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REPORTS OF CHIEF GRAIN INSPECTOR
GRAIN INSPECTION AND WEIGHING
FOR YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 1, 1896.
GRAIN INSPECTION DEPARTMENT
State of Minnesota,
St. Paul, Minn., Nov. 1, 1896. The Railroad and Warehouse Commission,
Gentlemen: I herewith respectfully submit the eleventh annual report of the State Grain Inspection Department, covering its business for the crop year ending Aug. 31, 1896, to which are attached the reports of the several weighing and registration departments for the same period.
The total number of carloads of grain inspected “on arrival" at the four terminal points is as follows: Wheat, 210,917; corn, 3,006; oats, 12,762; rye, 2,676; barley, 7,463; flaxseed, 13,981; a total inspection of incoming grain of all kinds amounting to 250,805 carloads.
The inspection "out of store" for the same period was as follows: Wheat, 38,131 carloads and 46,732,484 bushels into vessels. The total amount of corn, oats, rye, barley and flaxseed was 9,811 carloads and 13,096,515 bushels into vessels (for details see Exhibit G), or a grand total of 47,942 carloads and 59,828,999 bushels “into vessels” of all kinds of grain inspected “out of store.”
As compared with the volume of business transacted during any previous season in the history of the department, that of the past year is unsurpassed.
The nearest approach to it was the season of 1891-92, during which 221,546 carloads of grain were inspected "on arrival” and 68,634 carloads and 45,133,184 bushels “out of store.”
In this connection attention is called to the remarkable increase in receipts of coarse grain and flaxseed over any former season. This is largely accounted for by reason of the growing tendency to abandon exclusive wheat culture and devote attention to some of the other cereals. The extension of the Great Northern Railway system into Southwest territory also accounts to an important extent for the increase of traffic at Northwestern points which was formerly tributary to Chicago.
As an indication of the relative receipts and shipments subjected to state inspection during the past eleven seasons, your attention is respectfully called to the subjoined table.
The wheat crop of the past season, like several others which preceded it, had its blemishes. In all sections of the wheat area of the Northwest there were incidental troubles with smut, while some portions of the extreme northern or hard wheat belt suffered considerably in addition from early frost. The result is shown in the
reduced percentage of the No. 1 hard grade as compared with more favorable years. On the whole, however, the crop averaged well up in quality with that of the year previous.
Of the total number of cars of wheat received, 15,770 cars, or 73 per cent, inspected as No. 1 hard, as against 54 per cent the preceding year; 125,531 cars, or 594 per cent, graded No. 1 Northern, as against 674 per cent; 37,510 cars, or 18 per cent, No. 2 Northern, as against 13 per cent; 32,001 cars, or 15 per cent below No. 2 Northern, as against 14 per cent last year. .
In the endeavor to properly and justly classify wheat which has been damaged from any cause, the department naturally encounters more or less difficulty and criticism. This is particularly true of frosted and smutty wheat. The former is bought sparingly by nuillers, and our grades on this class of wheat are scrutinized very closely; in most cases purchases are made by sample and grades cut a secondary figure. Smutty wheat, until a year ago, was tabooed by the trade both at home and abroad. Northwestern millers, however, with their usual energy and progressive spirit, have discovered and put into operation a mechanical device for the purpose of washing wheat which is tainted with smut and bringing it into prime condition for milling. This is accomplished at a comparatively small expense per bushel, and the benefits accruing to the farmer are seen in the advanced prices for this class of grain in our home markets. Smutty wheat, however, is not at all acceptable to Eastern buyers and millers, and they decline to use it except at a great discount, so that, at present, the market for this class of grain is practically confined to Northwestern territory.
FINANCES. The amount of revenue received during the year for inspection service was $124,949.30; for weighing service, $115,110.27; interest on deposits and incidental earnings, $1,883.30, or a total revenue of $241,942.87.
The disbursements during the same period were $174,808.24; leaving a net gain for the year of $67,134.63. The balance on hand from last season was $1,794.97, making a net balance on hand at the close of the season covered by this report of $68,929.20. As the coming crop of the three states from which we principally derive our business promises not to exceed much over sixty per cent of the last one, the department is fortunate in having a sufficient surplus to tide them over the coming season and enable them to furnish
the high grade service which the conditions of the trade demand. The probability is that by the close of the present season, owing to largely decreased revenues, the surplus will have been reduced to normal figures.
A comparative exhibit of earnings, expenses, and balances follows herewith:
Out of 210,917 carloads of wheat inspected at St. Paul, St. Cloud, Minneapolis and Duluth, 195,451 cars were subjected to dockage on account of the foreign matter contained therein; 72,075 carloads were docked one-half pound per bushel, 79,680 one pound, 28,146 one and one-half pounds, 10,314 two pounds, 2,383 two and one-half pounds, 1,753 three pounds, and 1,100 over three pounds per bushel and at an average of four pounds.
There were received 15,466 cars on which no dockage was placed. Of these 3,110 contained wheat which had been suitably cleaned at interior points before shipment and 12,356 cars contained grain of a low grade or "sample” grain, which is always sold on its merits and on which no dockage was imposed.
At St. Paul the average dockage for the season was 17 ounces per bushel, at St. Cloud 174 ounces, at Minneapolis 16 ounces, and at Duluth 151 ounces per bushel. The slight variations in dockage between the several points can be ascribed largely to differences in quality and condition of wheat tributary to each market. The net average dockage at all points was 157 ounces per bushel.
REINSPECTIONS AND APPEALS.
Out of a total of 298,747 carloads of grain inspected "into" and “out of” store there were 15,229 calls for reinspection; in 8,935 cases the original inspection was sustained. In 5,567 cases the