Counting grains, measuring reporting and sharing their properties globally

Hello Ask USDA,
I am impressed that my question was processed over the Christmas weekend.  I have been reading more about grains, grain quality, grain grading, grain cleaning, grain sorting and related things.  I still have not found reports that tell the number, sizes, weights and qualities of grains. The closest is things related to “grain inspection reports” and then papers like these:
Near infrared reflectance spectroscopic determination of protein nitrogen in plant tissue at
Sorghum Grains Grading for Food, Feed, and Fuel Using NIR Spectroscopy
Early detection of germinated wheat grains using terahertz image and chemometrics at
These and many more allow finding the quality of grains.  I focused on the methods that can image individual grains and their interiors, in real time, or by inspections.
Fast nutritional characterization of different pigmented rice grains using a combination of NMR and decision tree analysis at
I was a little distressed to find only one method used for Wheat protein at
There are many people and groups trying things. But they do not work together globally in real time, so years or decades for changes.  Many groups are trying, but most are after a quick buck or quick fame or both.
(“wheat protein” OR “grain protein”) (“calibration” OR “measurement” OR “detector” OR “determination” OR “determinations”) has 632,000 entry points.
This one looks interesting, but needs work:
Equivalency of near infrared transmission instruments for grain analyzers by Samantha Elizabeth McGinnis at (2016)
Portable Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Analysis of Crops at
“near infrared” “grain properties” has 29,900 entry points
I was the first Director of the Famine Early Warning System ( that I set up for USAID and the US State Department from 1986 to 198 under emergency funding after so many died in Africa in the mid 1980’s.  Before that I was working at Georgetown University Center for Population Research on USAID population and long range planning projects in Africa, and setting up the USAID central Economic and Social Database – which included the World Food Report and all the data then available from all the international and federal agencies tracking countries.  I spent a lot of time promoting modeling and integrated approaches to planning, project design, evaluation of projects and the use of microcomputers in international development.  I am too old to be looking for new projects, just explaining my long held interest in quantitative global planning down to the household level.
I have no idea who reads these messages, their background or interests. For the last 24 years, every day, I study global communities on the Internet.  I took over TheInternetFoundation.Org (net and com) from Network Solutions in Jul 1998 after the original Internet Foundation was cancelled for US political reasons.  One of the most serious problem on the Internet is the glacial diffusion of ideas and methods. I follow and try to set standards for global open collaborative communities.  It seems like that is needed for grain quality and inspection world wide.  “Open” is closely connected to key elements – auditable, lossless, accessible to everyone, carefully monitored and logged.  And aware of global goals and issues.
I found the seed and grain cleaning groups and some of their technologies.  The optical sorting is interesting but not that efficient and nowhere near the best that can be done.  They sort and clean but don’t publish counts. When data on fundamental quantities and distributions is shared globally, it changes the dialog and motives.
I write like this for myself mostly. When I try hard to write clearly for strangers, I get a better understanding of what I am looking for and why.  So I realized that while sorting and measuring grains is being done and has its uses. What I think will help to integrate global datasets and groups and models most efficiently is counting.
“grain counting” has 24,600 entry points (Google, GMT 26 Dec 2021, 3:44 pm)
Rice and wheat grain counting method and software development based on Android system at
“thousand grain weight” OR “thousand grain mass” has 133,000 entry points
“thousand grain weight” OR “thousand grain mass” OR “1000 grain weight” OR “1000 grain mass” has 349,000 entry points
but it needs to be complimented with measurements of chemical composition, structure, hardness, and other properties.  I have been informally gathering these as I read.  I will try to be more careful to collect them, – “grain size”, “grain shape”, “protein content”, “proteome of a grain”, “oil content”, hydrophobic content, genome, germination percent, hardness, density, density variations, phenotyping (by  algorithms), amalyose, moisture, starch pasting, biotic stress, drought stress,
Vis/NIR hyperspectral imaging distinguishes sub-population, production environment, and physicochemical grain properties in rice at
Many efforts but without monitoring most grow for a while then die.  Grains Industries Centre for Near Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy at
Low cost detectors, processors, memories, communication and open algorithm and data sharing are changing many global communities.
Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation
I was reviewing grain counting and measurement technology groups on the Internet and came across Samantha McGinnis thesis.  The issue she raised is an important one.  I wonder.  How much of that was you and the people around her?
I have followed NMR and and ESR/EPR imaging for about 40 years now.  I recently came across some ESR/EPR 3D imaging methods.  Just before I started imaging plants and grains, I was going through all the in vivo 3D microscopic spectroscopy methods particularly for imaging nerves and their activity. For such development to go quickly, they need a safe and globally important target system for collaborative algorithm and sensor development. Plants seemed a good choice, and grain and seed quality sensor improvements would help many.
If the instrument makers had open algorithms, then they could calibrate on a common global best method.  It is the sharing of algorithms and data in open global collaborative groups that I have been working on every day for the last 24 years with the Internet Foundation.  Just saying.
I have been working professionally about 50 years now.  I get to do many interesting things.  I was the first Director of the Famine Early Warning System –  You and I might have common interest in combining global datasets – for critical processes, including global food and nutrition. And global climate change.
Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation has 921,000 entry points and it is not indexed or curated as a whole.

Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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