Growers have until the end of September to respond to an AHDB consultation on eGrain passports.
The organisation, which trialled the passport on 200 loads of grain last year involving 22 farmers as well as hauliers, mills and merchants, published a report in mid-March which was approved by the Cereal Liaison Group.
Derek Carless AHDB project manager – eGrain Passport – is keen to hear growers’ views on the eGrain passport. “There is a lot of support for it but not much formal feedback. The key benefits are that it allows data flow from processors to farmers. For merchants and processors, assurance checking happens automatically.
“Farmers can use the information to manage grain. Say you are supplying a load a day – if you can get same day feedback on whether it is close to the contractual spec on moisture and protein you can change the grain you are supplying to ensure it meets the contract or decide to sell on a different contract. Or you might decide to blend grain to get closer to limits.
“At the moment it could be weeks before you know or you may not know at all.”
Additional benefits are that farm assurance stickers are not required and administration involved in completing the passport documentation is reduced, according to the AHDB report.
Lyndy Allibone, who farms 240 hectares (600 acres) in Northamptonshire growing milling wheat, malting barley and oilseed rape took part in the trial.
“I think we were quite early in the trial and the IT did not really work well for us on the day, but saying that, when it did finally work it was really useful.
“We could use the almost instant feedback on quality to ensure we loaded the lorries according to the contract specification. This helped avoid claims or rejections in what was quite a difficult year.
“One of the issues is rural broadband and phone signal, neither of which are brilliant in our area. We need a system that will work almost without fail and signal strength is a concern. If the IT side does not work there needs to be a backup system.”