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en route to its destination with the absence of any time or weather delays.

The uncertainties of whether grain has a musty odor is caus- ing the certifi ed and private labs to grade incoming grain as musty to protect the shipper because it is not known how the FGIS labs will grade for odor. This is causing inland and terminal elevators to grade grain bought from producers as musty when it is actually sound. Some elevators have con- sidered not handling sorghum in the future due to the un- certainties and diff erences between grading standards.

Taking action

NSP and the Sorghum Checkoff are currently working with industry leaders to resolve the problem at hand. In 2008, FGIS, NSP and industry leaders began meeting to resolve the issue. As a result of the meetings, FGIS implemented a research proj- ect with Kansas State University’s Dr. Edgar Chambers. The goal of the research is to develop a liquid sample that may be used in assessing sorghum grain quality using sensory and chemical analyses by studying physical and chemical varia- tions between sound, musty and sour grain.

Chambers has completed his fi rst year’s results and hopes to create an instrument to help inspectors determine odor.

On Nov. 2, 2010, the Sorghum Checkoff and NSP hosted a fact-fi nding meeting in Corpus Christi addressing the issue of sorghum odor determination. Seventy people, including regional representatives from FGIS, local elevators, private investigators and producers, att ended the meeting in hopes to resolve the issue.

As a result of the meeting, steps have been taken to fi x the grading process. FGIS has placed a certifi ed inspector with the private inspection service to make the grading process more reliable.

“The Checkoff and NSP did a great job gett ing all the offi cials into one room and talking about where this grading issue is going,” said Brian McQuistion, general manager for Plant- ers Grain Coop in Odem, Texas.

NSP and the Sorghum Checkoff will continue to explore all options to quickly solve this issue for the benefi t of all sor- ghum growers. Research will be the key to a physical refer- ence standard and more consistent grading.

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SORGHUM Grower Winter 2011 13

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