Multi-Industry/University Partnership To Development A Combine Sanitation Standard For Identity-Preserved Grain Markets

Mark Hanna, Extension Agricultural Engineer, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Darren Jarboe, Program Coordinator, Center for Crops Utilization Research


Grain and oilseed markets for product-differentiated, identity-preserved crops provide additional profit opportunities for growers and add food safety and security for buyers.  Grain residuals remaining in a combine harvester are a problem for quality assurance.  To maintain quality, combine manufacturers and growers need techniques and standards to reduce contamination by commingled grain.  Iowa State University has previously documented residual grain amounts in some combine models.


To work with major combine manufacturers to develop a written performance standard to aid growers in evaluating amounts of residual commingled grain after various cleaning techniques and levels of subsequent grain flushed through the combine. 


A consortium of three major combine manufacturers, AGCO, Case New Holland, and John Deere, jointly funded a field project to determine percentage of commingled grain after full and abbreviated clean-out techniques and following different amounts of grain flushed through the combine to further purge residual grain.  Statistically robust techniques were established to estimate the amount of commingled grain that could be expected following different levels of clean-out and flushing.  A project report was shared with industry partners.


$50,000 plus use of a combine and two heads (estimated $25,000 additional in-kind).  Measuring field performance for combine clean-outs and developing test protocol.  Mark Hanna and Darren Jarboe.  AGCO, Case New Holland, John Deere. 


·       Work is being done within an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers committee made up of industry and university members to develop a combine industry standard based upon the field project.  An initial draft standard is currently circulating among group members. 

·       Educational material on combine sanitation was presented by request to 37 growers of a private parent seed company for grower stewardship training and at public workshops for soybean seed and popcorn conditioning.

·       National and international growers and seed industry groups are requesting earlier developed educational materials on equipment sanitation.  An agribusiness professional with a major popcorn company indicated that they were requiring all their growers to review and use previously-developed materials on combine sanitation.


100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection

Page last updated: August 25, 2008
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