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NAMA: GIPSA Wheat Standards Proposal a Missed Opportunity

Date Posted: April 11, 2012

Washington, DC—The North American Millers' Association (NAMA) reacted to today’s wheat standards proposal by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

NAMA believes the proposal is too modest and represents a missed opportunity to improve the competitiveness of US wheat in world markets, as well as here.

GIPSA solicited comments in November 2009 as part of its periodic review of the standards.

In its February 2010 response, NAMA recommended GIPSA:

• develop a flour yield test that can be incorporated into the official wheat standards;

• develop a rapid, precise and reliable test for protein quality;

• develop a rapid alpha amylase test for detecting sprout damaged kernels;

• address the issue of insect-damaged kernels; and

• increase the allowable level of hard red spring or hard red winter wheat (Wheat of Other Classes) found in hard white wheat from 3.0 percent to 5.0 percent for grade US no. 2 to encourage the production of hard white wheat that has struggled to gain acceptance by growers and the marketplace.

Only the Wheat of Other Classes recommendation was included in the GIPSA proposal.

“US millers buy more US wheat than all export customers combined, but our recommendations would have made US wheat more attractive to all buyers,” said Jim Bair, NAMA vice president.

“GIPSA missed an opportunity by overlooking our recommendations, particularly in areas that would have addressed flour functionality.”

NAMA is the trade association of the wheat, corn, oat and rye milling industries.

Member companies operate 176 wheat, oat and corn mills in 38 states and Canada.

For more information, call 202-484-2200, ext. 11.

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