Grain Standards Act of 1916

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Grain Standards Act of 1916
Great Seal of the United States
Other short titles
  • Agricultural Appropriations Act of 1917
  • Cotton Futures Act of 1916
  • Cotton Futures Amendments
  • Grain Grades Amendment
Long title An Act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and seventeen, and for other purposes.
Enacted by the 64th United States Congress
Effective August 11, 1916
Public law 64-190
Statutes at Large 39 Stat. 482
Titles amended 7 U.S.C.: Agriculture
Legislative history

It required official certification that export grain sold by grade had been inspected and weighed. It also provided for the establishment of official U.S. grain standards that were used to measure and describe the physical and biological properties of the grain at the time of inspection. It was the culmination of 25 years of investigation, public hearings, and debate. The rapid expansion of the U.S. grain industry created a need for a uniform system of grading in order to better facilitate trade. Independent attempts by local Chambers of Commerce, boards of trade, and major grain corporations to develop standards had resulted in inequalities among markets, emphasizing the need for Federal legislation to reduce the confusion and corruption that characterized the trade. As a result, the Department of Agriculture over time had established laboratory tests and conducted numerous interviews and hearings to identify the most urgent needs of the grain industry. The information became the basis for the legislation that was finally adopted. In Dec. 1914 and Jan. 1915, the House Agriculture Committee tossed around an early version of the bill called the “Moss Grain Grades Bill” sponsored by Rep. Hunter H. Moss Jr. (D) of West Virginia, but did not act on it because of exporting companies’ pressure. The political situation had changed, however, as the election of 1916 approached.