Soybeans: Grading factors

Full list of grading factors

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C

Colour (CLR)

Colour is evaluated on the cleaned sample after the removal of damaged seeds. Colour is assessed against the standard of quality by using the applicable standard prints published for the grade.

Note: Yellow soybeans with green coloured hulls, but are not immature, shall be graded no lower than Soybeans, number 2 Canada Yellow.


Contaminated grain

Important: Wear gloves and a mask to handle any sample that is suspected of containing contaminated grain.

Grain is contaminated for the purposes of the Canada Grain Act if the grain contains any substance in sufficient quantity that the grain is either

  1. adulterated for the purposes of the Food and Drugs Act; or 
  2. contaminated within the meaning of the regulations made under section 51 of the Safe Foods for Canadians Act.

Procedures

If a sample is suspected of being contaminated, the sample should be submitted to the Canadian Grain Commission. Determination as to whether grain is contaminated will be made by the Grain Research Laboratory in consultation with the Chief Grain Inspector for Canada. Samples deemed to be contaminated are graded: Soybeans, Sample Condemned.


D

Damage (DMG)

Damaged soybeans include those which are sprouted, frost-damaged, shriveled, ground-damaged, insect damaged, immature, or otherwise unsound.

Procedures

Soybeans showing some indication of possible internal damage are to be cut for confirmation of damage.


Downy mildew (DWNY MIL)

Downy mildew is a superficial coating of downy or powdery fungal growth. Caused by Peronospora manshurica, it can sometimes form a white coating on soybeans. These are spores of the fungus. They do not affect the processing or safety of the seed, but can affect the appearance.

An individual soybean is considered affected only if all of the fungal growth could be pulled together and the growth covers 50% or more of the surface area of the soybean.


E

Earth pellets (EP)

  • Hard earth pellets are pellets that do not crumble under light pressure. See Stones.
  • Soft earth pellets are pellets that crumble under light pressure. See Soft earth pellets.

Ergot (ERG)

Ergot is a plant disease producing elongated fungal bodies with a purplish-black exterior, a purplish-white to off-white interior, and a relatively smooth surface texture.

Ergot attacks cereal crops and is not usually present in soybeans, which are a broadleaf crop.


Excreta (EXCR)

Excrement from any animal including mammals, birds and insects.

Important: Wear gloves and a mask to handle any samples that you suspect may contain excreta.

Extraneous material

Can be defined as glass, metal, wood, plastic or any other material not already defined in the Official Grain Grading Guide.


F

Fertilizer pellets (FERT PLTS)

Fertilizer pellets are a manufactured plant nutrient product used by producers in the production of grain. They are typically small, round or irregular shaped and usually white, grey, brown, pink or reddish in colour.

Procedures

  • Handpick any fertilizer pellets and determine the concentration basis the net working sample.
  • Fertilizer pellets are assessed as stones when the concentration does not exceed 1.0% of the net sample weight.
  • Samples containing fertilizer pellets in excess of 1.0% of the net sample weight are graded Soybeans, Held IP Suspect Contaminated Grain.

Fireburnt (FBNT)

Fireburnt soybeans are seeds charred or scorched by fire. A cross-section of a fireburnt seed resembles charcoal with numerous air holes. The air holes result in a low weight seed which crumbles easily under pressure.

Procedures

Samples of soybeans containing fireburnt seeds are graded as Soybeans, Sample Canada Account Fireburnt.


Foreign material (FM)

Foreign material includes any material other than whole soybeans or split soybeans left in the sample after the removal of dockage.


Foreign material other than grain (FMXGRN)

Foreign material other than grain does not include ergot or stones, but does include

  • Large weed seeds that did not pass through the number 8 round-hole sieve
  • Soft earth pellets which crumble under light pressure
  • Soft fertilizer pellets
  • Any other non-toxic material of a similar consistency
  • Sclerotinia

Frost (FR)

Frost-damaged soybeans, when cut in cross-section, are

  • Soybeans whose cotyledons are green or greenish-brown with a glassy wax-like appearance are considered frost-damaged.
  • Seeds whose cotyledon are yellow or have just a halo of green around the outside of the cotyledon are considered sound, even if they are superficially affected by weathering.

See Damage.


H

Heated (HTD)

  • Soybeans with a light to dark brown cotyledon when cut in cross section are considered heated.
  • Soybeans with a very light tan cotyledon when cut in cross section are considered damaged. See Damage.
  • Heated seeds of other grains are included in the tolerance for Heated.

Hulls (HULLS)

See Seed coats.


I

Immature (IM)

Immature damaged soybeans are characterized by a green exterior appearance in conjunction with green discolouration penetrating the cotyledon.

Soybeans that are green in appearance and have no discolouration of the cotyledon or just a halo of green around the outside of the cotyledon are to be assessed against the overall colour of the sample and are not to be graded lower than Soybeans, number 2 Canada Yellow.

