Very few fields of grain in Montana are totally level or uniform in quality. Lower areas have more subsoil moisture, higher bushel per acre yields and lower protein. Higher areas have less moisture, fewer bushels per acre and higher protein. Frost settles in low areas in a field resulting in non-uniform percentages of frost damage. Moisture creates higher percentages of sprout damage on the portion of a field that is the most mature. These conditions result in very few bins being totally uniform in quality.
It is extremely difficult to accurately sample a bin after it has been filled. Sampling a full bin with a sectioned or standard tier probe leaves large areas of the bin unsampled. This results in grade, dockage and/or protein results that often do not match results on delivered grain.
It is in the producer's and the elevator's best interest to negotiate grain sales based on accurate bin sample results. Producers and elevators both dislike the problems resulting from a difference in bin sample and unload results
The most accurate way to sample a truck is with a compartmentized tier probe. Realizing this is impractical during harvest or in most elevator settings, following are some practical suggestions for accurately sampling a bin or truck.
To sample bins that are full use one of the following two methods:
Probe grain at the inspection cover and if possible at the center of the bin adding sections until the probe has been pushed into the grain as far as possible or the bottom of the bin is reached. If it is only possible to sample at the inspection cover probe in different directions to acquire grain from different locations in the bin.
Probe grain at the inspection cover and if possible at the center of the bin. Also take one probe through the augur hole to draw a portion of the sample from the bottom of the bin. If it is only possible to sample at the inspection cover probe in different directions to acquire grain from different locations in the bin.
Hand mixing of a bin sample does not achieve consistent accurate results. The most efficient way to mix a sample is to use a divider/mixer. As most producers do not have access to a divider/mixer the following methods work well.
If producers do not have access to a sectioned or a tier probe they can usually borrow one from their local elevator. The State Grain Laboratory is available to assist any producer with advise or information on bin sampling. If producers are located close enough to the State Lab, we would be willing to loan you a probe to use for sampling your bins.
You can order sample bags from the lab.
Published: Tue Jun 21 15:41:00 MDT 2011.
Last Modified: Tue Nov 27 11:25:17 MST 2012