GIPSA Updates U.S. Wheat Standard
Date Posted: July 9, 2013
This iarticle is reprinted by permission from the NGFA Newsletter, Volume 65, Number 10, May 16, 2013.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) on May 13 amended the current U.S. official grain standards for wheat to remove Hard Red Winter and Hard Red Spring Wheat from the definition of “contrasting classes” in Hard White Wheat.
The final rule is the part of GIPSA’s ongoing periodic (five-year) reviews of each of the U.S. grain standards to determine if changes are warranted to facilitate the marketing of U.S. commodities.
The NGFA submitted comments in response to GIPSA’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking published in November 2009 seeking comments on whether changes to the U.S. Wheat Standards were warranted.
The NGFA stated issues – such as grade lines, quality assurance and biotechnology – could be addressed properly through contractual and commercial terms, which would eliminate the need for changes to the wheat standards.
NGFA further stated the only potential change it supported was to modify the definition of “wheat of other classes” to include Hard Red Winter and Hard Red Spring in Hard White Wheat, “as this may accommodate a trend in markets that needs to be addressed in grade changes.”
In response, in April 2012, GIPSA published a proposal to amend the current U.S. official grain standards for wheat to remove hard red winter and hard red spring wheat from the definition of “contrasting classes” in hard white wheat, and to tighten the grade limits for shrunken and broken kernels (SHBN) in U.S. No. 1 and 2 wheat.
Concerning SHBN, GIPSA proposed that the grade limit for U.S. No. 1 wheat be reduced from the current 3 percent to 2 percent, while the grade limit for U.S. No. 2 wheat be reduced from the current 5 percent to 4 percent.
Grade limits for SHBN would remain unchanged for U.S. Nos. 3, 4 and 5 wheat under the proposal.
The agency said it believed the more restrictive grade limits would “more accurately reflect the quality of wheat moving throughout the marketing system.
The NGFA supported the GIPSA-proposed change to revise the current wheat standards to change the definition of contrasting classes to include Hard Red Winter and Hard Red Spring in Hard White Wheat.
However, the NGFA did not support GIPSA’s proposed change to revise the grade limits on SHBN for wheat that grades U.S. No. 1 or U.S. No. 2.
In particular, NGFA “cautioned that producers and marketers in Oklahoma and Texas likely would be adversely and disproportionally affected by such a change.”
NGFA further supported comments submitted by the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association and Texas Grain and Feed Association to the public docket opposing the proposed SHBN change.
For more information contact NGFA Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs Jess McCluer at (202) 289-0873 or firstname.lastname@example.org.