Top Crop Manager

News
New canola grading technology almost complete

Dec. 20, 2011, Winnipeg, MB - The Canadian Grain Commission's evaluation of an objective test for measuring chlorophyll content in canola is close to completion.

Research scientists and inspection experts at the Canadian Grain Commission have been evaluating near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) instruments for measuring chlorophyll. At its November 1, 2011 meeting, the Western Standards Committee heard results should be available for spring 2012 meeting, at which time, a decision about adopting this technology could be made.

"Before a new grading technology is recommended to the industry, the Western Standards Committee makes sure its decision is based in solid research and careful consideration of what effect the technology will have on the industry," says Elwin Hermanson, Chair of the Western Standards Committee and Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission.

The Western Standards Committee also approved new standard samples and guide samples at the meeting and received the Canadian Grain Commission's crop quality report. According to the Canadian Grain Commission, the most common grading factors in the 2011 crop were:

  • Ergot and frost in wheat
  • Immaturity and colour in peas

Standard samples, standard prints and guide samples

Standard samples, standard prints and guide samples are grading tools that the Canadian Grain Commission prepares each year. Members of the Western Standards Committee examine these tools and recommend their use. Inspectors from grain companies and the Canadian Grain Commission use these tools when they are grading grain.

Standard samples and standard prints represent the subjective visual grading factors that are most common in a given year. Standard samples and standard prints reflect the proportion of such factors as frost, mildew, immaturity and adhered material seen in this year's harvest. Standard prints are digital photographs rather than physical samples of grain. They are exactly the same as standard samples in all other respects. Guide samples are similar to standard samples. However, each guide represents a single visual grading factor, not a combination of factors.

New standard samples

The Western Standards Committee recommended the following new standard samples for the 2011-12 crop year:

  • Peas, No. 1 Canada Yellow
  • Peas, No. 2 Canada Yellow
  • Wheat, No. 2 Canada Western Red Spring
  • Wheat, No. 3 Canada Western Red Spring
  • Wheat, No. 4 Canada Western Red Spring
  • Wheat, No. 1 Canada Western Amber Durum
  • Wheat, No. 2 Canada Western Amber Durum
  • Wheat, No. 3 Canada Western Amber Durum

Standard samples previously adopted for other grades and grains will continue to be used.

New guide samples

The Western Standards Committee recommended the following guide samples for the 2011-12 crop year:

  • Wheat, No. 3 Canada Western Red Spring (Frost/heat stress)
  • Wheat, No. 4 Canada Western Red Spring (Frost/heat stress)

Grading studies and projects

The Western Standards Committee bases its grading recommendations, in part, on the outcome of grading studies and projects. At the meeting, the committee received updates on several projects. It recommended continuing work on these projects.

Details about grading studies and projects for the 2011 crop year are included in the Committee's recommendations from November 1, 2011 available on the Canadian Grain Commission's web site.

About the Western Standards Committee

The Western Standards Committee meets twice a year to recommend specifications for grades of grain, and to select and recommend standard and guide samples to the Canadian Grain Commission. Members represent different sectors of the grain industry and include grain processors, exporters and producers.

The Canadian Grain Commission is the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada's grain quality standards. Its programs result in shipments of grain that consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. The Canadian Grain Commission regulates the grain industry to protect producers' rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.