An important addition to the new Lenexa, KS AGI SureTrack facility is the expanded capacity of the AGI SureTrack lab.
“We are moving from being able to process 15 samples a week to about 40,” says Lab Manager, John Schaefer, “We are hoping to maintain a two and a half to three week turn around year-round, including through harvest.”
Schaefer, who has served as lab manager since 2016, shares that with the additional capacity, the team has also grown, currently employing 4 additional team members, with the team looking to expand further as we head into the 2020 fall harvest season.
During the fall harvest season, the lab sees increased volume as growers send samples to learn the compositional—protein, starch and oil—contents to gain marketing advantages.
In the off season, the vast majority of the samples the lab sees are directly related to the operation’s BinManager®.
“We see samples for compositional data, but what we see the most of are samples of growers who need EMC curves to be developed,” Schaefer says. “There are generic EMC curves that can be used to calibrate the BinManager, but if a sample of bin is sent in, we can develop an EMC curve based off of that specific bin and its contents. That allows a precise calibration oft the BinManager for the specifics and goals of the grower.”
To request a free sample, a grower can login to their account and choose the “request sample bucket” option. A bucket complete with all of the needed return information and shipping label is sent out and once a sample has been collected, a grower can return the bucket with the included free shipping label.
From the request to the return to the results, the entire process is completely free and, as John notes, the services provided would be valued around $1200 if a grower were to source the extent of testing SureTrack provides at a commercial laboratory.
To pull a sample, Shaefer recommends that if different varieties are included in the bin, a sample of each is pulled.
“I don’t necessarily like to see a bucket with all of the varieties in the bin included. I would much rather see an entire bucket for each variety, but I realize that doesn’t always happen,” he says.
Samples can be pulled at harvest or post-harvest when the grain is already in the bin, and add another level of authenticity, marketing advantage and precision to an operation
Sample results can add another level of authenticity, marketing advantage and precision to an operation.
For an in-depth review of the machines and the data they provide, watch the full interview with John by visiting the CoffeeTalk webinar series on the AGI SureTrack Community page, or by accessing the conversation on the SureTrack Facebook page.