On Wednesday, 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 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 added the bill has wide industry support.
“Thanks in part to the advantage and premium international buyers place on the grain inspection system, U.S. wheat continues to maintain its competitiveness in the international market. Given the current uncertainty in trade agreements and many of the bearish factors working against U.S. wheat exports, it is critical we maintain one of our key advantages,” said National Association of Wheat Growers President Dave Milligan. “To avoid any disruption in inspection services and keep the flow of grain moving NAWG encourages Congress to act quickly to reauthorize the Grain Standards Act before expiration in September.”
On July 31, 2019 Kansas wheat farmer Brian Linin testified to the Senate Committee on Agriculture on behalf of NAWG in support of reauthorization of GSA. Linin also serves on the Kansas Wheat Commission and is a U.S. Wheat Associates board member.
“Our exports markets are critical to U.S. wheat farmers’ bottom lines as they see 50 percent of U.S. wheat exported each year,” said U.S. Wheat Associates Chairman Doug Goyings. “The grain inspection system is one of our key advantages over our competitors that has helped wheat and other U.S. commodities grow export markets. Our overseas customers value the independent system in place through the Grain Standards Act.”
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