AMS Announces Plans to Amend the U.S. Standards for Soybeans

November 08, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that the Federal Grain and Inspection Service (FGIS) will publish a proposed rule seeking public comment on a proposal to make changes to the U.S. Standards for Soybeans.

Under the authority of the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA), USDA established the soybean standards to help in the marketing of soybeans. “Soybeans of Other Colors” (SBOC) has served as a grading factor for determining soybean quality. USDA has recently received numerous requests from representatives of US soybean producers and grain traders to remove SBOC, as a grade-determining factor for describing the quality for soybeans (e.g., U.S. No 1 Yellow soybeans, U.S. No. 2 Yellow Soybeans, etc.).

In response to these requests for changes to the soybean standard, USDA will implement notice and comment rulemaking, as required by USGSA, to receive comments from the public regarding whether SBOC should be considered an informational factor that does not impact soybean grade determinations.

Historically, SBOC levels are low, rarely impacting the grade of soybeans. For the past two years, the soybean industry has experienced an increased presence of SBOC. At the request of the Grain Inspection Advisory Committee (GIAC), FGIS conducted a study to evaluate whether the presence of SBOC had an impact on the quality of soybean protein and oil. The study found no significant differences in official protein or oil content. The study is available for review on the AMS-FGIS SBOC resource page.

For more information about the proposed rule, contact FGIS Associate Deputy Administrator Andrew Ping at

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