December 11, 2003



USDA To Increase Egg, Poultry Grading Fees


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is increasing fees for certain grading services for eggs, poultry, and rabbits, with effect from January 1, 2004.


The increase will affect most processors who request egg, poultry, and rabbit grading services. The basic hourly rate for resident service, work of a grader with a regular tour of duty at a plant, will rise from the current $33.36 to $34.36.


In addition, the basic hourly rate for fee service, work on an intermittent, as-needed basis, will rise from the current $57.68 to $60 for regular hours and from $66.64 to $69.32 for weekend and holiday work. The fee changes are being made to cover increased agency costs, including federal and state salaries.

Additionally, for plants using resident service, only the maximum monthly administrative fee for USDA supervision and for other overhead expenses will increase from $2,675 to $2,755 Other administrative charges are not changing.

These grading services are made available upon request and paid for by the users. Current fees have been in effect since January 1, 2003.

The grading fee increases were published in today's Federal Register and may be viewed electronically at