The USDA is requesting comments on revisions to the U.S. Standards for Grades of Almonds in the Shell.

The Almond Board of California recommended the changes, which would align inspection procedures. Currently, internal almond quality and condition defects are assessed by count. The proposed recommendations would allow almond defects to be assessed by weight.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) works with industry representatives and others to establish or revise U.S. standards for nearly 240 agricultural products. Industry uses the standards in the marketplace to specify the quality of commodities. Standards facilitate commerce by providing a common language for trade and a means of measuring value in the marketing of agricultural products.

Notice of the proposed standards was published in the July 16, Federal Register. Comments must be submitted by Aug. 15. Written comments may be sent to Dr. Carl Newell, Fruit & Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, National Training and Development Center, Riverside Business Park, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, VA 22406. Comments may also be submitted online at Copies of the proposed standards can be found at