Growers have raised concerns this year with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) regarding the variability of moisture testing results of pea samples.

We have received reports that moisture tests at elevators upon delivery can be as much as 1% higher using the Unified Grain Moisture Algorithm (UGMA) moisture tester (for samples above 16% and at low temperatures) than when using the older 919-type technology that has been used for many years, and what many farmers use on-farm.

We understand from the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) that calibrations for both moisture testing meters for peas has been done on a “normal trading range” of up to 16% moisture. The accuracy of moisture testing for peas higher than 16% moisture has not yet been evaluated for the UGMA-type meters. The CGC has obtained higher moisture samples this year and will be using those in a calibration review. We also understand that the CGC will complete a temperature study to evaluate the effect of temperature differences in instrument response for both the 919 and UGMA-type meters. CGC has indicated that the results of this analysis should be completed by April 2020. In the meantime, the CGC is recommending that pea samples be a minimum of 11°C for moisture testing.

Growers should be aware that when delivering peas with moisture nearing or exceeding 16%, the moisture testing results at delivery could be different that the results tested on farm and could result in deductions for being ‘tough’. There are a few things that growers can do to minimize the risk of unexpected differences in moisture content upon delivery.

  • Warm the sample naturally, in a sealed container, to at least 11°C prior to moisture testing 
  • Have the sample tested using UGMA-type meter prior to making delivery
  • Consider drying or other methods to ensure the peas are below the 16% moisture threshold

If producers are dissatisfied with their moisture assessment, or disagree with the assessment at the primary elevator, producers have the right to request “Subject to Inspector’s Grade and Dockage” for a binding moisture determination performed by the CGC.

SPG will continue to monitor this issue. We would welcome any additional input or experience growers have on this topic this year.