By Mitchell Japp, PAg, Provincial Specialist, Cereal Crops
August 31, 2016
Each fall, the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) runs a Harvest Sample Program. They accept samples from across Canada from most grain, oilseed and pulse crops. The CGC compiles the quality and grade results they generate to assist with marketing Canadian grains, to ensure that grain grading factors continue to be appropriate and to conduct research on grain grading.
Farmers who submit their samples receive unofficial CGC grade and quality results for their product. The analysis includes protein for cereal grains and pulses; oil, protein and chlorophyll for canola; oil and protein content and iodine value for flax; and oil and protein content for mustard and soybeans. All for free–even postage is paid.
Grades through the Harvest Sample Program are unofficial because the sample size is smaller than required for official grading, dockage is not retained and the sample is not collected by a CGC-licensed grain inspector. Nonetheless, the quality and grade information from the CGC is valuable marketing information for farmers, and it is helpful to the industry overall.
How to submit samples
The deadline to submit samples is Nov. 1, but submitting earlier is better.
The CGC does not accept samples in random containers. You need to sign up to get a sample kit. Visit CGC online – you will have to fill out a short form. Once you have signed up for the kits, CGC will send you the required material every year, so submitting samples gets even easier. The next steps are similar to mailing a letter:
- Fill out the required information on the envelope. Keep the reference number for your records.
- Fill, but do not overfill the sample envelope.
- Seal the envelope.
- Mail the envelope.
Results can be found in an online account (remember your name and password), by phoning 1-888-324-2248, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you have the CGC reference number from step 1 (above).
The CGC is providing a valuable service to individual farmers and industry with the Harvest Sample Program, but it takes participation for it to work. Sign up as soon as you can and get your samples in.
For more information, visit the Canadian Grain Commission page.