XI. TESTING ANALYSIS METHODS
The 2015/2016 Harvest Survey samples (each about 2500 grams) were sent directly from the local grain elevators to the Cereal Quality Lab (CQL) in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Upon arrival, the samples were dried, if needed, to a suitable moisture content to prevent any subsequent deterioration during the testing period. The samples were then split into two 1100- to 1250-gram subsamples using a Boerner divider. The divider splits the complete sample into two while keeping the attributes of the grain sample evenly distributed between the two subsamples. One subsample was shipped to Amarillo Grain Exchange (AGE) in Amarillo, Texas for grading and mycotoxin testing. AGE is an offcial grain inspection service provider in Texas as designated by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS). The grade testing procedures were in accordance with FGIS’s Grain Inspection Handbook and are described in the following section. The other subsample was analyzed at CQL for chemical composition and other physical factors following either industry norms or well-established procedures in practice for many years.
The FGIS field offces provided offcial grade factor results for the 2015/2016 Export Cargo Survey samples from their normal inspection and testing procedures for each sublot of sorghum sample collected. The sorghum samples (each about 2500 grams) were sent directly from the FGIS field offces to CQL. The samples were then split into two 1100- to 1250-gram subsamples using a Boerner divider. One subsample was analyzed at CQL for chemical composition and other physical factors using the same methods utilized for the 2015/2016 Harvest Survey samples. The other subsample was sent to AGE for mycotoxin testing. AGE tested each of the 182 total samples for DON and 135 of the total samples for aflatoxins. While not required, some exported sorghum shipments undergo quantitative aflatoxin testing. In the instances where this testing was conducted by the FGIS field offces, AGE did not conduct aflatoxin testing on the sample and the FGIS-provided aflatoxin results are reported. If the sampled shipment did not undergo quantitative aflatoxin testing, then aflatoxin testing was conducted by AGE. Both mycotoxin tests performed by AGE were conducted using the same methods as the 2015/2016 Harvest Survey.