Note: Examination of the cotyledons is determined by cutting the soybeans in cross section. For grading purposes, immature damaged soybeans are considered as part of the “Total Damage” grade specification.

  • Mature and immature soybeans
    Mature and immature soybeans

Insect Damage (I DMG)

Insect damaged kernels are characterized by a perforation of the seed coat in conjunction with a discoloration penetrating into the cotyledon.

See Damage.


M

Mottled kernels

See Stained and mottled.


Mouldy (MLDY)

Mouldy soybeans are wrinkled and misshapen, and range in colour from medium to dark brown. Large areas of the affected bean are superficially covered with a grey mould. Mouldy beans often have a spongy texture and usually give off an unpleasant odour. They are included in the tolerance for Heated.


Mudball soybean

A soybean completely covered with caked-on mud is considered damaged.


O

Odour (ODOR)

There is no numeric tolerance for odour. Consider

  • The basic quality of the sample
  • The type and degree of the odour
  • The presence of visible residue causing the odour

Grains grading number 1 through 3 must have a natural odour. A sample would have to grade number 4 for Damage before it could have a slight odour associated with low quality soybeans.

If odour is the grade determinant and there is:
If odour is the grade determinant and there is: Then the grade is:
If there is a distinct unnatural or objectionable odour not associated with the quality of the grain, but not heated or fireburnt Soybean, Sample Canada (colour) Account Odour
A heated odour Soybean, Sample Canada (colour), Heated
A fireburnt odour Soybean, Sample Canada (colour), Fireburnt

Other colours or bicoloured other than for mixed soybeans (OCLRRBICLROTMXDSYB)

  • Mixed soybeans are samples containing bicoloured soybeans or soybeans of another colour.
  • Bicoloured soybeans are yellow or green soybeans with black or brown pigmented streaks or blotches in the seed coats.

Other grains (OGS)

All grains other than soybeans that remain in the sample after cleaning are considered other grains.


P

Pokeweed stain

Pokeweed stain is a bright red staining of the soybean seed coat caused by the sap of the pokeweed berry. In some cases, the staining may appear similar to pesticide treated seeds of soybeans.

Important: Do not confuse pokeweed stain with pesticide treated seed or contaminated grain.

  • Soybeans afflicted by pokeweed stain.
    Soybeans afflicted by pokeweed stain.

Protein (PROT)

Protein content in soybeans is reported on a dry matter basis.


Purple mottling

See Stained and mottled.


R

Rancid

Soybeans in various stages of rancidity are characterized by a deep pink discolouration on the seed coat and varying degrees of discolouration of the cotyledon.

Seeds having a deep pink discolouration on the seed coat are cut and, based upon the extent of discolouration of the cotyledon, assessed as follows:

Assessing the discolouration of cotyledon
Discolouration of cotyledon Assess as
No discolouration of cotyledon to slight discolouration just below seed coat. Considered in the evaluation of colour.
Pink discolouration of cotyledon greater than just below the seed coat level but not throughout the entire seed. Considered as Damage.
Pink discolouration extends throughout cotyledon. Considered rancid and included in tolerance for Heated.

S

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (SCL)

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a fungus producing hard masses of fungal tissue, called sclerotia. The sclerotia vary in size and shape, have a course surface texture, vary in exterior color from dark black to gray to white and have a pure white interior. Sclerotinia is included in Foreign material other than grain for grade determination.


Seed coats (SDC)

  • In unprocessed samples, loose seed coats are assessed as dockage.
  • In commercially clean samples, loose seed coats are assessed as Splits.

Shrivelled (SHV)

If the soybean is shrivelled, small and flat, it has no oil value and is considered Damaged.

  • These seeds have a cornflake-like appearance allowing  for little to no oil extraction
    Shrivelled - These seeds have a cornflake-like appearance allowing for little to no oil extraction
  • These seeds have enough mass to allow for oil or meal extraction
    Not shrivelled - These seeds have enough mass to allow for oil or meal extraction

Soft earth pellets (SEP)

Soft earth pellets are pellets that crumble under light pressure—if they do not crumble, they are considered stones. These pellets can be

  • Earth and fertilizer pellets
  • Any non-toxic material of similar consistency

Procedure

  • Earth pellets may be removed as dockage. See Normal cleaning procedures.
  • If soft earth pellets are over 10.0% of the gross weight of the sample, they become a grading factor, included in the tolerance for Foreign material other than grain.
  1. Return the pellets to the sample.
  2. Handpick soft earth pellets from a representative portion of the cleaned sample.
  3. If soft earth pellets are the grade determinant, grade the sample Soybeans, Sample Canada (colour, Account Admixture.

Splits (SPLTS)

Splits include split soybeans, broken seeds that are less than three-quarters of the whole seed, and cotyledons that are loosely held together by the seed coat.

