what are these grade requirements and how do professional determine wheat grain quality

Because we did not have a chance to address grain grading during the Dryland Wheat lectures, this assignment will walk you through some important elements to know about the USDA Grain Grading system.

Please download this Assignment #3 Instructions and Rubric documentPreview the document (pdf versionPreview the document), complete all of the questions (including all of the fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and grain grading questions), and submit using this assignment link.

There are several websites linked within Assignment #3 that you will need to access in order to complete the questions. Here is the Wheat Sample Lot PicturesPreview the document document (pdf versionPreview the document) that you will need in order to complete the Assigning a Grain Grade portion of the assignment. Also, pay close attention to the ‘Lot’ numbers associated with the four wheat images when answering the Assigning a Grain Grade questions.

Let me know if you have any questions or experience any issues accessing websites.  Have fun!

CROP/HORT 300 – Assignment #3 Grain Grading

40 Points

Overview: Dryland wheat production is a vital aspect of the Pacific Northwest agricultural economy and it is important to understand the basic considerations of this industry. Today, we will be learning about the basic USDA wheat grain grading system, which is the system utilized to determine the harvested crop value. The grading system itself is very complex and the detailed requirements of each “grade” can differ with wheat class (and are different across crop species as well). Trained professionals assign grain grades for each truckload of wheat upon receipt at the grain elevator (which is often a cooperative elevator, or local Co-Op). But, what are these grade requirements and how do professional determine wheat grain quality? Let’s get started….

Instructions: Please review all of the websites / videos included in the following “Background Info” section and answer each question (fill in the blank, short answer, and true/false). The “Assigning a Grain Grade” section of this assessment includes a hands-on wheat grain grading exercise, during which you will evaluate sample wheat lots, utilize linked grade criteria documents, assign a grade, and defend your grain grade assignments. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Grading Rubric: Grading Criteria

No Marks (0 pts.)

Weak (1-39%)

Developing (40-79%)

Strong (80-100%)

Total Points

“Background Info” No attempt

Questions were answered, but

were not complete and


Questions were answered in a

mediocre manner

Each question was answered in

a thorough, detailed, and descriptive



“Assigning a Grain Grade” No attempt

No explanation for either Grade

or market suitability was


Explanation for Grade and

market suitability was


Explanation for Grade and

market suitability was




Background Info: 1. To provide you with some background information, please watch this video from the Oregon

Wheat Commission and fill-in-the blanks on the following questions. (5 points) a. “Wheat is grown on about ___________________ of the state’s cropland with over

______________________ farms.”

b. “_______________________ is the most fuel-efficient mode of transportation to move grain” from Eastern Oregon elevators to the Port of Portland.

c. “Production of wheat supported $817 million of economic activity in the state’s economy and this produced about ___________________________ jobs across the state.”

d. “The key to economic ________________________ is not just generating higher outputs through increased yield, but we also want to look at reducing our inputs so that less money goes into the crop and we are still achieving the same or higher outputs.”

2. Next, please watch this YouTube video from Oklahoma State University and summarize the importance of conducting grain grading and assigning grades to each lot. (4 points)

Write your answer here: _______________

3. Now, visit the USDA Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration website for the Federal Grain Inspection Service and answer the following questions.

a. Access the “eLearning” section and please review the “Making the Grade” presentation. (3 points)

i. Congress passed the U.S. Grain Standards Act in _________________________. ii. Describe why US legislative action was necessary to address grain standards.

Write your answer here: _______________________

b. Access and review the “Grain Quality Factors” presentation. (7 points) i. What are the four primary physical characteristics that are analyzed in the grain

grading process? Write your answer here: ________________

ii. Identify four of the nine factors that influence the condition of the grain. Write your answer here: ________________

iii. Explain why “spoilage” is an important factor influencing grain quality and identify

some factors that influence the amount of “spoilage” that can occur at a given point in time. Write your answer here: ________________

c. Now on the “eLearning” webpage, please scroll down to the ‘Grain Grading Tutorial’ section and access the “Wheat” presentation. (11 points)

i. Define “U.S. Sample Grade” and provide two examples of items included within the seed sample that would reduce the wheat grade to the “sample grade” standing.

Write your answer here: ________________

ii. As the learning module states, “infested wheat is wheat that is infested with…live insects injurious to stored grain.” What are two examples of such insects that would influence wheat grain storability (be specific)? Write your answer here: ________________

iii. Explain what happens during the Carter Dockage Tester and how grain inspectors determine the dockage on an individual wheat lot. Write your answer here: ________________

iv. What is the official definition of “shrunken and broken kernels?” Write your answer here: ________________

v. Summarize how the official wheat Grade is designated and note what happens to the grade if the sample wheat lot includes one factor that does not meet the highest standard/criteria. Write your answer here: ________________

Assigning a Grain Grade: 1. Please review these three resources prior to answering the questions listed below. These

resources will provide you with the basic skills and factors to analyze for market suitability. a. The USDA Blog – “Knowledge at your fingertips makes every penny count”

b. USDA’s Visual Reference Library c. Up-to-date Wheat Grade Requirements

2. After completing a review of some of the specific requirements of wheat grading in particular, please review the following image depicting three different US Wheat classes. Please summarize the identifying characteristics of the seeds (i.e. how you can tell them apart) for the following wheat classes: soft white wheat, hard red wheat, and hard white wheat. Your comparison of characteristics should include size, shape, and color at a minimum. (3 points)

Write your answer here: ________________

3. Using the knowledge gained from the “Background Info” questions and the above “Assigning a Grain Grade” resources, compare the hard white wheat example lots shown in the images provided in the PowerPoint ‘Wheat Sample Lot Pictures’ document (linked on the Canvas Assignment page) in terms of wheat market grades. (7 points)

a. Let’s say that the test weight, protein content, and moisture content for all lots (#1, #2, #3, and #4) are the same. Therefore, based on foreign material and dockage, which of these lots would receive the highest grade? Explain your reasoning. Write your answer here: ________________

b. For each lot, describe which elements (if any) are deemed “unsuitable” for market, and why? Write your answer here: ________________

  • Overview:
  • Instructions:
  • Grading Rubric:
  • Background Info:
  • Assigning a Grain Grade:

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