How to Request Cotton Classing Services and Standards Materials

Form 1: Grading Services for Producers 

The Grading Division’s 10 regional classing offices provide Form 1 Grading Services for Producers. Samples submitted for Form 1 classification services must be sampled by an AMS-licensed agent (gin or warehouse). The licensed sampling agent will then submit samples on behalf of the producer to the appropriate regional classing office for grading.

License to Draw and Submit Samples License 

To apply for a license to drawn and submit cotton samples as an AMS-licensed agent, submit a completed Form CN 246 to the regional Cotton Classing Office serving your territory.

Form A and Form D Determinations 

Form A Determinations are available for samples submitted by licensed-sampler, and therefore, are representative of the bales.  Form D Determinations, on the other hand, represent only the sample only because samples are not always drawn by an AMS-licensed agent. To apply for these services, contact the Quality Assurance Division or the regional Cotton Classing Office serving your territory for instructions on where to ship samples for classification. Samples, when shipped, must be accompanied by a completed FD-210 Request for Classification form (pdf).

Futures Verification 

Requests for cotton futures verification services are processed through the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).  When tendering cotton on a futures contract, owners must submit “Request for Cotton #2 Classing” form through eCOPS – ICE’s Electronic Commodity Operations Processing System. Approved request forms are forwarded to C&T’s Quality Assurance Division. For more information on how samples are to drawn and submitted, contact:

ICE Futures U.S., Inc.
Commodity Operations
55 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10055
Phone: (212) 748-4110

Physical Cotton Standards and Calibration Cottons 

The Standardization & Engineering (S&E) Division is the exclusive provider of physical Universal Cotton Standards. The S&E Division also provides:

  • Known-value cotton materials for routine classification testing verification and for qualification of classification instruments (ASTM 7410). 
  • Known-value cotton samples for international round testing programs including the USDA HVI Check Test Program and the Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton (CSITC) Round Testing Program.

Download order forms for purchasing standards materials. For questions related to purchasing standards materials, please send an email to

USDA, AMS, Cotton and Tobacco Program
Standardization & Engineering Division
Gretchen Deatherage, Deputy Director
3275 Appling Road, Room 5
Memphis, TN 38133, U.S.A.
Phone: 901-384-3030