Department of Agriculture – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
Results 1 - 50 of 12,367
Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding Commodity Boards To Propose Projects and Contribute Funding Under the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant Programs, Implementation
As part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) strategy to successfully implement Section 7404 of Public Law 113-79, the Agricultural Act of 2014, NIFA is soliciting stakeholder input on how it will establish procedures, including timelines, under which an entity established under a commodity promotion law (as such term is defined under section 7401(a) of the Agricultural Act of 2014) or a State commodity board (or other equivalent State entity) may submit proposals for Requests for Applications (RFA)to be competed as part of the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grant programs. If proposals are accepted for funding, the proposed RFA will be competed as part of the AFRI competitive grants program RFAs and entities eligible for AFRI awards will be able to compete for award. In addition, as a condition of funding the grant proposed by a commodity board, NIFA shall require a contribution of funds equal to the amount of the grant. NIFA will be holding Web-based listening sessions in order to solicit stakeholder input on this new challenge area. The focus of the Web-based listening sessions will be to gather stakeholder input that will be used in developing a process for soliciting, evaluating, and prioritizing AFRI Request for Applications (RFA) submissions from the previously stated commodity board entities or their equivalent. All comments must be received by close of business on October 16, 2014, to be considered in the initial planning of the FY 2015 cycle.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Relaxing Grade Requirements on Valencia and Other Late Type Oranges
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that changed the minimum grade requirements prescribed under the marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida (order). The interim rule reduced the minimum grade requirement for Valencia and other late type oranges shipped to interstate markets from a U.S. No. 1 to a U.S. No. 1 Golden from May 15 through June 14 each season and to a U.S. No.2 external/U.S. No. 1 internal from June 15 through August 31 each season. This rule provides additional Valencia and other late type oranges for late season markets, helping to maximize fresh shipments.
The Land Between the Lakes Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Golden Pond, Kentucky. The Board is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. App 2). Additional information concerning the Board, including the meeting summary/ minutes, can be found by visiting the Board's Web site at: http://www.lbl.org/ LRMPadvisoryboard.html.
Monsanto Co.; Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Herbicide Resistant Soybeans and Cotton; Comment Period
The comment period for a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on environmental impacts that may result from the potential approval of petitions seeking a determination of nonregulated status of cultivars of dicamba herbicide resistant soybeans and cotton produced by the Monsanto Company will remain open until October 10, 2014. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Waivers Under Section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a revision of a currently approved collection. The purpose of Section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act is to establish a time limit for the receipt of benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for certain able-bodied adults who are not working. The provision authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, upon a State agency's request, to waive the provision for any group of individuals if the Secretary determines ``that the area in which the individuals reside has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent, or does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals.'' As required in the statute, in order to receive a waiver the State agency must submit sufficient supporting information so that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can make the required determination as to the area's unemployment rate or sufficiency of available jobs. This collection of information is, therefore, necessary in order to obtain waivers of the SNAP time limit.
National Organic Program (NOP); Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)
This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on October 18, 2012, and removes two previously expired substances. Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, this final rule adds biodegradable biobased mulch film to the National List with restrictive annotations. This action also adds a new definition for biodegradable biobased mulch film. This rule also removes two listings for nonorganic agricultural substances from the National List, hops (Humulus lupulus) and unmodified rice starch, as their use exemptions expired on January 1, 2013, and June 21, 2009, respectively. Two other substances that were recommended by the NOSB to the Secretary for addition to the National List, Citrus hystrix, leaves and fruit, and curry leaves (Murraya koenigii), have not been added to the National List based on comments received on the proposed rule.
This Notice announces the timeframes to submit applications for participation in the Advanced Biofuels Payment Program. The Advanced Biofuels Payment Program funds were provided through the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79, on February 7, 2014, (2014 Farm Bill). Under the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, payments are made to advanced biofuel producers for the production of eligible advanced biofuels.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension with a revision of a currently approved information collection process associated with the regulations, licensing, and electronic provider agreements issued as specified in the United States Warehouse Act (USWA).
We are giving notice that the Secretary of Agriculture has renewed the charter of the General Conference Committee of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (Committee) for a 2-year period. The Secretary of Agriculture has determined that the Committee is necessary and in the public interest.
