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Get Free Grain Analysis from ISU Testing Lab

Free grain quality testing is available for public yield trial participants and CSI partners.

Through the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative or IGQI, the Iowa State University Grain Quality Laboratory is offering no-cost grain quality analysis to participants in public corn and soybean yield trials and in other research efforts or collaborations in Iowa this fall. This service includes partners in ISU's Corn and Soybean Initiative.

There is no cost other than you pay for the shipment/delivery of your samples to the ISU Grain Quality Lab in Ames, says Glen Rippke, manager of the lab.

The corn quality factors that will be tested and that you will get a report on are moisture, test weight, protein, oil, starch, density and a ranking of estimated ethanol yield (above average, average and below average). Soybean quality factors are moisture, protein, oil and fiber (plus linolenic acid and saturated fats for modified fatty acid soybeans). "This is an excellent way to compare end use quality for genetic trials and other field studies," says Charles Hurburgh, director of the grain quality lab at ISU.

Test results on grain will be sent to you

The data will be returned electronically and as a hard copy if desired. "We normally organize data in a standard format that contains yield and agronomic factors as well as the quality data," says Rippke. "Yield adjustment for check strips will be made if data is available. Distribution of the data is up to you--we will not distribute further unless you ask."

How to participate - take these steps

  • Collect a one-quart (or more) sample from each plot and seal in thick, self-sealing plastic bags only. ISU will provide Hefty freezer bags if desired. Do not use paper or sandwich bags.
  • Identify each plot/sample clearly, preferably with an all-numeric code. ISU can provide barcode labels for sample identification, with whatever coding is desired, and can also provide label cards and plot data sheets. Please provide an email address for results.
  • Include a list of the plot order and yield (if available) with the samples you send to the lab. It is recommended that you fill out cards and other information before you begin harvesting.
  • Wet grain spoils quickly. Do not hold the samples but rather, send them to the lab right away.
  • Ship or deliver immediately to:
    ISU Grain Quality Lab, Attn: Glen Rippke, 1547 Food Sciences Bldg., Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-106.

If you have questions or would like to participate, call or reply via email to Glen Rippke at (515) 294-5387 or  

Benefits of particpating in the testing

This service is being offered as a new benefit of participation in the Corn and Soybean Initiative Partner program and its alliance with IGQI. "This is an opportunity to increase understanding of end user quality traits as they apply to specific areas," says Rippke.

For example, in corn, the combination of starch (high), protein (lower) and density (fairly soft) indicates possible advantages to ethanol producers. Likewise, higher protein and harder texture is better suited to animal feeding, for both nutritional and particle size (grinding) uniformity reasons.

For soybeans, certain processors are already paying some premiums for specific levels of protein and oil. There is an economic gain to be captured if variety and regional knowledge can identify potential premium soybeans without requiring a complex testing or identity preservation procedure. "As we try harder to increase yield in today's market climate, an understanding of any related quality changes will be needed," says Hurburgh. "We hope that this program will be useful, and will assist in creating new opportunities."

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