1977 - Volume #1, Issue #3, Page #12[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Confetti Stops Grain ThievesIt used to be next to impossible to prevent theft of grain stored in remote areas. But that was before grain confetti arrived on the scene.
Grain confetti is a silent sentinel watching over your grain and discouraging would-be thieves. The confetti - small bits of paper, each containing an identification number - is mixed with stored grain. Any quantity of grain taken out of the bin contains the tiny slips of paper which identify the owner.
A thief would be caught "redhanded" if he tried to sell stolen grain branded with this identification material.
Grain confetti is not new, but there is renewed interest as higher prices have made grain more valuable to owners, and more vulnerable to thievery. Manufacturer and distributor of the product in the United States is Grain Identification Company, Cooperstown, N. Dak., who started the idea about 20 years ago.
Jim Cussons, general manager of the company, tells how the grain identification system works:
"When a farmer takes an order of confetti, we give his farm an identification number. That number is printed on the small slips of paper confetti, and the number is registered in our office. We send out a list of farmer-customers and their identification numbers at least once a year to sheriffs and county agents in all areas where we have customers. It's well known who has grain identified."
The confetti is made up in 5 lb. lots. A package sells for $23 postpaid and is enough material to treat 30,000-40,000 bu. of grain. The price includes the registration of the owner and his number, plus five signs than can be posted on bins to warn that the grain is identified. Confetti, can be mixed with grain when filling the bin, or it can be scattered on the top of stored grain to filter down as the grain is removed from storage.
"The identification system is being used in wheat, corn, soybeans and just about every other kind of grain," says Cussons. "It's a completely harmless ingredient that does not affect the market value of the grain in any way. In the cleaning process, it is blown out with chaff and other foreign material."
Grain confetti has been declared by the Food and Drug Administration to contain no harmful materials in either the paper or the ink. Any grain fed to cattle without removal of the paper would cause no problem, explains Cussons.
The identification number includes seven digits. The first two identify the state, the next two the county, and the last three the farmer. For example, 46-20-123 identifies North Dakota, Griggs County, and farmer number 123 in that county.
Confetti has been sold in 28 states, says Cussons, and used in every kind of grain imaginable. "Last year we got an order from a man who was going to try it in baled hay," he notes "but we haven't heard how that worked out."
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grain Identification Co. Cooperstown, ND 58425 (ph. 701 797-3124).
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