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USDA Proposes Revising Pecan Standards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to revise the U.S. Standards for Grades of Pecans in the Shell and the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Pecans to reflect current industry descriptions and practices.

The proposed changes would replace the current grades with U.S. Extra Fancy, U.S. Fancy, U.S. Choice, and U.S. Standard grades.

  • The two current grades for pecans in the shell are U.S. No. 1 and U.S. No. 2.
  • The six current grades for shelled pecans are U.S. No. 1 Halves, U.S. No. 1 Halves and Pieces, U.S. No. 1 Pieces, U.S. Commercial Halves, U.S. Commercial Halves and Pieces, and U.S. Commercial Pieces.

AMS also proposes updating terminology, definitions, and defect scoring guides in the standards.

The notice of the proposed revisions was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 11, 2023. Written comments must be received by Dec. 11, 2023. Comments should be submitted online at, faxed to (540)361-1199, or mailed to the USDA, Specialty Crops Inspection Division, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22406

Copies of the proposed U.S Standards for Grades for Pecans in the Shell and U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Pecans are available at Copies of the current standards are available at

For further information, please contact Olivia Banks at (540) 361-1120 or

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U.S. Department of Agriculture