Groups seek support of Grain Standards Reauthorization Act

Action sought on S. 4054 ahead of Sept. 30, 2020, expiration date of Grain Standards Act.

Jacqui Fatka, Policy editor

September 11, 2020

2 Min Read
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DarcyMaulsby /iStock/Thinkstock.

Grower groups urged swift Senate passage of the Grain Standards Reauthorization Act to maintain confidence in the U.S. agriculture inspection system— what the American Soybean Assn. (ASA) called a key element of U.S. success in export markets.

ASA joined other agricultural groups on a letter in support of the act, stating that it would provide certainty and reliability to foreign customers, therefore enhancing competitiveness to help grow export markets for U.S. soy and other commodities.

The U.S. grain inspection system provides certainty to foreign customers that all U.S. grains and oilseeds have been inspected and certified by an independent agency and provides great value to U.S. commodities, thereby enhancing U.S. competitiveness in the world market. “This certainty and reliability have helped grow export markets for U.S. commodities and serves as a significant advantage for U.S. products versus commodities from other origins,” the letter stated.

“Despite the significant impacts of tariffs on exports, U.S. commodities have maintained some competitiveness in the international market, in part, thanks to the premium international buyers’ place on the U.S. grain inspection system,” the groups stated in the letter. “Given the current uncertainty in trade agreements and many of the bearish factors working against U.S. farmers, it is critical we maintain one of our key advantages. Our customers, foreign and domestic, see tremendous value in the U.S. grain inspection system, and reauthorization of the Grain Standards Act will ensure this value continues for U.S. grain exports.”

Related:Senate considers Grain Standards Act reauthorization

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the reauthorization by unanimous consent in June.

However, with the act's impending expiration on Sept. 30, 2020, "it is critically important that Congress finalize the reauthorization process. We believe the bill under consideration will maintain confidence in our inspection system, which is a key element of our success in export markets,” the letter stated.

To avoid uncertainty and potential disruption of the U.S. grain inspection and weighing system, the groups urged enactment of S. 4054, the U.S. Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020, before Sept. 30, 2020.

Signatories included the American Farm Bureau Federation, ASA, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Assn., National Corn Growers Assn., National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, National Sunflower Assn. and U.S. Canola Assn.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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