Grading System – Objectives of the U.S.

What are the objectives of the U.S. official grain grading system?

The U.S. official grading system facilitates the marketing of cereals, oilseeds, and related agricultural products for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture.  Official inspection of grains, oilseeds and other agricultural and processed commodities are based on established official U.S. standards, and on sound, proven and standardized procedures, techniques and equipment. This ensures consistency of test results and services, from elevator-to-elevator and state-to-state.

The USDA Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Agency (GIPSA) Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS)  establishes and maintains the official U.S. standards for grains, oilseeds, and related commodities via the U.S. federal regulatory process. The standards are used each and every day by domestic and international sellers and buyers as a common commercial language to quickly and effectively communicate the type and quality of product being bought and sold.

All of the federal, state, and private partners that comprise the official system are strictly guided by the U.S. Grain Standards Act and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. Every official service provider uses uniform, codified processes, procedures and techniques.

The accuracy of officially approved equipment is verified – and reverified – by GIPSA using finely calibrated master instruments and official reference methods.

FGIS helps the marketplace by providing farmers, handlers, processors, exporters, and international buyers with sampling, inspection, weighing and stowage examination services that accurately and consistently describe the quality and quantity of the commodities being bought and sold.

FGIS establishes standards for quality assessments, regulating handling practices, and managing a network of federal, state, and private laboratories that provide impartial, user-fee-funded official inspection and weighing services all with respect to grain and related agricultural products.

Official personnel pass rigorous licensing tests and undergo extensive and continuous training. The work of official personnel is reviewed and monitored by an extensive quality assurance program. Every official state and private agency is backed by the resources and expertise of the FGIS National Grain Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

You can find more information on GIPSA and FGIS at: http://www.gipsa.usda.gov/

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