State officials say they’ve put an end to a shift in sifting policy by Iowa corn processors that could’ve cost farmers money. Iowa Assistant Attorney General Steve Moline says the problem was created by drought conditions in the state this summer that led many corn plants to produce smaller kernels. He says corn processors were concerned those small kernels would impact their processing equipment and changed to sieves with larger holes when testing the corn for quality. The larger holes allowed the small kernels to drop out which led to a lower quality rating for the corn and in some cases, the entire load was rejected. Moline says the Attorney General’s office and the Iowa Ag Department got complaints from farmers who were docked for the small sized kernels and took action by sending a letter to processors. He says the letter told processors that if they purchased corn based on the U-S grain standards, they could not alter the size of the sieves to be different from the size set by the standards.Moline says the processors have recognized that the standards are the rule and have complied. Moline says processors could still say they’re going to use a different standard to grade the small kernel corn if they want to. He doesn’t think most processors will change their standards.He says the whole grain marketing system is tied to the standards in use and he says there would be a lot ramifications to altering the standards. Moline says the processors have probably determined that altering the standards might not be the best thing economically for them overall. Moline says the issue is especially important to farmers who need to get the most out of their crop that’s already been hit by the drought.
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