The grain industry has for some time been working to improve the safety of “on farm” grain sampling and how samples are taken.
Mark Worrell, Chairman of the AIC Crop Marketing Sector explains, “In advance of this year’s harvest AIC are keen to help the industry improve the Health and Safety of ‘on farm’ sampling and ensure farmers are well prepared and supported to adopt improved ways of working.”
“Industry developed guidance from the AHDB on grain sampling, by the grower at store filling, will become increasingly important. Several AIC members have long ceased sending samplers to farm due to safety concerns, and this trend is expected to increase rapidly as we lead up to harvest 2020.”
Currently merchants send members of their team, or summer students, to farm to take samples which are then tested at a laboratory. Not only does this method present numerous Health & Safety risks, it is not the most efficient or accurate way to obtain a representative and accurate sample.
The opportunity to send samples direct to merchants is increasing and this will also certainly help minimise any new risks which Coronavirus has introduced. AIC members will have different approaches around drawing and collecting samples subject to their own internal Health and Safety policies and risk assessments.
In advance of harvest it is especially timely for AIC to help the farming industry be ready to adopt their own sampling. Grain merchants are keen to support growers and welcome discussion on managing this. In addition, the AIC will be working hard to gain support from all sectors including the NFU.