RD543 - Report on the Funding Stability and Alternatives for the Commodity Grain Grading Office – October 15, 2022

Executive Summary:

The Office of Grain Services (OGS) commodity grading and inspection program supports approximately 4,000 farms in Virginia that planted 1.3 million acres and harvested 82.2 million bushels of corn, soybeans, wheat, and barley in 2020. Currently, the program is funded by user fees charged for services that enhance the market value of commodity products sold in the domestic and international marketplace. The program provides industry support through official grading, inspection, and weighing services; mycotoxin (fungal) testing; moisture analysis; oil and protein analysis on soybeans and grains; and falling numbers testing on wheat by certifying the quality and quantity of Virginia-grown grains based on the U.S. Grain Standards Act and the federal Agricultural Marketing Act for both export and domestic markets. Grains with established standards include barley, corn, flaxseed, mixed grain, oats, rye, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, triticale, and wheat. Virginia is one of only three state programs that provide official federal grading, inspection, and weighing services at export port and domestic locations on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

OGS provides services (i) at a deep-water export elevator that loads bulk ocean carriers, (ii) at approximately 15 intermodal grain loading locations across the Commonwealth, and (iii) to Virginia grain farmers who submit samples for quality determination.

Information in this report includes a general overview of the impact of fluctuations in requests for service, including revenues and expenditures for the past six fiscal years; the program’s fee schedule; and information on alternative funding concepts that would help to stabilize the program’s long-term budget for the benefit of Virginia’s row crop farmers, grain elevators, and grain exporters.