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ARS Develops Calculation Correction for Grain Quality Test

Implementation will allow for more accurate management of wheat consignments

Photo: USDA Agricultural Research Service
Photo: USDA Agricultural Research Service

Scientists and engineers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) developed a more precise method to determine a major factor in grain quality, reports the USDA.

Quality testing is dependent on accurate and repeatable tests that assure a fair marketing system. That also means tests are always tweaked and improved to meet the needs of the industry. The recent advancement deals with a test known a "falling number" (FN).

Through experimentation in a low-pressure chamber, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ARS agricultural engineer Steve Delwiche and his team at the Food Quality Laboratory in Beltsville, Md, developed the correction so that FN results can be expressed at equivalent laboratory conditions, such as what exists at sea level.

Starting in May 2019, USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) will implement the correction in a new release of their directive on falling number. Likewise, the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) has amended their ‘Approved Method’ on FN as an optional correction.

Implementation of this correction by the grain industry will allow for more accurate management of wheat consignments, which, for lots in the Pacific Northwest (PNW—Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) alone that give test results near the 300 second cutoff, may result in savings of $10 million recaptured to the growers in weather-challenged years that foster low FN wheat.

Read the full report at USDA.

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