United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 20, 2019

§ 76.
Standards and procedures; establishment, amendment, and revocation
(a)
Authority of Secretary

The Secretary is authorized to investigate the handling, weighing, grading, and transportation of grain and to fix and establish (1) standards of kind, class, quality, and condition for corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, flaxseed, sorghum, soybeans, mixed grain, and such other grains as in the judgment of the Secretary the usages of the trade may warrant and permit, and (2) standards or procedures for accurate weighing and weight certification and controls, including safeguards over equipment calibration and maintenance, for grain shipped in interstate or foreign commerce; and the Secretary is authorized to amend or revoke such standards or procedures whenever the necessities of the trade may require.

(b)
Notice and opportunity for comment; standards regarding cleanliness of grain
(1)
Before establishing, amending, or revoking any standards under this chapter, the Secretary shall publish notice of the proposals and give interested persons opportunity to submit data, views, and arguments thereon and, upon request, an opportunity to present data, views, and arguments orally in an informal manner. No standards established or amendments or revocations of standards under this chapter shall become effective less than one calendar year after promulgation thereof, unless in the judgment of the Secretary, the public health, interest, or safety require that they become effective sooner.
(2)
(A)
(i)
If the Secretary determines that the establishment or amendment of standards regarding cleanliness conditions of wheat, corn, barley, sorghum and soybeans that meet the requirements for grade number 3 or better (as set forth in subparagraph (B)) would—
(I)
enhance the competitiveness of exports of wheat, corn, barley, sorghum and soybeans from the United States with wheat, corn, barley, sorghum and soybean exports marketed by other major exporters;
(II)
result in the maintenance or expansion of the United States export market share for wheat, corn, barley, sorghum and soybeans;
(III)
result in the maintenance or increase of United States producer income; and
(IV)
be in the interest of United States agriculture, taking into consideration technical constraints, economic benefits and costs to producers and industry, price competitiveness, and importer needs;
the Secretary shall establish or amend the standards to include economically and commercially practical levels of cleanliness for wheat, corn, barley, sorghum and soybeans.
(ii)
The Secretary shall make a finding under this subsection for grain of the type described in clause (i) as soon as practicable after November 28, 1990.
(B)
(i)
In establishing requirements for cleanliness characteristics, the Secretary shall—
(I)
consider technical constraints, economic benefits and costs to producers and industry, the price competitiveness of United States agricultural production, and levels of cleanliness met by major competing nations that export wheat, corn, barley, sorghum and soybeans;
(II)
promulgate regulations after providing for notice and an opportunity for public comment; and
(III)
phase in any requirements for cleanliness characteristics by incrementally decreasing the levels of the objectionable material permitted in shipments of grade number 3 or better wheat, corn, barley, sorghum and soybeans.
(ii)
Following the phase-in period referred to in clause (i)(III), subsequent revision of cleanliness requirements shall be conducted consistent with the schedule of the Secretary for reviewing grain standards.
(C)
If the Secretary determines to establish requirements for cleanliness characteristics under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that such requirements are fully implemented not later than 6 years after November 28, 1990.
(c)
Grade determining factors related to physical soundness and purity; notice and opportunity for comment
(1)
In establishing standards under subsection (a) for each grain for which official grades are established, the Secretary shall establish for each such grain official grade-determining factors and factor limits that reflect the levels of soundness and purity that are consistent with end-use performance goals of the major foreign and domestic users of each such grain. Such factors and factor limits for grades number 3 and better shall provide users of such standards the best possible information from which to determine end-use product quality. The Secretary shall establish factors and factor limits that will provide that grain meeting the requirements for grades number 3 and better will perform in accordance with general trade expectations for the predominant uses of such grain.
(2)
In establishing factors and factor limits under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide for notice and an opportunity for public comment prior to making changes in the grade-determining factors and factor limits that shall be applicable under this section to grain that is officially graded.
(d)
Moisture content criterion

If the Government of any country requests that moisture content remain a criterion in the official grade designations of grain, such criterion shall be included in determining the official grade designation of grain shipped to such country.

(Aug. 11, 1916, ch. 313, pt. B, § 4, 39 Stat. 483; Pub. L. 90–487, § 1, Aug. 15, 1968, 82 Stat. 762; Pub. L. 94–582, § 5, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2869; Pub. L. 95–113, title XVI, § 1604(c), Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 1027; Pub. L. 99–198, title XVI, § 1671, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1632; Pub. L. 101–624, title XX, §§ 2005, 2006, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3930; Pub. L. 103–156, § 12(b), Nov. 24, 1993, 107 Stat. 1528; Pub. L. 103–354, title II, § 293(a)(7), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3237.)
cite as: 7 USC 76