ARLINGTON, Va., July 14, 2023 — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today for issuing final rules to remove “Soybeans of Other Colors” (SBOC) as a grading factor for determining soybean quality.
“NGFA appreciates the efforts of USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Moffit and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Deputy Administrator Arthur Neal as well as the leadership of the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) to address this issue that has been impacting the U.S. soybean market over the past two years,” NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert said. “The amount of seed coat variation resulting in U.S. soybeans has increased over this period and, as a result, more soybeans have been downgraded on account of SBOC. USDA recognizes the importance of consistent and widely recognized grade standards to the marketability of our agricultural products. The final rule published today will help fulfill the intent of U.S. official grade determining factors and factor limits.”
In comments submitted May 1 supporting the proposed amendments to the U.S. Standards for Soybeans, NGFA and 42 other agricultural groups noted: “The continued inclusion of SBOC in the soybean grade standard…[is] contrary to the objectives of the U.S. Grains Standards Act.”
Representatives of U.S. soybean producers and grain traders 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.).
The amendments supported by the NGFA and other agricultural representatives remove SBOC as a grade-determining factor but keep it in the standards as part of the definition of Yellow Soybeans.
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 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. The NGFA consists of 27 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.