WASHINGTON – Public comment is being sought by the US Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) on the need for revisions to the US standards for corn. The standards were last amended in 1996.

GIPSA relays it wants to ensure the standards remain relevant to the US and global corn industry and continue to facilitate the marketing of US corn. All aspects of the corn standards are being reviewed, including definitions, grade and non-grade determining factors, grade limits, damages, as well as grading procedures and new services GIPSA might offer.

"Since the standards were last revised, the use of corn for ethanol and the number of different varieties of corn has increased tremendously," said J. Dudley Butler, GIPSA administrator. "To ensure that standards and official grading practices remain relevant, GIPSA invites interested parties to comment on whether the current corn standards and grading procedures need to be changed."

GIPSA establishes standards for corn, and other grains, under authority of the US Grain Standards Act. The standards facilitate corn marketing and define US corn quality in the domestic and global marketplace by defining commonly used industry terms and outlining basic procedures for testing corn. Together, the grading standards and procedures allow buyers and sellers to communicate quality requirements, compare corn quality using equivalent forms of measurement, and assist in price discovery.

The advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment on the corn standards was published in the Sept. 17 Federal Register. Comments must be received on or before Dec. 16.