Dedicated Analytical Solutions
Grain network

01-09-2011

Every grain counts in global food production

The well proven concept of testing grain for payment and optimal use in food and beverage production is now being extended to farmers in the field.

Improving yields has always been important to the global agricultural industry. This goal is becoming more urgent as the industry strives to feed an expanding global population from finite natural resources with recent drought in Russia and flooding in Asia just two indications of how extreme weather can stress domestic and global grain supplies.

FOSS analytical technology has been used to improve yield in the grain industry for more than fifty years with thousands of instruments positioned at key points in the supply chain.

Segregating for quality and profit

An example of how routine analysis adds value can be found at the grain receival site.

If a receival site receives wheat and then stores it in a single silo with an average protein content of 10.95%, the value will be around US $/tonne 200. With effective analysis, that same wheat can be segregated into high and low value grain based on protein content and suitability for different uses, for example, 13% protein content for bread with a value of $252/tonne.

Segregating in this way increases the total value of the grain and suitability for different uses from animal feed to a wide variety of food and beverage products.

Accurate and stable analysis across continents

An easy-to-use instrument called the  Infratec™ 1241 Grain analyser is particularly effective at measuring grain in variety of environments. It’s proven stable performance all year round at hot or cold receival stations, in dusty flour mills or in a laboratory have made a reliable platform for rapid analysis of grain quality parameters.

The Infratec is widely used in instrument networks stretched across countries and continents with individual instruments giving the same reliable measurements wherever they are located. The networks are recognized by both commercial and governmental authorities and today more than 7000 Infratec instruments are linked in global networks, for example 1200 units at various cooperatives across France are connected in a network.

Analysis in the field

A new on-farm grain analyser from FOSS called the Infratec Sofiais extending the benefits of rapid grain analysis to farmers in the field. It gives the same accurate results for moisture and protein as its big brother the Infratec 1241 used at the receiving station allowing farmers to decide when to harvest for optimal results.

The handy, portable analyser was introduced in Australia in 2008. During the harvest that year a difference of just 0.1% in protein could cause grain such as malting (manufacturing) barley to be downgraded to feed grade at a financial penalty of over Aus $100 per tonne. The accurate measurements provided by the Infratec Sofia allowed farmers to get protein just right. It has also helped them to avoid long journeys to the receival station only to have loads rejected because of moisture or protein content.

 

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