Drying to 16%

Two Tone

Mixed Farmer
Grain will keep forever at 16% if it is cool enough.
We went down to15% because that is what much of the rest of the World works on.

When were were still on the 16% rule and we had Intervention stores, it had to be 15%. But unless you turned up at a store with it down to 14%, they would hold the lorry up for 2 hours and do an oven test to confirm it was actually 15% or below. So if your harvested grain was above 16%, you dried it down to 14% for Intervention, but when it got down to 16% later in the day, you switched bins and would sell that on the open market.
For this reason, the open market price was always a few quid less that what the EEC set the Intervention price at each year.

Some mills today are happy to take it up to 16.5% with a claim and often that claim is less than we could dry it down to15%. This is a very good idea, especially when they might steam it to get the moisture up for milling it before turning the final blend into cube nuts.

I believe that it is utterly stupid in this day and age of Climate change worries to waste so much energy to dry stuff down to 15, if it can be used at a higher moisture content.

It is just as bad as FCOJ (frozen concentrated orange juice) which is what much of our orange is, before it is rehydrated and put into cartons before it hits the supermarket shelves. The energy used to concentrate it is enormous!


Arable Farmer
N Lincs
15% is just another trade con against farmers 99% of the time it makes no diffrance what the moisture is unless it’s going for export, and the buyer requires 15%.
How do companies buying wheat to make fuel, have an issue with wheat that’s 16% in reality 1% moisture represents £2 in a tonne of £200/T wheat, so if they were doing a claim for a weight deduction then they should max out at £2 per tonne if the price is £200/T
So at £180/T it’s capped at £1.80/tonne for a full 1% over 15%
I can see the argument for a moisture claim if the wheat is for export but at no other time, the max you could argue is a weight claim which should be based on the price so 1% of the price, for a 1% moisture claim. so 15.3% moisture wheat that’s at £200/T is £0.60/T deduction and no more.

if RT and the NFU were really on farmers side they would have got that as a fixed contract requirement for all crops sold under a RT assurance sticker. So that mills cannot charge more than a weight claim if 15% is not a real requirement as in the drop is going for export so drying costs are a real possibility for the merchant, exporting the crop.

I would also second that a start moisture of 16% if the trade is happy with it is actually better for the whole trade, for multiple reason including drying costs the ability of the farmer to have a larger combining window without drying with all the benefits of that, and the energy saved by farmers and trade.
Very dry barley, at high inclusions can make cake very dry/dusty and difficult to pellet properly. In a blend it is less of an issue but again you won't want dust in a blend for obvious reasons as cattle don't like it and it coats everything in dust.

For the feed trade I agree mills should be a bit more flexible. They should also be buying their customers grain and beans if at all possible. I certainly used to try.


I'm taking mine down to 13% just to be "sure". My meter ( calibrated ) differs wildly from that of the merchants I sell to. Something wrong somewhere..........
This! I had mine calibrated by a local merchant this year ( first time as I usually use an independant ). I wasn't happy with the results I was getting and had a gut feeling it wasn't reading correctly.
I took a sample over to a friend of mine to do a comparison test as I knew he also had his meter calibrated by the same merchant.
Results: Mine was out by 1% ...down and not up.
No bad thing and at least it's reading low and not high you may say but...
My friend is a member of said merchant and I am just a mere seller but sell almost all my grains to them apart from osr.
Ok it may have been a genuine error on their part who knows but still as 7610 says: 'Something wrong somewhere'

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