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Commodity Standards and Grades

Commodity standards and grades provide a means for measuring levels of quality and value for agricultural commodities. These standards provide a basis for domestic and international trade and promote efficiency in marketing and procurement.

USDA provides quality standards for agricultural products such as cotton, dairy, fruits and vegetables, livestock, poultry, nuts, and processed foods.

USDA has developed strict measures of quality for products such as grains, rice, corn, and beans.

Quality grading is based on the standards developed for each product. Quality grades provide a common language among buyers and sellers, which in turn assures consistent quality for consumers.

USDA offers quality assessment testing of grain, corn, rice, pulses, and processed commodities.

USDA regulates the interstate shipment of agricultural and vegetable seeds and offers voluntary seed testing services.