[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 113 (Tuesday, June 15, 2021)]
[Pages 31693-31694]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-12569]



Agricultural Marketing Service

[Doc. No. AMS-FGIS-20-0067]

United States Standards for Split Peas

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of final action.


SUMMARY: This action is being taken under the authority of the 
Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended (AMA). The United States 
Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 
is revising the method of interpretation for the determination of whole 
peas in the Pea and Lentil Inspection Handbook pertaining to the class 
``Split Peas,'' in the U.S. Standards for Split Peas. Stakeholders in 
the pea processing/handling industry requested that AMS amend the 
interpretation of ``whole peas'' in the Split Pea inspection 
instructions by increasing the percent tolerance for the factor whole 

DATES: Applicability date: June 15, 2021.

(816) 702-3925; Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the authority of the AMA (7 U.S.C. 
1621-1627), as amended, AMS establishes and maintains a variety of 
quality and grade standards for agricultural commodities that serve as 
a fundamental starting point to define commodity quality in the 
domestic and global marketplace.
    Standards developed under the AMA include those for rice, whole dry 
peas, split peas, feed peas, lentils, and beans. The U.S. Standards for 
whole dry peas, split peas, feed peas, lentils and beans no longer 
appear in the Code of Federal Regulations but are now maintained by 
USDA-AMS-Federal Grain Inspection Service (AMS-FGIS). The U.S. 
Standards for split peas are voluntary and widely used in private 
contracts, government procurement, marketing communication, and for 
some commodities, consumer information.
    The split pea standards facilitate pea marketing and define U.S. 
pea quality in the domestic and global marketplace. The standards 
define commonly used industry terms; contain basic principles governing 
the application of standards

[[Page 31694]]

such as the type of sample used for a particular quality analysis; 
explain the basis of determination; and specify grades and grade 
requirements. Official procedures for determining grading factors are 
provided in the Pea and Lentil Inspection Handbook. Together, the 
grading standards and testing procedures allow buyers and sellers to 
communicate quality requirements, compare pea quality using equivalent 
forms of measurement, and assist in price discovery.
    AMS engages in outreach with stakeholders to ensure commodity 
standards maintain relevance to the modern market. Pea industry 
stakeholders include the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council (USADPLC), a 
national organization of producers, processors, and exporters of U.S. 
dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas; the U.S. Pea and Lentil Trade 
Association (USPLTA), a national association representing processors, 
traders, handlers and merchandisers, and transporters in the pea, 
lentil and chickpea industry; and, other handlers and merchandisers.
    The United States Standards for Split Peas and the official 
inspection procedures for Split Peas in the Pea and Lentil Handbook are 
available on the AMS public website. The United States Standards for 
Peas were last revised in 2009. A ``whole pea'' is defined as ``any pea 
which is 55 percent or more of a whole pea.'' Industry stakeholders 
told AMS it is difficult to meet split pea contract specifications due 
to the strict standards required to achieve a ``split pea'' based on 
the current tolerance of a ``whole pea.'' Stakeholders asked AMS to 
revise the tolerance for whole pea in the class Split Peas.

Revision of Split Pea Tolerances for Whole Peas

    Stakeholders recommended AMS revise the Pea and Lentil Inspection 
Handbook tolerance for whole peas. AMS and stakeholders worked 
collaboratively to redefine the tolerances for whole peas in Split 
Peas. Additionally, these changes were recommended to AMS by the 
stakeholder organizations identified above to facilitate the current 
marketing practices.

Comment Review

    AMS published a Notice in the Federal Register on September 29, 
2020 (85 FR 60955), inviting interested parties to comment on the 
proposed revision to the whole pea determination for Split Peas. AMS 
received four comments in response to the notice. One comment strongly 
supported the proposed revision. AMS received no comments opposing the 
proposed revision. AMS received three comments that were not germane to 
the issue. AMS believes this revision will facilitate marketing of 
split peas and better reflect current marketing practices. The revision 
becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register, and the Pea 
and Lentil Inspection Handbook will be revised to incorporate the 
revision to the standards.

Final Action

    AMS-FGIS is revising split pea inspection criteria in the Pea and 
Lentil Inspection Handbook by increasing the percent needed for a split 
pea to be considered a whole pea from 55 percent or more to 60 percent 
or more. Therefore, a ``whole pea'' is any pea which is 60 percent or 
more of a whole pea.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627.

Erin Morris,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-12569 Filed 6-14-21; 8:45 am]