Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Changes to Container and Pack Requirements, 51574-51578 [05-17321]

Download as PDF 51574 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations component, other than the NIH, or of the remainder of HHS who is either a public filer, a confidential filer, or a clinical investigator who is reassigned to a position at the NIH shall report in writing within 30 days of entering on duty with the NIH any financial interest in a substantially affected organization and the value thereof held on the effective date of the reassignment to the agency. (3) Incumbent employees. An incumbent employee of the NIH who is either a public filer, a confidential filer, or a clinical investigator who acquires any financial interest in a substantially affected organization shall report such interest and the value thereof in writing within 30 days after acquiring the financial interest. Any incumbent employee, irrespective of financial disclosure filing status, who is designated a clinical investigator shall report in writing within 30 days of the approval of the clinical research protocol by the relevant institutional review board any financial interest in a substantially affected organization and the value thereof held on the date of the IRB approval. (4) Initial report by on duty employees. An employee on duty at the NIH on August 31, 2005, who is either a public filer, a confidential filer, or a clinical investigator shall report in writing on or before October 31, 2005, any financial interest in a substantially affected organization and the value thereof held on the date the report is filed. [FR Doc. 05–17352 Filed 8–26–05; 4:12 pm] BILLING CODE 4150–03–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 906 [Docket No. FV05–906–1 IFR] Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Changes to Container and Pack Requirements Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This rule revises the container and pack requirements currently prescribed under the marketing order (order) covering oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. The order regulates the handling of such fruit and is VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 administered locally by the Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee). This rule revises the orange and grapefruit rules and regulations and container requirements by adding eight new containers to the list of authorized containers for use by Texas citrus handlers, removing one obsolete container, and by combining all the requirements on authorized bags into one grouping for easier reference. Other changes would revise incorrect references to the U.S. grade standards for oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas. These changes are expected to help handlers compete more effectively in the marketplace, better meet the needs of buyers, and to improve producer returns. DATES: Effective September 1, 2005; comments received by October 31, 2005 will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Fax: (202) 720–8938; E-mail: moab.docketclerk@usda.gov; or Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: http:// www.ams.usda.gov/fv/moab.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Belinda G. Garza, Regional Manager, Texas Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (956) 682–2833, Fax: (956) 682–5942; or George Kelhart, Technical Advisor, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Telephone: (202) 720–2491, Fax: (202) 720–8938. Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Jay Guerber, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Telephone: (202) 720– 2491, Fax: (202) 720–8938, or E-mail: Jay.Guerber@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing Agreement PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 and Order No. 906, as amended (7 CFR part 906), regulating the handling of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘order.’’ The marketing agreement and order are effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601–674), hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Act.’’ The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Order 12866. This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have retroactive effect. This rule will not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA’s ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling. This rule revises container and pack requirements currently prescribed under the Texas orange and grapefruit order and makes several conforming and formatting changes. The rule revises the rules and regulations and container requirements by adding eight new containers to the list of authorized containers for use by Texas citrus handlers, removing one obsolete container, combining all of the requirements on authorized bags into one grouping for easier reference. Other changes include revising incorrect references to the U.S. grade standards for oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona (7 CFR 51.680 through 51.714 for oranges, and 7 CFR 51.620 through 51.653 for grapefruit). See 68 FR 46433, August 6, 2003; and 66 FR 48785, September 24, 2001, for information on changes in the grade standards that necessitate changes to the Texas citrus handling regulations. E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations These changes are expected to help handlers compete more effectively in the marketplace, better meet the needs of buyers, and to improve producer returns by lessening the chances of confusion in the marketplace. In addition, this rule is needed to bring the administrative rules and regulations into conformance with amendments to the U.S. grade standards. These changes were unanimously recommended by the Committee on May 26, 2005. The Committee’s Container Subcommittee met on May 26, 2005, and discussed in detail possible changes to the order’s container requirements. The Subcommittee recommended and the Committee unanimously approved the following changes to the orange and grapefruit container requirements and conforming changes to the rules and regulations to bring them into conformity with current industry marketing practices: (1) The addition of eight new containers to the list of approved containers for use by Texas citrus handlers; (2) Elimination of one obsolete wire crib from the container list, combining five approved bags currently listed separately into one paragraph for easier reference, and removal of some obsolete language in one container listing; (3) Removal of references no longer needed in the Texas citrus regulations because of changes made to the U.S. grade standards for Texas oranges and grapefruit; and (4) Correction of references to legal citations in the regulations. Under the terms of the order, fresh market shipments of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas are required to be inspected and meet grade, size, container, and pack requirements. Section 906.40 of the citrus marketing order authorizes the issuance of container and pack regulations. Section 906.340(a)(1) of the order’s rules and regulations outlines container requirements for fresh shipments of Texas oranges and grapefruit. Container standardization helps prevent marketing confusion and helps foster orderly marketing. Section 906.340 of the rules and regulations currently specifies 