Nominations Open for the Vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition
FNS is seeking nominations for 9 vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition (Council). The Council is composed of 24 members. Members of the Council from outside USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are appointed for 3-year terms. State and local officials may serve only during their official tenure. Parent participants are appointed for 2- year terms. Members appointed from USDA and HHS serve at the pleasure of their respective Secretaries. The Council studies the operation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and related programs such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Categories of membership are specified by law. To assure a balance of differing views, Council members are drawn from Federal, State and local governments, industry and organizations with a common interest in the management of WIC and CSFP, including parent participants in both programs. The vacant positions include:
This rule implements the new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). It also includes conforming changes to certain Farm Service Agency (FSA) regulations that apply to multiple programs. ARC and PLC provide producers a choice between a program that provides counter-cyclical type of payment supportPLC, and a revenue support type of programARC. During a defined election period, current producers can elect different programs for different covered commodities on a farm, for example, choosing PLC for corn and ARC county option for soybeans on the same farm. ARC offers the additional choice of a revenue guarantee based on average revenue for a county or on actual historical revenue for an individual farm. If a producer elects ARC individual coverage based on historical revenue for that specific farm, however, all the farm's covered commodities are elected with that option, with no option for PLC on that farm. This rule specifies the eligibility requirements, enrollment procedures, and payment calculations for ARC and PLC.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks comments on the intent of the U.S. National Arboretum (USNA) to renew an information collection that expires February 28, 2015. The information collection serves as a means to collect for certain use of the facilities, grounds, programs and services. This includes fees for educational programs and workshops and for use of the grounds and facilities, as well as for commercial photography and cinematography. Fees generated will be used to defray USNA expenses or to promote the missions of the USNA.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to seek approval to conduct a new information collection, the Organic Certifiers Survey. This will be a voluntary survey that will be conducted annually.
As part of the implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (commonly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill), USDA Rural Development is hosting a listening session to receive public input about ways USDA can help community colleges form partnerships and get funding for local economic development. The 2014 Farm Bill directs USDA to work with community and technical colleges on a strategy to help them better serve the needs of local rural communities. The listening session will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their comments, concerns or requests regarding this strategy. Instructions to register for and attend the listening session are in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.
The Tongass Advisory Committee (Committee) will meet in Klawock, Alaska. The Committee is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. App. 2). The most up to date information concerning the Committee, including meeting times and agendas can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/R10/Tongass/TAC. The meeting is open to the public.
Notice of Funding Availability for Section 515 Multi-Family Housing Preservation Revolving Loan Fund Demonstration Program for Fiscal Year 2014
The Rural Housing Service of Rural Development previously announced in a Notice published June 5, 2013, (78 FR 33800), the availability of funds and the timeframe to submit applications for loans to both private non-profit organizations, and State and local housing finance agencies, to carry out a demonstration program to provide revolving loans for the preservation and revitalization of low- income Multi-Family Housing (MFH). Rural Development did not receive sufficient applications to use all the available funds. As a result, Rural Development is soliciting additional applications under this Notice for the remaining funding. This Notice also eliminates the $1 million cap on subsequent loans for existing intermediaries. Housing that is assisted by this demonstration program must be financed by Rural Development through its MFH loan program under Sections 515, 514 and 516 of the Housing Act of 1949. The goals of this demonstration program will be achieved through loans made to intermediaries. The intermediaries will establish their programs for the purpose of providing loans to ultimate recipients for the preservation and revitalization of low-income Sections 515, 514 and 516 MFH as affordable housing.
Notice of Funding Availability: Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Revitalization Demonstration Program-Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516 for Fiscal Year 2014
USDA Rural Development, which administers the programs of the Rural Housing Service (Agency), announces the availability of $20 million in budget authority and the timeframe to submit applications to participate in a demonstration program to preserve and revitalize existing Rural Rental Housing (RRH) projects under Section 515, Section 514, and Section 516 of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended. Under the demonstration program, existing Section 515 Multi-Family Housing (MFH) loans and Sections 514/516 Off-Farm Labor Housing (FLH) loans will be restructured to ensure that sufficient resources are available to preserve the ability of rental projects to provide safe and affordable housing for very low-, low-, or moderate-income residents. Projects participating in this program will be expected to be revitalized to extend their affordable use without displacing tenants because of increased rents. No additional Agency Rental Assistance (RA) units will be made available under this program.
