The Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program is up-and-running for the 97th year.
Kerri Pleskach, the Program Manager for Analytical Services at the CGC, says farmers who’ve registered can submit grain of their choosing to the Commission, and will receive a free, unofficial grade of the grain as well as different quality assessments.
Farmers can get involved, at no cost, by going online to www.grainscanada.gc.ca/hsp.
After registering, Pleskach says they would send a package in the mail, containing an envelope that can hold up to 1 kilogram of a grain sample along with instructions on how to fill it out. The producer would then mail that sample to the Grain Commission.
Not only does the program help a farmer determine the quality of grain for marketing purposes, it also helps the Grain Commission in a number of ways.
“It gives us an overall sense of the quality of the harvest that is grown across Canada this year. It can identify potential problems that can cause customer concerns. It helps market the Canadian grain and show the good quality of grain we grow each year. We also use the leftover samples to evaluate our grain grades and our tolerances for the grain grades, and many of the researchers use the samples for different research projects, so a lot of the sample is used up each year.” Pleskach said.
She noted participation in the program can vary from year-to-year depending on how the growing season went.
“Last year was a really good, quality crop, so in good years we tend to see less samples are submitted to the program because producers will know they have a good quality crop,” she said. “This year we’re still on track to hit the same amount of samples as we did last year, so currently we’ve received just over 62-hundred samples that we’re processing, and we were around that mark last year.”
A lot of samples the Grain Commission receives come from Western Canada. In fact, in some years they’ve received as many as 12-thousand samples. In the drought year of 2021, the Commission got 11-thousand grain samples.
Pleskach says they’re open to feedback to improve the program.
“We hear from producers all the time through our emails or calling us. We’re also at trade shows across Canada at different times of the year where they could give us feedback.”
Interested producers have until November 13 to register online, and those who have signed up have until November 30 to submit their grain sample.