Falling Number Machine

The E. E. Cummings Crop Testing Laboratory opened in 2011 as the NWCS Quality Testing Laboratory thanks to funding from the Castanea Foundation and the support from generous private donations. We perform quality analysis on commercial cereal grains and malting barley samples received from farmers and researchers across the region.

Updated Sample Submission Form (click here to access)

We have streamlined our grain submission forms. Instead of having separate forms for malting barley and other cereal grains, we have combined the forms into one single sample submission form. We’ve also combined some of our most popular testing combinations into packages that are available at a discount. None of the pricing for individual tests has changed.

Malting Barley Package: Grain Moisture, Test Weight, Starch, Protein, Plumpness, Germination Energy, Germination Capacity, and Water Sensitivity ($60, or $50 for Northern Grain Growers members)

Baking Quality Package: Grain Moisture, Test Weight, Starch, Protein, and Falling Number ($37, or $30 for Northern Grain Growers members)

Seed Quality Package: Germination Energy, Germination Capacity, and Seed Purity ($25, or $20 for Northern Grain Growers members)

Due to rising costs of lab supplies and decreasing volume of hops samples arriving, the E.E. Cummings Crop Testing lab will no longer be analyzing hops samples. We recommend Alliance Analytical Labs, Advanced Analytical Research, or Cornell AgriTech lab for your hops analysis needs. Please find links below for each of these locations for your convenience.

Alliance Analytical Labs, https://aatestlabs.com/alcoholic-beverage-testing-laboratory.php
Advanced Analytical Research, https://www.aarlab.com/store/c2/HOP_ANALYSIS_AAR
Cornell AgriTech, https://cals.cornell.edu/cornell-agritech/products-we-research/hops

The lab is equipped with near-infrared technology for protein analysis and employs a method to test for deoxynivalenol (DON) also known as vomitoxin. Occurrences of this vomitoxin in wheat at or above 1 ppm are considered unsafe for human consumption by the FDA. Contamination of wheat with DON is directly related to the incidence of Fusarium head blight and strongly associated with relative moisture and timing of rainfall at flowering.

Our lab also houses a sophisticated machine to test the Falling Number of wheat, an internationally standardized method for sprout damage detection. The Falling Number System measures the alpha-amylase enzyme activity in grains and flour to detect sprout damage, optimize flour enzyme activity and guarantee soundness of traded grain. Alpha-amylase activity is crucial for final product quality of bread, pasta, noodles and malt.

Understanding Falling Number in Cereal Crops fact sheet (PDF)

When to test for Aflatoxins (PDF)

Aflatoxins are fungal toxins and are produced by several different molds in the Aspergillius family.

Remember the results are only as good as the sample submitted!

If you have samples you would like analyzed, please send 1) payment and 2) a completed submission form — these must accompany all requests sent in. In order to get results that accurately reflect your product, be sure to employ good sampling techniques.

If you ever require grain or seed testing that is not on our menu of options, feel free to contact us about your testing needs and we’d be happy to discuss if we can provide the testing you need. Many of our additions to our analysis options have come from your requests for additional testing and we always strive to be able to meet all of our clients’ testing needs.


Submission Forms

To submit a sample(s), please click on the submission form below and complete the form in full. Payment and a completed Submission Form must accompany all requests please.

Contact information for the testing lab:
Email: uvmgrain@uvm.edu
Phone: 802-656-5392