Programs & Services
FGIS was created by Congress in 1976 to manage the national grain inspection system, which was initially established in 1916, and to institute a national grain weighing program. Today FGIS facilitates the marketing of U.S. grain and related products by establishing standards for quality assessments, regulating handling practices, and managing a network of Federal, State, and private laboratories that provide impartial official inspection and weighing services.
Under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA), FGIS:
- Establishes and maintains official U.S. grain standards for barley, canola, corn, flaxseed, oats, rye, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, triticale, wheat, mixed grain, rice, and pulses;
- Inspects and weighs grain and related products for domestic and export trade;
- Establishes methods and procedures, and approves equipment for the official inspection and weighing of grain; and
- Supervises the official grain inspection and weighing system. The official system is a network of FGIS field offices, and State and private grain inspection and weighing agencies across the nation that are authorized by FGIS to provide official inspection and weighing services.
- Provides international services and outreach programs and protects the integrity of the official inspection system and the market at large to ensure markets for grain and related products are fair and transparent
FGIS and the official agencies that comprise the official system provide services under both the USGSA and the AMA on a fee basis for both export and domestic grain shipments.
In 2001, GIPSA established a biotechnology reference laboratory at its Technical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Working with grain handlers, test manufacturers, and life science organizations, GIPSA is facilitating the marketing of U.S. grains and oilseeds by ensuring the availability of reliable tests.
Equipment Approved for use in the Official Inspection System must meet the requirements, as prescribed, in Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 800 and 801 under the U.S. Grain Standards Act and/or in Title 7 of the CFR, Part 868 under the Agricultural Marketing Act.
GIPSA's commodity images are public domain and may be freely used, duplicated, or distributed. Publication of these images should credit "USDA-GIPSA".
GIPSA personnel participate in a variety of international assistance programs at the request of U.S. exporters, international importers and end users of U.S. grains and oilseeds, as well as other USDA agencies, USDA Cooperator organizations, and other governments.
The basic services available from the official inspection and weighing system fall into four broad categories:
GIPSA offers a Proficiency Program for testing of biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds. The purpose of this program whose is to help those organizations testing for biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds improve their testing capability and reliability.
The official grain inspection and weighing system is a unique partnership comprised of Federal, State, and private partners serving customers across the Nation. Our State and private partners are authorized by GIPSA to provide official inspection and weighing services to the domestic and export grain trade on our behalf.
Since the early 1990’s GIPSA has responded to the need for fast, reliable testing for mycotoxins in grains and oilseeds. Since the program’s inception the needs of the industry have changed and the expansion of testing to include additional mycotoxins as well as biotechnology-derived traits in grains and oilseeds was warranted.
The Federal Grain Inspection Service's (FGIS) quality control program involves correlating front-line inspectors to our standard references located at the FGIS Technology and Science Division's Board Of Appeals and Review (BAR) in Kansas City, Missouri.
Inspection for grade involves analyzing the sample according to the quality factors listed in the Official U.S. Standards for Grain and certifying the applicable numeric grade designation, the quality factors responsible for the grade assignment, and any other quality factors the customer requests.
Moisture meters are used to determine the amount of moisture within grain presented for sale, a critical assessment of quality that affects the value and storability of the grain.
GIPSA has implemented a program to verify the performance of rapid tests for mycotoxins in grains. Please refer to GIPSA Directive 9181.2 for information on the Performance Verification of Qualitative Mycotoxin and Biotech Rapid Test Kits.