Grain Handling Practices

The U.S. Grain Standards Act prohibits certain grain handling practices to foster the marketing of high quality grain in both domestic and foreign markets. These requirements also promote fair and honest grain weighing practices. These provisions apply to all segments of the grain industry, not just those who receive official inspection or weighing services.

For the purposes of this summary, grain is defined as: barley, canola, corn, flaxseed, mixed grain, oats, rye, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, triticale, wheat, and any other food grains, or oilseeds for which standards are established under the Act.

Prohibited Grain Handling Practices

No person shall:

  • Recombine or add dockage or foreign material, including dust, to any grain;
  • Blend different kinds of grain except when such blending will result in grain being designated as mixed grain as defined in the Official U.S. for Grain;
  • Add water to grain for purposes other than milling, malting, or similar processing operations; or
  • Spray water on belts during grain handling.

Permitted Grain Handling Practices

Persons are permitted to:

  • Blend grain of the same kind to adjust quality;
  • Recombine or add broken corn and broken kernels to whole grain of the same kind, provided, that no dockage or foreign material, including dust, has been added to the broken corn or broken kernels;
  • Recombine or add grain removed from a bin during coring to the same kind of grain;
  • Add confetti or similar material to grain for identification purposes;
  • Treat grain to control insects and fungi;
  • Treat grain with vegetable or mineral oil to suppress dust during handling; and
  • Add water to grain for milling, malting, or other similar processing operations.


Any person who violates these grain handling provisions shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction, will be subject to imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or a fine of not more than $ 20,000, or both.

For more information see: FGIS Directive 9070..5 (pdf), Grain Handling Practices.