National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule
The National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule Committee (Committee) will meet in Arlington, VA. Attendees may also participate via webinar and conference call. The Committee operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463). Additional information relating to the Committee can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ planningrule/committee.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Antelope Valley Station-Neset 345-kV Transmission Line Project: Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), RUS's Environmental Policies and Procedures, 7 CFR part 1794, and other applicable environmental requirements related to providing financial assistance for Basin Electric Power Cooperative's (Basin Electric) proposed Antelope Valley Station (AVS) to Neset 345-kV Transmission Project (Project) in North Dakota. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which was effective upon signing. This ROD concludes RUS's environmental review process in accordance with NEPA and RUS's Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794). The ultimate decision as to loan approval depends on the conclusion of the environmental review process plus financial and engineering analyses. Issuance of the ROD will allow these reviews to proceed. This ROD is not a decision on Basin's loan application and is not an approval of the expenditure of federal funds.
We are advising the public of our determination that three varieties of herbicide resistant corn and soybeans produced by Dow AgroSciences LLC are no longer considered regulated articles under our regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms. Our determination is based on our evaluation of data submitted by the Dow AgroSciences LLC in its three petitions for a determination of nonregulated status, our analysis of publically available scientific data, and comments received from the public on the petition for nonregulated status and its associated environmental impact statement and plant pest risk assessments. This notice also announces the availability of our written determination and record of decision.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the comment period for the solicitation of comments on how a Federal standard of identity for honey would be in the interest of consumers, the honey industry, and U.S. agriculture.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Food Safety and Inspection Service's intention to renew an information collection related to the Salmonella Initiative Program (SIP). FSIS is requesting the renewal because the current OMB approval will expire on January 31, 2015.
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is publishing this final rule for allocating program funds to its State Offices. This final rule adds two programsthe Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). In addition, this final rule revises State allocation formulae to account for changes in data reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census' decennial Census. Finally, this final rule revises the weight percentages associated with each of the allocation criteria; provides flexibility in determining when not to make State allocations for a program; restricts the use of the transition formula and changes the limitations on how much program funds can change when the transition formula is used; adds provisions for making State allocation for other RBS programs, including new ones; and provides consistency, where necessary, in the allocation of RBS program funds to State Offices.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending its regulations to change the fees it charges for the accreditation and the maintenance of accreditation of non-Federal laboratories for the FSIS Accredited Lab Program (ALP). The fees in this final rule will be applied on the effective date.
Electronic Import Inspection Application and Certification of Imported Products and Foreign Establishments; Amendments To Facilitate the Public Health Information System (PHIS) and Other Changes to Import Inspection Regulations
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending the meat, poultry, and egg products import regulations to provide for the Agency's Public Health Information System (PHIS) Import Component. The PHIS Import Component, launched on May 29, 2012, provides an electronic alternative to the paper-based import inspection application and the foreign inspection and foreign establishment certificate processes. The Agency is also removing from the regulations the discontinued ``streamlined'' import inspection procedures for Canadian product and is requiring Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) at official import inspection establishments. In addition to the regulatory amendments outlined above, FSIS is discontinuing its practice of conducting imported product reinspection based on a foreign government's guarantee to replace a lost or incorrect foreign inspection certificate and is clarifying its policy of addressing imported product that is not presented for reinspection.
Viruses, Serums, Toxins, and Analogous Products; Standard Requirements; Addition of Terminology To Define Veterinary Biologics Test Results
We are amending the veterinary biological product regulations by defining the terms used for reporting the results of tests performed on veterinary biological products. Licensees and permittees of veterinary biological products must conduct these tests and report the results to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service so that the Agency can determine if the products are eligible for release. Defining these terms will clarify the circumstances under which the results of a prescribed test can be reported as satisfactory, unsatisfactory, inconclusive, or a No Test. We are also removing several obsolete testing standard requirements from the regulations. These changes will update our regulations and improve communication between regulators and product licensees and permittees with respect to reporting test results.
We are amending the regulations concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables to allow the importation of mangoes from Jamaica into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, the mangoes must be produced in accordance with a systems approach employing a combination of mitigation measures for certain fruit flies, soft scale insects, and diseases and must be inspected prior to exportation from Jamaica and found free of these pests and diseases. The mangoes must be imported in commercial consignments only and be treated to mitigate the risk of fruit flies. The mangoes must also be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. This action will allow the importation of mangoes from Jamaica while continuing to protect against the introduction of plant pests into the United States.
Field Release of Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis for the Biological Control of Asian Citrus Psyllid in the Contiguous United States; Availability of an Environmental Assessment
We are advising the public that a draft environmental assessment has been prepared by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service relative to the proposed release of Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis for the biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, in the contiguous United States. We are making this environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment.
