Quality Control

Quality Control

This is done through strong relationships with local growers throughout the Imperial Valley and its surrounding parts and continues through our extensive storage and processing measures where our highly trained team is involved in all parts of monitoring quality from the storage yard all the way to the container.

El Toro Export Quality Control Process

Road-Side Stack

The buyer will inspect each stack for stem size, color, moisture, weeds, grass, dirt, mold, rain damage, and contaminants (animal and wheat). If stack passes the inspection, the buyer offers the grower a monetary amount based on current market conditions.

Storage Preparation

The buyer determines if the stack is to be trucked to the barns or is tarped for road-side storage in the country. Determinants are based on the quality, inventory position, customer requests, weather, and market conditions.

Storage Yard

When the hay is received in the yard, the squeeze operator inspects the load and checks for moisture levels. The buyer and quality control manager designates which barn the product will be stored in. The hay is stored on a layer of plastic to prevent bottom bale damage.

Quality Test Control Points

Customer visits are a constant and necessity to our operation where we encourage individuals to inspect and purchase stacks specific to their current customer needs. Stack Specific Inventory controls help to ensure this is the hay they will receive months later by container.


If hay is delivered directly to the compress, it is visually checked by the quality control manager and placed in the nearby storage barns for easy access. The load is checked on a spot basis for moisture. The quality control bale checker will use a moisture probe to check bales on the conveyor drag along with a visual inspection. If it exceeds 12 percent the bale is rejected. Also, the bale is inspected for bottom bale water damage, weeds and dirt. Rejected bales are separated between high moisture bales and bottom bales. The high moisture bales are stored until the moisture level has dropped to proper moisture levels. If quality is questionable the quality control manager has ability pause production and corresponds with the buyer. If the buyer endorses that the product is of acceptable standards he must sign the load sheet. If there is still a disagreement, the general manager is notified for approval or rejection of the stack in question.

Loaded Container

Tiers are inspected by the quality control manager or crew chief. Final moisture checks are made at the front, middle and back of the container and are recorded on the container load sheet. The quality control manager approves each loaded container and is responsible for fumigating each container. The loaded container is correlated to the load sheet to ensure the order was properly filled and packaged correctly. Each booking typically consists of 5 containers. It is important that the container meet the standards of the foreign destination port authority as the complete booking may be returned if the port authority determines there is a problem.