ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, US — The US House voted in favor of the US Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020 on Dec. 2.
“I’m pleased the 2020 Grain Standards Reauthorization Act has quickly moved through both chambers of Congress to deliver certainty and predictability to the federal grain inspection system,” said Pat Roberts, chairman of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “I’m hopeful President Trump swiftly signs this legislation into law to ensure America can uphold its reputation as a dependable exporter of quality grain.”
The US Senate passed the act on Nov. 16 and it now moves to US President Donald Trump’s desk for approval.
The Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) establishes official marketing standards for grains and oilseeds under the authorization of the US Grain Standards Act, which was first signed into law in 1916. The existing authorization law, which was enacted in 2015 and included provisions to ensure uninterrupted export inspections, expired Sept. 30.
US grain associations commended the approval for the renewed legislation.
“With our farmers facing tough economic challenges, including several years of low commodity prices and headwinds blowing against overseas demand, it is critically important that we at least maintain a smooth grain inspection system,” said Dave Milligan, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). “We applaud Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate for working together to get this piece of legislation passed by the end of the year. To maintain a properly functioning grain inspection system, NAWG encourages the president to sign this bill into law before the closing of 2020.”
The US Wheat Associates (USW) echoed support particularly for supply chain consistency.
“This law and our system of standardized, independent grain inspection makes US wheat more valuable,” said Darren Padget, chairman of USW. “The proof of that came this year when many of our overseas buyers expressed a real concern that the pandemic would interrupt our supply chain and Federal Grain Inspection Service inspections.”
The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) applauded the passage as it not only provides transparency but also efficiencies to the grain marketing system.
“This legislation, which would reauthorize the US Grain Standards Reauthorization Act for another five years, provides certainty while improving the official inspection and weighing system by providing more transparency, information-sharing, and better data,” said Randy Gordon, president and chief executive officer of the NGFA. “This legislation is foundationally important in providing for official grain inspection and weighing services through the US Department of Agriculture’s Federal Grain Inspection Service, as well as that agency’s maintenance of the US grain standards that are relied upon by buyers, sellers and end-users to merchandise grains and oilseeds in domestic and international markets. Ultimately, this law benefits US and global consumers by enhancing the utility and efficiency of the grain marketing system.”