How FarmLead Changed Grain Testing Forever

When it’s time to sell their grain, the first thing farmers typically consider is the price.

The second is production cost.

They want to know if they’ll earn enough money on a sale to at least cover costs and make a profit.

But these are not the only factors that will ensure that you get the best price for your grain.

When the harvest is over, you also need to know to “the quality of the grain.”


Doing so allows you to improve your grain marketing. 

That’s why we have to discuss the importance of grain testing.

In 2017, grain testing has evolved into the second-most vital component of the grain marketing process. The more information you obtain about your crop, the better price you can receive.

In the past, grain testing has been a difficult, arduous process for independent U.S. producers.

But starting today, every single farmer has the easy ability to get their grain tested for specifications like grade, protein, moisture, and/or disease.

FarmLead has just announced the release of a new tool that gives U.S. farmers access to the same best-in-class grain testing facilities as industrial producers across the country.

Here’s how to get started today.

What Exactly is Grain Testing?


Grain testing is a scientific process that verifies key specifications about your grain.

In today’s markets, buyers have very specific demands when it comes to quality, particularly in the wheat, barley, oats and pulse crop markets.

Some grain buyers are seeking specific falling numbers.

Certain durum buyers want a higher HVK or DHV number.

Protein content is especially important to millers.

And, recently, we scanned the demands of a malt barley purchaser, whose list of required specifications was longer than many families’ grocery store lists.

But here’s the problem that FarmLead wants to solve.

Most elevators fail to offer every key data point on your grain’s quality when they conduct their own tests and set a price for higher quality grain.

Whether elevators do this on purpose or not is irrelevant.

What matters is that farmers are potentially losing money and failing to maximize the sales potential of their grain by failing to identify these specifications and shop around to more than one or two buyers.

As you’ll learn, when you market your grain to more buyers, you increase the possibility for greater profits.

It’s simple math.

More buyers mean higher bids, especially if you have high-quality, high-demand grain that meets rigorous standards.

Buyers Have Specific Needs


Grain buyers operate on tight schedules and under high pressure to meet their quotas.

Each buying program requires a distinct quality of grain and explicit specifications. Buyers don’t want to buy grain and then test it after delivery.

Buying the wrong type of grain can tie up vital storage space. Doing so can delay their deliveries to customers. It can also impact the rest of the grain supply chain.

They want to know these specifications ahead of time and typically ask for a spec sheet to see if a producer’s grain meets their expectations.

When a farmer uses FarmLead to list their grain and its grain specs, the benefits are even bigger. The FarmLead Marketplace allows buyers to look for the exact quality and specifications they are seeking and engage in immediate negotiations.

Recently, one buyer told FarmLead that they are willing to pay more money for grain if she can get the exact specifications that she desires.

Know Your Quality, Set Your Prices


On the farmer’s side, the grain testing process expedites the negotiation process.

By knowing the exact quality and specifications of their grain, farmers can market their grain to thousands of financially verified buyers.

Many of these buyers may not be within the region, state, or even in the country (Verified North American-based buyers can be anywhere in the world and still engage directly with farmers on FarmLead).

However, an anxious buyer facing supply shortages may make a higher bid than any local elevator based on need.

The other key benefit is that farmers can know the value of their grain at times when buyers are willing to price a premium for high-quality grain.

This factor was evident in the summer of 2017 when spring wheat markets were especially tight.

If a farmer knew that they had high-quality grain at a premium, they can shop around for the best price available.

Grain Testing Is Easier Than Ever


Grain testing was once a difficult process.

Farmers had to call around to testing facilities to determine their availability, prices, and delivery time for results.

Also many farmers stood in line behind large-scale producers for similar quality testing services.

FarmLead has addressed these problems by creating

Unlike traditional grain testing methods that rely on manual and time-consuming processes, the new GrainTests service by FarmLead streamlines the process.

This reduces that amount of time that farmers are forced to handle paperwork, phone calls, and emails to lab managers.

The online portal shifts the grain testing process into the 21st century and gives farmers 24-7 access to world-class, independent labs and payment processing.

More important, it helps level the playing field for independent farmers across North America.

Now, farmers can access to the same cutting-edge testing facilities of large-scale agricultural firms. The can also receive the lowest testing price possible.

If your grain samples require testing, the process is effortless.

Get started by watching our short introduction video below.

For more information about the new FarmLead service, please go to or

About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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