Agri View: Standards and Grades Facts

Dan Agri View, General

Everett Griner talks about the USDA Standards and Grades process to grade our food products in today’s Agri View.

Standards and Grades Facts


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.

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

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

Quality Grading and Inspections
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.

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

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

Grades and Standards

gradesThe USDA grade shields, official seals and labels are reputable symbols of the quality and integrity of American agricultural products.  Large-volume buyers such as grocery stores, military institutions, restaurants, and even foreign governments use the quality grades as a common “language,” making business transactions easier.

gradesThe USDA shields and labels assure consumers that the products they buy have gone through a rigorous review process by highly-skilled graders & auditors that follow the official grade standards and process standards developed, maintained and interpreted by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Learn more about our labels, download our labeling fact sheet.

gradesGrades and Standards