U.S. outlines new 'clean-wheat' initiative

by Emily Wilson
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A so called "clean wheat initiative" announced June 21 by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman will lower the acceptable maximum dockage levels in wheat purchased for U.S. foreign food assistance programs and may establish an official U.S. standard for maximum dockage levels in commercial export shipments.

Purchases by the Commodity Credit Corp. of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for government donation programs historically have been at the 1% dockage level, the level often used for U.S. commercial exports. Under the new initiative, a maximum dockage level of 0.8% will be required for future foreign food assistance wheat purchases.

The U.S.D.A. will also seek public comment on whether to establish an official U.S. standard for maximum dockage levels in exported wheat. "Cleaner exports will help create greater demand for U.S. wheat and help U.S. wheat suppliers compete internationally," he said.

The U.S. Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration measures and reports dockage on commercial export shipments; the dockage level currently is determined contractually between buyer and seller.

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