The U.S. Department of Agriculture is revising the Standards for Grades of Almonds in the Shell.

The Almond Board of California recommended changing the method of reporting defective almonds from one that counts individual defects in each sample to a process that weighs defective almonds found within the given sample. This revision will harmonize procedures for incoming and outgoing inspections, ensuring consistency.

The 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.

The notice will be published in the March 8, 2013, Federal Register.  For more information, please contact Lindsay Mitchell by phone at 540-361-1127, e-mail at lindsay.mitchell@ams.usda.gov or U.S. mail at AMS Fruit & Vegetable Programs, USDA, National Training and Development Center, Riverside Business Park, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, VA  22406.  Comments may also be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov.

Once effective, a copy of the revised standard can also be viewed at www.ams.usda.gov/freshinspection..