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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pendleton, Oregon » Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #286473

Title: A web-based calculator for estimating the profit potential of grain segregation by protein concentration

item MARTIN, CHARLES - Syngenta
item McCallum, John
item Long, Daniel

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2013
Publication Date: 3/15/2013
Citation: Martin, C.T., Mccallum, J.D., Long, D.S. 2013. A web-based calculator for estimating the profit potential of grain segregation by protein concentration. Agronomy Journal. 105: 721-726.

Interpretive Summary: Grain segregation by protein content has been proposed as a way for grain growers to maximize dollar returns in markets that offer protein premiums. Whole grain analyzers have been developed for combine harvesters to measure and map grain protein across fields. This technology creates an opportunity to segregate wheat based on protein content. A software tool was developed for growers to evaluate whether grain segregation by protein concentration is profitable. The online Grain Segregation Profit Calculator provides the ability to calculate the optimal cutoff value to segregate grain into two bins and compute the added revenue.

Technical Abstract: By ignoring spatial variability in grain quality, conventional harvesting systems may increase the likelihood that growers will not capture price premiums for high quality grain found within fields. The Grain Segregation Profit Calculator was developed to demonstrate the profit potential of segregating grain during harvest of wheat on the combine. The objective was to calculate the cutoff value to use for segregating wheat into two lots such that the prices received for average protein levels in the two lots maximize profit. The calculator is written in Java with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 components to allow for web-based functionality. A graphical user interface helps users input the price schedule, and mean and standard deviation of grain protein concentration of their field, and calculate the potential increase in profit from segregating the grain into two distinct lots. The calculator is illustrated with results of segregation of hard red spring wheat for 25 dryland fields in Montana and Oregon. Based on a 17 yr average high premium price schedule, the effect of mean protein and standard deviation on maximum profitability is examined. Revenue from grain segregation was found to be sensitive to three factors within grain production. These factors are premium schedules being paid in the market place, protein variability within the field, and the average field protein level.