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May 16, 2018
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced May 15 that it is changing the 2018 rates it will charge for voluntary grading, inspection, certification, auditing and laboratory services for a variety of agricultural commodities, including meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products, cotton and tobacco.
“The rates reflect direct and indirect costs of providing services,” USDA noted. “Direct costs include the cost of salaries, employee benefits and, if applicable, travel and some operating costs. Indirect or overhead costs include the cost of program and agency activities supporting the services provided to the industry.”
The formula used to calculate these rates also includes operating reserve, which may add to or draw from the existing operating reserves, the agency added.
The 2018 regular, overtime, holiday and laboratory services rates will be applied at the beginning of the crop year, fiscal year or as required by law, depending on the commodity.
USDA said the majority of AMS user fee rates this year will remain unchanged, with the exception of increases for meat, poultry and egg grading and the hourly rate for AMS's Laboratory Approval Service. Dairy, meat and poultry fee changes will take effect on Oct. 1, 2018.
View the official rate changes here.
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