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Why does grain from one harvest seem to give different results to the next?

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There are two questions here.

  1. Is the reading in one year different to a reading in another for the same product?
  2. Is there great variability within samples from one year but not in another?

If the question is 1), then growing and harvesting conditions will be different year to year and can affect the readings especially with freshly harvested grains. These differences will usually disappear within a week or two once stored.

If the question is 2), then this usually means that something affected the harvesting, such as lodging, sprouting or a high proportion of green grains. Also other things will affect resistance and capacitance readings, such as soil contamination, screenings or other non-grain material. Also ensure that the correct volume of sample is used for testing, the smaller the volume, the greater the error. If you’re not sure what the volume should be, check the instrument user manual or call the Sinar Technology Service Centre.

Don’t be too eager to get the crop in, make sure it’s fully ripe before harvesting as a lot of technical problems are due to unripe seed within the sample, particularly with Oilseed Rape.

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