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Abstract

Dockage levels in U.S. wheat exports have been a continuing concern. Recent proposals have focused on changes in U.S. grain standards that would include dockage limits. In this report, dockage trends and practices were documented and effects of prospective changes evaluated. Results indicate the marketing system is currently working effectively with costs of extra cleaning being borne partly by buyers, elevators, and to some extent farmers. Suggested mandates would increase cleaning and result in increased costs (ultimately discounts to growers) and potentially in shifts in grades purchased. Proposed changes in grain standards are also a departure from the generally followed approach to regulation in the United States. In this case, a regulation is being imposed on a problem that is resolvable within the marketing system through contractual relations between buyers and sellers. In addition, past changes in factor limits have been applied for all wheat and have not differentiated by destination (e.g., domestic or export).

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