Updated: Jun 30, 2019
The blending process is a well-known secret in the grain industry, from mixing grains of different harvesting seasons, using current and outdated inventory, inclusion of sound and damaged grains, some with even with safety concerns, grains with different levels of chemical properties through to a different varieties of premium and lower grade shipments. This is not only in developing countries or at a specific stage in the supply chain but a global issue, which can be found during a simple grain sampling analysis.
Blended raw materials have a direct impact on company’s profit and loss. Companies can experience varying levels of blending from 3% in each shipment to 20% or even 50% random levels which can result in millions in losses. The small levels are the hardest to detect by human visual inspection. Grading is a statistical game and a sample of ten grams or 20 grains from a 21.5 metrics ton container (~ 50,000 Lbs.) to indicate the quality with a caliper is not a viable solution. The good news is that the industry is starting its transition to digital solutions but the big question is how this transition will impact the grain market and who will be the new winners and losers.