Know Your Grade 2019October 23, 2019Hub ArticlePart of a sound marketing plan is understanding what is in your bin. This is particularly important this year, given the variability throughout the growing season and ongoing harvest challenges. We are increasingly hearing of quality issues related to crop immaturity, sprouting, tough canola and other downgrading factors. Know what you have in your bin Knowing your quality goes a long way to better negotiate prices and maximize the value of your harvest. Register now for the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) Harvest Sample Program (deadline November 30th). It's free and easy to use. For canola, participating farmers receive an unofficial grade, dockage, chlorophyll (green), protein and oil content.Additionally, the samples collected help the Commission determine the quality of the 2019 harvest. Knowing this and any expected quality issues assists in marketing canola to international customers. If you want a more comprehensive grade assessment, the CGC, as well as several private companies, offer a paid service. Your local grain elevator or processor may also be of assistance. Want to learn more? KnowYourGrade.ca provides up-to-date information on sampling, dockage and grading canola, as well as basic producer rights. Understand downgrading factorsQuality affects price, so understanding how it is assessed and how it impacts your final grade is important. The CGC sets the official grain grading standards, including the definition of downgrading factors (i.e. distinctly green, heated or damaged/sprouted), the formal assessment process and their impact of grade. For example, the Official Grain Grading Guide allows up to 2% distinctly green for No. 1 canola. Sprouting is included in Total Damage for grade assessment, which allows a threshold of 5% for a No. 1 grade. Maintain quality of stored canolaCanola that's stored tough and damp requires constant monitoring for quality. Canola Watch has published various resources to manage the wet harvest and to store grain. Check out their latest – Tips for Drying Tough and Damp Canola.