Department of Agriculture – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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The National Institute of Food and Agriculture published a document in the Federal Register on November 6, 2014 concerning a request to establish a new information collection for letter of intent. The document did not contain the burden hours.
As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is hereby giving notice that a meeting of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) will be held and will be open to the public by Internet access only.
Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Reporting, Herd Monitoring, and Management of Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the reporting, herd monitoring, and management of swine enteric coronavirus diseases.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request approval to revise and extend a currently approved information collection, the Milk and Milk Products Surveys. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sample design, and/or questionnaire length.
This notice announces a forthcoming meeting of The Council for Native American Farming and Ranching (CNAFR) a public advisory committee of the Office of Tribal Relations (OTR). Notice of the meetings are provided in accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2). This will be the second meeting of the 2014- 2016 CNAFR term and will consist of, but not limited to: Hearing public comments; update on USDA programs and activities; and discussion of committee priorities. This meeting will be open to the public.
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 of a currently approved information collection that supports 7 CFR part 766, Direct Loan ServicingSpecial programs. The information is used in eligibility and feasibility determinations on borrower requests for disaster set-aside, primary loan servicing, buyout at market value, and homestead protection, as well as liquidation of security.
Solicitation of Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP)
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is soliciting nominations of veterinary service shortage situations for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for fiscal year (FY) 2015, as authorized under the National Veterinary Medical Services Act (NVMSA), 7 U.S.C. 3151a. This notice initiates a 60-day nomination period and prescribes the procedures and criteria to be used by State, Insular Area, DC and Federal Lands to nominate veterinary shortage situations. Each year all eligible nominating entities may submit nominations, up to the maximum indicated for each entity in this notice. NIFA is conducting this solicitation of veterinary shortage situation nominations under a previously approved information collection (OMB Control Number 0524-0046).
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing that it has completed and is making available its analysis on the estimated costs and benefits associated with the implementation of its non-O157 STEC testing on beef manufacturing trimmings and the costs and benefits associated with the potential expansion of its non-O157 STEC testing to ground beef and ground beef components other than beef manufacturing trimmings. In addition, FSIS is responding to comments that it received on the previous cost benefits analysis.
The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) are sponsoring a public meeting on January 13, 2015. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions that will be discussed at the 24th session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Malaysia, February 9-13, 2015. The Under Secretary for Food Safety and the FDA recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 24th session of the CCFO and to address items on the agenda.
Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order; Assessment Rate Increase
This proposed rule invites comments on amending the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order (Order) to increase the assessment rate from $0.01 per pound to $0.015 per pound on honey and honey products, over a two- year period. The Order limits an increase in the assessment rate to no more than one-quarter cent per year. Thus, the rate would increase to $0.0125 per pound for the period January 1 through December 31, 2015, and to $0.015 per pound on and after January 1, 2016. The Order is administered by the Honey Packers and Importers Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the program, assessments are collected from first handlers (packers) and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for honey and honey products in the United States and abroad. Additional funds would allow the Board to expand its production research activities and promotional efforts. The Boards production research focuses on maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. Increasing demand for honey and honey products would benefit the honey industry as a whole. This action also makes three additional changes to: Clarify that the assessment rate applies not only to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule numbers but to any other numbers used to identify honey; change the length of time that books and records are to be held; and change the exemption requirements.
Notice of Appointment of Members to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App 2, the United States Department of Agriculture announces the appointment of members made by the Secretary of Agriculture to fill 8 vacancies on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.
This final rule amends the regulations that administer the Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-102) Program and eliminates provisions for the Intermediate Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-103) Program, consistent with the repeal of authority to operate this program in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Act). This final rule incorporates program operational changes and information from press releases and notices to participants that have been implemented since the publication of the current rule, and include other administrative revisions to enhance clarity and program integrity. It also incorporates certain comments received in response to proposed rules issued on July 27, 2011, and December 27, 2013. These changes should increase program availability to all program participants and enhance access and encourage sales for smaller U.S. exporters. Changes are also intended to improve CCC's financial management of the program.
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 Field Crops Objective Yield Surveys. Revision to burden hours may be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sampling design, and/or questionnaire length.
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announces a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension with no revision of a currently approved information collection, Qualified Products Lists for Fire Chemicals for Wildland Fire Management.
Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Mangoes From Australia
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 regulations for the importation of mangoes from Australia.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Modification of Container Requirements
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that modified the container requirements prescribed under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato marketing order. The interim rule removed the requirement that fiberboard cartons used to pack 50-pound quantities of U.S. No. 2 grade potatoes be of one-piece construction. This change is in response to market demands and provides handlers flexibility in shipping U.S. No. 2 grade potatoes. In addition, this rule corrected a citation reference in the handling regulations.
Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments
This proposal invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Processed Raspberry Council (Council) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for processed raspberries. This proposal would implement authority contained in the Order that allows the Council to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Three additional changes are proposed to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program.
Avocados Grown in South Florida and Imported Avocados; Clarification of the Avocado Grade Requirements
This rule changes the minimum grade requirements currently prescribed under the Florida avocado marketing order (order) and makes a technical correction to the avocado import regulation. The order regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida, and is administered locally by the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee). For South Florida-grown avocados, this rule aligns the regulations with current industry practices. It removes language permitting the commingling of avocados with dissimilar characteristics in containers for shipment within the production area. All avocado shipments within the production area need to meet the provisions of a U.S. No. 2 grade, as provided in the United States Standards for Grades of Florida Avocados. For imported avocados, this rule also makes a technical correction to the avocado import regulation to clarify that the minimum grade requirements for imported avocados remains unchanged at a U.S. No. 2.
This document summarizes the results of an Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) review of the Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) under criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). Based upon its review, AMS concluded that there is a continued need for the Order.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S. C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
This notice announces the appointment of the members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Level (SL) and Scientific or Professional (ST) Performance Review Boards (PRB) for the Department of Agriculture, as required by 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)(4). Agriculture has a total of six PRBs: the Secretary's PRB; Departmental Management and Staff Offices PRB; Natural Resources and Environment PRB; Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Rural Development, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services PRB; Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Food Safety PRB; and Research, Education, and Economics PRB. The PRBs comprise of career and noncareer executives and Chairpersons to make recommendations on the performance of executives to the Secretary, including performance ratings and bonuses for SES, SL, and ST employees. The boards meet annually to review and evaluate performance appraisal documents and provide written recommendations to the Secretary for final approval of performance ratings and base salary increases.
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) seeks public comments on implementing the provisions of Section 6019 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) relating to water and waste disposal direct and guaranteed loans. RUS is requesting written comments regarding the Section 6019 provisions and their relation to project financing requirements. This public input will allow all affected stakeholders to contribute to the development of agency procedures for implementing these provisions that will continue to support the agency's mission of facilitating the development of affordable, reliable utility infrastructure to improve the quality of life and promote economic development in rural America. As part of our implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, RUS will be hosting a listening session. The listening session will provide an opportunity for stakeholders and other interested parties to offer their comments, concerns or requests regarding the implementation of these provisions. Instructions regarding registering for and attending the listening session are in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION of this notice.
J.R. Simplot Co.; Availability of Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Potato Genetically Engineered for Late Blight Resistance, Low Acrylamide Potential, Reduced Black Spot Bruising, and Lowered Reducing Sugars
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has received a petition from the J.R. Simplot Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status for Innate\TM\ Potato designated as Russet Burbank event W8, which has been genetically engineered for late blight resistance, low acrylamide potential, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars. The petition has been submitted in accordance with our regulations concerning the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms and products. We are making the J.R. Simplot Company petition available for review and comment to help us identify potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition.
Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International; Determination of Nonregulatory Status of Genetically Engineered Alfalfa
We are advising the public of our determination that an alfalfa event developed by the Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International, designated as event KK179, which has been genetically engineered to express reduced levels of guaiacyl lignin, is no longer considered a regulated article under our regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms. Our determination is based on our evaluation of data submitted by the Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International in its petition for a determination of nonregulatory status, our analysis of available scientific data, and comments received from the public in response to our previous notices announcing the availability of the petition for nonregulated status and its associated environmental assessment and plant pest risk assessment. This notice also announces the availability of our written determination and finding of no significant impact.
J.R. Simplot Co.; Determination of Nonregulated Status of Potato Genetically Engineered for Low Acrylamide Potential and Reduced Black Spot Bruise
We are advising the public of our determination that potatoes designated as InnateTM potatoes (events E12, E24, F10, F37, J3, J55, J78, G11, H37, and H50), which have been genetically engineered for low acrylamide potential (acrylamide is a human neurotoxicant and potential carcinogen that may form in potatoes and other starchy foods under certain cooking conditions) and reduced black spot bruise, are no longer considered a regulated article under our regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms. Our determination is based on our evaluation of data submitted by J.R. Simplot Company in its petition for a determination of nonregulated status, our analysis of available scientific data, and comments received from the public in response to our previous notices announcing the availability of the petition for nonregulated status and its associated environmental assessment and plant pest risk assessment. This notice also announces the availability of our written determination and finding of no significant impact.
