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Grain analysis grows

Delivering Corn and soybeans to an elevator or ethanol plant is becoming high-tech as companies seek more detailed grain analyses. Foss, a major manufacturer of grain analytical instruments, is developing grain analysis tools to determine the ethanol yield of corn and measure linolenic acid content in soybeans.

The trend for more grain analysis follows the trend for companies to seek grain for specific markets. And in this case, knowledge is crucial. Growers need to know the content of their grain to help them select better seed and tailor production programs to grow grain for a company's specific needs.

Foss is working with Pioneer Hi-Bred to produce nearly instant ethanol-yield results of corn delivered to a plant. Pioneer says that growers can then use this information to tailor hybrid selection for the most ethanol yield possible from their farms.

Pioneer is providing Foss with data from its own ethanol-yield research. Pioneer has identified 180 hybrids that produce more ethanol than traditional hybrids do.

Foss also is working with Monsanto to develop an analytical tool to measure linolenic acid content in soybeans. Monsanto is marketing a low-linolenic soybean line called Vistive. Soybeans with low-linolenic acid content do not need hydrogenation when processed.

The new measurement tool is a calibration system used in near-infrared grain analyzers. It allows grain elevators to more easily distinguish low-linolenic soybeans from commodity soybeans. This is important because growers are paid a premium for growing the low-linolenic Vistive soybeans. The new system is being used on the 2007 soybean crop at the processor level and in Monsanto's new Crop Analytic Mobile Labs.

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