With harvest approaching, it is important producers understand the consequences of the time saving practice of allowing the elevator help to run the grain sample while the truck is dumping or in line to dump the load.

This is especially true if the elevator uses a dockage machine or "kicker If you disagree with any of the information on the ticket, after you return from dumping your load and if the sample has been cast aside in the dump bucket, you are legally out of luck. The elevator isn't required to keep your sample and if you object to any of the discounts listed, it only is a courtesy to adjust your ticket.

This becomes a problem only when the grain sample is not handled correctly. Surprisingly, in this day of regulation, there are no state mandated regulations concerning discounts on grain or handling of the sample anywhere except in the State Grain Inspection stations.

Normally, temporary harvest help is reliable and trustworthy, because they are hired from within the community. The problem arises when harvest help is brought in from other locations within the company. Many of these employees are office help and know little about handling grain samples.

While the instructions are written out for them--by the manufacturer of the kicker and by the head office--one extremely important step if left out can mean your load could be heavily discounted and if you did not retain the entire sample they worked with, you have no legal recourse. If the elevator employee neglected to stir the sample retrieved by the hydraulic probe, the first one-third of the sample can be nothing but dockage, if the sample was taken in between piles in the bed of a truck.

Another possibility is the employee used the wrong pans from the kicker to measure the dockage. This is hardly a representative sample of the entire load, yet time and again these incorrect figures are entered on the ticket and if the truck driver is not the producer, they rarely question the net result. By the time the producer reviews his tickets, the sample is long lost and any adjustment is simply at the discretion of the elevator office. If this does happen to you, by all means, object, and do it in person.

A Collingwood Grain manager told me that the sole purpose of the dockage machines is to steal grain from the producer. Do a little to protect yourself, demand the entire grain sample be returned to you, not just the 350 or so grams they ran through the machine, after all, if it wasn't stirred to start with, it is nothing but trash.--Jacqui Haffner, Hoxie, KS.

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