As directed by the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), the U.S. Forest Service is preparing the El Yunque National Forest's revised land management plan (forest plan) and will also prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this revised forest plan. This notice briefly describes the nature of the decision to be made, a proposed action based on the preliminary identified need to change the existing plan, and information concerning public participation. It also provides estimated dates for filing the EIS and the name and address of the responsible agency official and the individuals who can provide additional information. Finally, this notice identifies the applicable planning rule that will be used for completing this plan revision. The revised forest plan will supersede the existing forest plan that was approved by the Regional Forester in April 1997. The existing forest plan will remain in effect until the revised forest plan takes effect.
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, this notice announces an invitation from the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture for nominations to the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics. On September 2, 2014, the Secretary of Agriculture renewed the Advisory Committee charter for a two-year term to expire on September 2, 2016. The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the scope, timing, content, etc., of the periodic censuses and surveys of agriculture, other related surveys, and the types of information to obtain from respondents concerning agriculture. The Committee also prepares recommendations regarding the content of agriculture reports and presents the views and needs for data of major suppliers and users of agriculture statistics.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Agricultural Labor Survey. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sampling design, and/or questionnaire length.
Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Trichinae Certification Program
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the voluntary Trichinae Certification Program to enhance the ability of U.S. pork producers to export pork and pork products to overseas markets.
Rural Development (RD) is amending the regulations so that an obligation date for all guaranteed loans, direct loans, and grants will no longer be 6 working days from the date of request for reservation of authority. This action is necessary as the 6-day reservation period will be permanently removed from the Commercial Loan Servicing System (CLSS), Guaranteed Loan System (GLS), and Program Loan Accounting System (PLAS). The effect of this action will reduce system or manual intervention when legislative mandates direct cutoff for obligations and/or funding; eliminate program waivers on obligation date; increase consistency with other RD programs; reduce risks with new system implementations, such as the Financial Modernization Management Initiative; and eliminate numerous reconciliation issues between processed obligations and actual obligations for internal RD reports and USDA reporting requirements.
Rural Development (RD) is proposing to amend the regulations so that an obligation date for all guaranteed loans, direct loans, and grants will no longer be 6 working days from the date of request for reservation of authority. This action is necessary as the 6-day reservation period will be permanently removed from the Commercial Loan Servicing System (CLSS), Guaranteed Loan System (GLS), and Program Loan Accounting System (PLAS). The effect of this action will reduce system or manual intervention when legislative mandates direct cutoff for obligations and/or funding; eliminate program waivers on obligation date; increase consistency with other RD programs; reduce risks with new system implementations, such as the Financial Modernization Management Initiative; and eliminate numerous reconciliation issues between processed obligations and actual obligations for internal RD reports and USDA reporting requirements.
Notice of Request for Reinstatement of an Information Collection: Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Food Safety and Inspection Service's intention to reinstate an information collection associated with qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback on service delivery by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Forms: FNS-698, FNS-699 and FNS-700; The Integrity Profile (TIP)
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is an extension, without change of a currently approved data collection.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is affirming without changes, its interim rule to promulgate rules and regulations as provided under the Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) amends the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) regulations to redesignate the statutory authority from the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, amends the definition of Act consistent with the redesignated statutory authority, and amends the regulations by increasing the administrative cap for the use of the fund from 3 percent to 10 percent.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) intends to request a new approval of an information collection process for the Trade Show Evaluation form that is used in support of FAS' Exporter Assistance Programs.
Transfer of Administrative Jurisdiction: Ernest Veuve Hall United States Army Reserve Center at Fort Missoula, Missoula, Montana, and the Helena Property, Helena National Forest, Helena, Montana
On July 25, 2014, Paul D. Cramer, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army and Robert Bonnie, the Under Secretary of Agriculture, signed a joint interchange order authorizing the transfer of administrative jurisdiction of 12.31 acres from the Department of the Army to the United States Department of Agriculture for the inclusion in the Lolo National Forest located at Fort Missoula, Missoula, Montana. Furthermore, the joint order transfers administrative jurisdiction of 59.96 acres from the United States Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Army, located at the Helena Airport.
This rule changes the maturity requirements currently prescribed under the Florida avocado marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida and is administered locally by the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee). The corresponding change in the avocado import regulation is required under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. This rule changes the maturity shipping schedule to allow certain sizes and weights of the Choquette avocado variety to be shipped to the fresh market earlier. With this change, the maturity schedule will better reflect the current maturity rate for the Choquette variety, facilitating the shipment of this variety as it matures.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Pre-Screening Tool
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a revision of a currently approved collection for a web-based pre-screening tool used by the general public to determine potential eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.