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USA’s NGFA supports proposal to remove ‘Soybeans of Other Colors’

USA’s NGFA supports proposal to remove ‘Soybeans of Other Colors’

(Posted on 08/05/23)

The USA’s National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and 42 other agricultural groups have expressed support for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposal to remove “Soybeans of Other Colors” (SBOC) as a grading factor for determining soybean quality.

“The continued inclusion of SBOC in the soybean grade standard…[is] contrary to the objectives of the U.S. Grains Standards Act” and “is jeopardizing the intent of U.S. official grade determining factors and factor limits,” according to the comments submitted on 1 May to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

AMS published the proposed amendments to the U.S. Standards for Soybeans on 31 March.

“The amount of seed coat variation resulting in U.S. soybeans has increased over the past two years,” NGFA noted. “As a result, due to this increased presence of seed discoloration and the SBOC criteria in the standard, more soybeans have been downgraded on account of SBOC.”

Representatives of U.S. soybean producers and grain traders have requested that USDA remove SBOC as a grade-determining factor for describing the quality of soybeans (e.g., U.S. No 1 Yellow Soybeans, U.S. No. 2 Yellow Soybeans, etc.). Importantly, at the request of the Grain Inspection Advisory Committee, the Federal Grain Inspection Service conducted a study that found no significant differences in official protein or oil content in SBOC.

The proposed amendments supported by the NGFA and other agricultural representatives would remove SBOC as a grade-determining factor but keep it in the standards as part of the definition of Yellow Soybeans.

“The fact that our domestic and international customers, as well as farmers and grain marketers, can count on well-known and widely recognized grade standards tends to draw customers to the U.S. grain production/marketing system, and reduces trading risks for market participants,” NGFA stated.

The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 8,000 facilities handling U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry.

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