In a letter submitted Nov. 21, the NGFA urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to withdraw its information request and suspend further rulemaking on potential changes to the official U.S. grain standards for soybeans.
The American Soybean Association, North American Export Grain Association, National Oilseed Processors Association and U.S. Soybean Export Council all joined in signing the statement.
AMS made its request for information regarding the official U.S. standards for soybeans on June 29.
The letter cited “the atypical current soybean market environment, which is characterized by dramatically disrupted trade flows; anticipated heavy carryover stocks of U.S. soybeans, low futures prices, depressed U.S. soybean basis values for growers and weather-induced damage in some geographic areas” as reasons for AMS not to pursue changes to the U.S. official soybean standards.
Changes to the official soybean standards “could inadvertently create additional downward pressure on soy prices for growers or make U.S. soybeans less competitive in world markets,” the letter notes.
The groups noted, among several other reasons outlined in the letter, that more time and information is needed to evaluate potential changes to the standards.
Additionally, the letter stressed that the U.S. Soybean Export Council is submitting to USDA a widely supported proposal that is designed to support a systemwide U.S. response to the challenges of meeting customer needs and complying with various countries’ import requirements for soybeans and other U.S. grains.
“This project has great potential to yield useful information that will warrant consideration as part of any review of the official U.S. grain standards for soybeans,” the NGFA and the organizations noted.
NGFA and NAEGA also plan to submit a joint statement next week to USDA recommending that no changes be made in the U.S. official grain standards for corn and canola.