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How to take a representative grain sample from trucks and bins

grains of wheat

How to take a proper representative sample from trucks and bins.

You’ll need:

  • Four identical pails that hold a minimum of 20 litres. Label two with an “A” and two with a “B.”
  • A grain scoop or sampling ladle
  • Sealable sample containers

As the grain leaves the truck or the bin, use the grain scoop to take samples at consistent and regular intervals to ensure the sample is representative. Remember, the larger the auger or the smaller the load of grain, the shorter the interval.

Alternate between the sides and centre of the grain stream and place all samples for each truck or bin in pail “A” until it is at least three-quarters full.

Once the grain is finished unloading, mix the contents of pail A thoroughly by hand. Place the two empty pails labelled B, side-by-side and touching on a level surface. Pour the contents of pail “A” at the point where the pails touch, ensuring that each pail receives about half the sample. Now empty one pail “B” into pail “A”. Pour the contents of the remaining pail “B” back into the bin. (You have now divided the sample in half.) Repeat this process with the remaining sample until you have about two kilograms of sample left. Place the final sample into the remaining pail “A”.

Repeat the procedure for each truckload that is going into the same bin, or for each bin being sampled. When the bin is full or the truck is unloaded, thoroughly mix the contents of pail “A” by hand. For a full illustration of the procedure, visit the Canadian Grain Commission website.

Place the final sample or samples in sealed containers and label each container to show the bin or bins they represent.

To prepare a composite sample from multiple bins:

  • Select a single sample that represents each bin and combine them in a pail.
  • Mix the sample thoroughly and reduce it as outlined above.

Source: Canadian Grain Commission

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Richard Kamchen

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