Brucellosis Class Free States and Certified Brucellosis-Free Herds; Revisions to Testing and Certification Requirements
We are adopting as a final rule, with changes, an interim rule that amended the brucellosis regulations to, among other things, reduce the amount of testing required to maintain Class Free status for States that have been Class Free for 5 or more years and have no Brucella abortus in wildlife. This document amends the interim rule to change the age at which cattle and domestic bison are included in herd blood tests from 6 months to 18 months of age for all sexually intact cattle and domestic bison, except when conducting herd blood tests as part of affected herd investigations or other epidemiological investigations. In addition, the rule allows certain States the option of either conducting brucellosis ring tests and participating in the slaughter surveillance program or developing an alternative surveillance plan that would have to meet or exceed the level of disease detection provided by combined brucellosis ring testing and slaughter surveillance testing. The rule also makes several minor changes in order to clarify the regulations. These changes are necessary to create flexibility in the brucellosis program, to refocus resources to control and prevent the spread of brucellosis, and to protect and maintain the economic viability of the domestic livestock industry.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) requests public comments to inform its development of a beef promotion, research, and information order under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). This request for comments offers the opportunity for interested individuals and organizations to provide views concerning provisions that would be included in an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for beef and beef products. The proposed order would be in addition to the existing beef promotion and research program established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (1985 Act). A referendum on an order established under the 1996 Act would be conducted 3 years after assessments begin to determine whether beef producers favor the program and if it should continue. A second referendum would be held within 7 years of the start of the program.
This notice is announcing that the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold a meeting of the full Committee by an audio conference call that is open to the public on November 17, 2014. The Committee will continue its discussions on (1) microbiological criteria as indicators of poor process control or insanitary conditions, and (2) control strategies for reducing foodborne transmission of Norovirus infections. After further discussion the committee plans to adopt its final recommendations.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces that the Department of Agriculture, Office of Procurement and Property Management, is hereby requesting an extension of a currently approved information collection, Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision and Extension of Approved Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery
As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has submitted a Generic Information Collection Request (Generic ICR): ``Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery'' to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).
In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) intent to establish a new information collection of Letters of Intent (LOIs).
Fremont-Winema National Forests, Chemult and Silver Lake Ranger Districts; Oregon; Antelope Grazing Allotments AMP Analysis
The Fremont-Winema National Forest is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) to document the analysis of grazing management within all or portions of three allotments on the Fremont-Winema National Forests. This project, initially documented with an environmental assessment, has had one scoping period (11/2010) and two comment periods (11/2012 and 04/2014). The allotments are the Antelope Cattle & Horse Allotment on the Chemult Ranger District (RD), the Antelope Grazing Allotment on the Silver Lake RD, and a portion of the Jack Creek Sheep and Goat Allotment also on the Chemult RD. The proposed action would reauthorize term grazing permit and a term private land permit to graze cattle for an appropriate season of use (May 15-September 30) within the approximately 169,599 acre project area using an adaptive management strategy, modification of allotment boundaries, and a change in the number of total allotments and pastures. Associated activities would include fence construction, reconstruction, and removal; and spring protection/development and water infrastructure improvements.
This interim rule with request for comment amends the existing Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regulation for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to incorporate programmatic changes as authorized by amendments in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Act).
Notice of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota State Technical Guides
Notice is hereby given of the intention by the NRCS State Conservationists for Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to issue revisions to Section I of their State Technical Guide pertaining to the State Offsite Methods used in completing wetland determinations. In each of the listed States, NRCS is proposing to issue its State Offsite Methods which will replace existing State wetland mapping conventions. The State Offsite Methods will be used as part of the technical documents and procedures to conduct wetland determinations on agriculture land as part of the Food Security Act of 1985 (as amended). Section 343 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 requires NRCS to make available for public review and comment all proposed revisions to standards and procedures used to carry out Highly Erodible Land and wetland provisions of the law.
We are giving notice that the Secretary of Agriculture intends to re-establish the charter of the Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers (the ``Committee'') for a 2-year term.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
We are reopening the comment period for our proposed rule that would allow, under certain conditions, the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from a region in Argentina located north of Patagonia South and Patagonia North B, referred to as Northern Argentina. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) are requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a revision of a currently approved paperwork package associated with the Acreage and Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI).
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 1 (Scotch) Spearmint Oil for the 2014-2015 Marketing Year
This interim rule revises the quantity of Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2014-2015 marketing year under the Far West spearmint oil marketing order. This rule increases the Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity from 1,149,030 pounds to 1,984,423 pounds and the allotment percentage from 55 percent to 95 percent. The marketing order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West and is administered locally by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee). The Committee recommended this rule for the purpose of maintaining orderly marketing conditions in the Far West spearmint oil market.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) intention to request an extension of a currently approved information collection, Form AD-761, USDA Patent License Application for Government Invention that expires April 30, 2015.