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U.S. Senate Ag Committee Passes Grain Standards Re-authorization

09 July 20202 min reading

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020 by a voice vote.

The bill extends the authorization for the Federal Grain Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture to continue providing inspection services and to maintain an official marketing standard for certain grains and oilseeds. The Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) establishes official marketing standards for grains and oilseeds under the authorization of the U.S. Grain Standards Act, which was first signed into law in 1916.

The bill now heads to the full Senate to consider the five-year reauthorization. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, says, “the entire federal grain inspection system needs the certainty, predictability, and transparency” the reauthorization bill provides. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Committee, says the bill “protects the interests of American farmers and ensures our credibility as a reliable producer of high-quality crops.” Roberts says the bill has wide industry support. The National Association of Wheat Growers voiced its support of the reauthorization, stating, “Our overseas customers value the independent system in place through the Grain Standards Act.”

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) said they also strongly support legislation that would reauthorize and improve the U.S. Grain Standards Act. “Stakeholders – ranging from producers to grain handlers and processors to end-users and consumers – benefit when (FGIS) and its delegated and designated state and private agencies provide state-of-the-art, market-responsive Official inspection and weighing of bulk grains and oilseeds, and do so in a reliable, uninterrupted, consistent and cost-effective manner,” NGFA and NAEGA said in a support letter to Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

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