Ag committee reauthorizes U.S. Grain Standards Act

Ag committee reauthorizes U.S. Grain Standards Act
Jun 29, 2020

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The law establishes marketing standards for grain and protects against inspection and weighing issues

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry has approved a piece of ag legislation for the next five years.

On June 24 the committee agreed to extend the U.S. Grain Standards Act to September 2025. The bill was set to expire at the end of September 2020.

The bill now moves to the full senate for consideration.

The act, signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, authorized the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to develop marketing standards for grain and oilseeds. The law also mandates that exported grains and oilseeds must be weighed and inspected.

At the time, local chambers of commerce and industry stakeholders tried to develop individual standards. Those attempts led to inequalities within the industry and highlighted the need for government involvement.

Congress has never let the bill expire since it originally came into effect.

Extending the bill for another five years will help provide stability for American growers.

“As our farmers face unprecedented uncertainty and trade instability, it is vital that we maintain the integrity of our grain inspection system,” Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said in a statement. “This bipartisan bill protects the interests of American farmers and ensures our credibility as a reliable producer of high-quality crops.”

Multiple farm groups support the reauthorization of the bill.

Passing this bill before the end of September 2020 is important for keeping export market access.

“Despite the significant impacts of tariffs on U.S. exports, U.S. commodities have maintained some competitiveness in the international market in part thanks to the premium international buyers place on the U.S. grain inspection system,” a June 22 letter from the American Farm Bureau, American Soybean Association and other industry groups says.

Farms.com has reached out to industry organizations and USDA for comment.

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