Procedure

  1. Any slotted hand sieve may be used to help separate splits from the sample.
  2. Handpick any small whole soybeans that pass through the sieve and return them to the sample.
  3. Handpick the remaining splits in the sample and add them to those removed by sieving.
  4. Determine the total percentage by weight of splits.

Sprouted

If a soybean shows evidence of sprouting, it is Damaged.


Stained and mottled (STND)

Staining or mottling on the surface is caused by weather, dirt, weed stain, or disease. If the soybeans are not damaged or discoloured internally, they are considered sound. See Pokeweed stain.

Limits are visible in the Canada standard prints, and are defined under standard of quality as

Good natural colour Canada number 1
Slightly stained Canada number 2
Stained Canada number 3
Badly stained Canada number 4 or 5

Procedure

Evaluate the stain or mottling according to its effect on the general appearance of the sample. For Purple mottling only, reference the Purple Mottling Stain Guide below.

Stained and mottled

Stones (STNS)

Stones are hard shale, coal, hard earth pellets, and any other non toxic materials of similar consistency. Fertilizer pellets are assessed as stones when constituting 1.0% or less of the net sample weight. (See Fertilizer pellets for specific procedures to be followed when samples contain fertilizer pellets.)

Procedures

  1. Handpick stones from a representative portion of the cleaned sample.
  2. Determine stone concentration in the net sample.
  • In western Canada samples of grain containing stones in excess of “basic grade” tolerances, up to 2.5% are graded Soybeans, Rejected “basic grade” Account Stones. The “basic grade” refers to a grade established in the Canada Grain Regulations (grades listed in the first column in grade determinant tables) that would have been assigned to the sample if it contained no stones.
  • In eastern Canada samples of grain containing stones in excess of grade tolerances are degraded to lower grades. Samples containing stones in excess of the tolerance of the lowest grade established by regulation up to 2.5% are graded Soybeans, Sample Canada (colour) Account Stones.
  • In western and eastern Canada grain containing more than 2.5% stones is graded Soybeans, Sample Salvage.
    Examples: Western Canada
    Excerpt from grade determinant tables for Soybeans, Canada
    Grade name Stones %
    number 1 Canada 0.0
    number 2 Canada 0.1
    number 3 Canada 0.1
    number 4 Canada 0.1
    number 5 Canada 0.1
    • Basic grade: Soybeans, number 1 Canada Yellow
    Grade in Western Canada if stones found
    If the above sample contained Grade in western Canada
    0.1% stones Soybeans, Rejected number 1 Canada Yellow
    0.3% stones Soybeans, Rejected number 1 Canada Yellow
    3.0% stones Soybeans, Sample Salvage
    Examples: Eastern Canada
    Excerpt from grade determinant tables for Soybeans, Canada
    Grade name Stones %
    number 1 Canada 0.0
    number 2 Canada 0.1
    number 3 Canada 0.1
    number 4 Canada 0.1
    number 5 Canada 0.1
    • Basic grade: Soybeans, number 1 Canada Yellow
    Grade in Eastern Canada if stones found
    If the above sample contained Grade in eastern Canada
    0.1% stones Soybeans, number 2 Canada Yellow
    1.0% stones Soybeans, Sample Canada Yellow Account Stones
    3.0% stones Soybeans, Sample Salvage

T

Test weight (TWT)

Test weight is the weight of a measured volume of grain expressed in kilograms per hectolitre. For procedures, see Chapter 1 of this guide, Determining test weight.

Treated seed and other chemical substances

Treated seed

Treated seed is grain that has been adulterated with an agricultural chemical for agronomic purposes. The types of agricultural chemicals used to treat seed include pesticides, fungicides and inoculants. These seed dressings contain a dye to render the treated seed visually conspicuous. The colour of the dye varies depending upon the type of treatment and the type of grain. The current Canadian colour standard for pesticide and fungicide seed treatments for cereal (including corn) is red or pink. The colour standard for pesticide and fungicide seed treatments for canola is blue; however, green has also been used. Pulse crop (including soybeans) pesticide and fungicide seed treatments are typically blue or green. The coatings or stains may appear greasy or powdery and the surface area covered may range from tiny flecks to complete coverage.

Other chemical substances

Other chemical substances refers to any chemical residues either adhering to the kernel or remaining in the sample and to samples having a chemical odour of any kind.

Important: Wear gloves and a mask to handle any samples that you suspect may contain contaminated grain.

Procedures

If a sample is suspected of being coated with a pesticide, desiccant, inoculant or if the sample contains evidence of any foreign chemical substance other than fertilizer pellets, the sample shall be graded Soybeans, Held IP Suspect Contaminated Grain.

Important: Do not confuse pesticide treated seed with pokeweed stain, which is similar.


V

Variety (VAR)

Soybeans are graded without reference to variety.

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