Quality Grading

USDA Maintains Pork Grade Standards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced the current U.S. Standards for Grades of Pork Carcasses will not be revised at this time. U.S. Grade Standards like those for pork provide producers, businesses and consumers a uniform way to identify the quality, yield or value of a commodity, which facilitates the fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products. AMS works with stakeholders to establish and revise U.S. grade standards for nearly 240 agricultural products.

USDA Updates the U.S. Poultry Standards for Consistency

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced an update to the voluntary U.S. Classes, Standards, and Grades for Poultry (poultry standards) to ensure they align with the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service definitions for “roaster and roasting chickens” used in labeling compliance. This update became effective August 6, 2018 with publication in Federal Register.

Specialty Crops Program Newsletter

The Specialty Crops Program Newsletter is an email notification service that the AMS Specialty Crops Program uses to send out program updates to the produce industry. We send an average of 4-8 messages a year on a range of topics related to specialty crops at USDA, including regulatory updates, marketing orders, research & promotion boards and notices about upcoming activities.

Sign up to subscribe to the Specialty Crops Program Newsletter 


USDA Launches MARS, Delivering Market Data to Agricultural Producers Around the Globe Faster and Easier

Release No.: 019-18

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced the launch of a new electronic data platform to deliver market price information to the commodities industry. The new web-based platform, Market Analysis and Reporting Services (MARS), uses state-of-the-art technology to present detailed data sets in a more customer-focused way to better support competitive markets for producers and help stabilize food prices for American families.

USDA Market News data is moving to the new platform: Market Analysis & Reporting Services or MARS

Please join us as we explore the many new tools MARS has to offer to meet your data needs.  USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will host a webinar to show you some of the great features and tools provided through MARS.  Data users can create unique reports, data sets, output, and visualizations.  MARS uses state-of-the-art technology to better serve customers by creating one easy-to-use tool for users to explore timely, accurate, and unbiased data.

Expanding U.S. Commodity Markets Top Priority for USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service

Release No: 151-17

64.5 billion pounds of fruit and vegetables, and 44.4 billion eggs graded/inspected domestically

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2017--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced the agency facilitated the export of more than $3.8 billion of American produced agricultural products in Fiscal Year 2017 through its Export Verification (EV), grading and classing programs. 

USDA Announces Changes to the U.S. Beef Grade Standards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that it is updating the voluntary U.S. Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef. USDA quality grades are used by companies to provide information to purchasers about meat’s tenderness, juiciness, and flavor and are a major factor in determining the value of beef and live cattle.

USDA Announces a Change to the Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Marketed in the United States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised the Minimum Quality and Handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States.

This action relaxes the allowance for damaged kernels in farmers’ stock peanuts when determining segregation and grade. The change aligns the incoming standards with recent changes relaxing the outgoing quality standards.