

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