12 containers authorized for use by Texas citrus handlers in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (xi). Paragraph (a)(1)(xi) of § 906.340 also authorizes the Committee to approve other types of containers for testing purposes. Such test containers are subject to prior approval and their use by handlers is supervised by the Committee. VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 Over the years, the Committee has approved experimental containers for use by the Texas citrus industry. The need for experimental containers is reviewed by the Committee at the beginning of each season. Because buyers, including retailers, have continued to request an increasing array of containers to meet their various display objectives, the number of Committee approved experimental containers has increased to 11. The Committee recently reviewed its experimental container list and decided to convert those being used by handlers to permanent status and to eliminate those that are no longer in use to lessen the chances of confusion and to reflect current industry practices. The Committee, therefore, recommended converting to permanent status 8 experimental containers which are now widely used by the Texas citrus industry. The following containers are being added from the experimental to the permanent container list: (1) A fiberboard box holding two layers of fruit, with approximate dimensions of 23 inches in length, 151⁄2 inches in width, and 7 inches in depth; (2) A fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 15 inches in length, 11 inches in width, and 71⁄4 inches in depth; (3) A fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 253⁄4 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 83⁄8 to 101⁄2 inches in depth; (4) A reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 7 to 11 inches in depth; (5) A reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate dimensions of 141⁄4 x 103⁄4 x 63⁄4 inches; (6) A reusable collapsible plastic bin with approximate dimensions of 363⁄4 x 443⁄4 x 27 inches; (7) An octagonal bulk triple wall fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 373⁄4 inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 25 inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,100 pounds: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit; and (8) A closed fiberboard carton with approximate dimensions of 161⁄2 inches in length, 103⁄4 inches in width, and 615⁄16 inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 200 pounds. Retail buyers are highly competitive and experiment frequently with various in-store displays utilizing many container shapes and sizes. This ongoing experimentation is influenced by PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51575 European container development, consumer preferences, evolving handling/racking systems, and other variables. These forces have combined to demand an ever-increasing number of containers on the experimental list. The intent of this action is to reduce the experimental container list to those which truly are still experimental. The Committee believes that the permanent container list should include all the containers that the Texas citrus industry is now using. Adding the widely used containers to the permanent list and eliminating the unused containers will bring the requirements into conformity with current industry operating practices. This change does not preclude additional containers being put on the experimental list, when necessary. The Committee also recommended eliminating one wire crib on the permanent list with dimensions of 461⁄2 by 37 by 30 inches, which is no longer being used by the industry. In addition, the Committee recommended combining five separate bag requirements into one paragraph to allow for easier reference. Currently, paragraph (a)(1) of § 906.340 lists bags with a capacity of five, eight, ten, or 18 pounds of fruit, and four-pound poly or vexar bags for oranges only, in paragraphs (iv), (v), (x), and (xi). This action combines all the bag requirements into one paragraph so all of the authorized bags can be more easily identified. In addition, the Committee indicated that a reference to Freight Container Tariff 2G currently in § 906.340(a)(1)(ii) is obsolete and recommended that it be removed. The U.S. grade standards for Texas oranges and grapefruit were revised in 2003 to reflect current cultural and marketing practices and give the industry greater flexibility in marketing and packaging using developing technologies. The major changes revised the standard pack sections of the grapefruit and orange standards, and the standard sizing section of the orange standard by redefining the requirements in each section. To bring the order regulations into conformity with the revised grade standards, in paragraphs (c)(3)(iii) and (e) of § 906.120, the words ‘‘which are packed level full,’’ and ‘‘the term level full means that the fruit is level with the top edge of the bottom section of the carton;’’, respectively, are removed. In addition, in the introductory text of paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) of § 906.340, the comma after ‘‘and’’ and the words ‘‘when place packed in cartons or other containers,’’ are removed. Also, in the introductory text of paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) of E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 51576 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations § 906.340, the words ‘‘when place packed in cartons or other containers’’ and ‘‘and otherwise meet the requirements of standard sizing’’, when referring to grapefruit only, are removed. Furthermore, this rule revises several references to the U.S. standards for grapefruit and oranges for Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona in paragraph (b) of § 906.137 in the regulations to correctly identify applicable sections of the U.S. grade standards. A reference to ‘‘51.685’’ of the U.S. grade standards for grapefruit is incorrect and is revised to ‘‘51.653’’ to accurately reflect sections of the grapefruit standard. Also, an incorrect reference to ‘‘51.712’’ of the U.S. grade standards for oranges is revised to ‘‘51.714’’. In addition, a reference to ‘‘51.652’’ in paragraph (c) of § 906.340 is revised to ‘‘51.653’’. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf. Thus, both statutes have small entity orientation and compatibility. There are approximately 18 handlers of oranges and grapefruit who are subject to regulation under the order and approximately 212 producers in the production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) (13 CFR 121.201) as those having annual receipts of less than $6,000,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000. The majority of Texas orange and grapefruit handlers and producers may be classified as small entities. Last year, 6 of the 18 handlers (33 percent) each shipped over 545,951 7/10 bushel cartons of oranges and grapefruit. Using an average f.o.b. price of $10.99 per carton, these handlers could be considered large businesses by the SBA, and the remaining 12 handlers (67 percent) could be considered small businesses. Of the approximately 212 producers within the production area, few have sufficient acreage to generate VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 sales in excess of $750,000; therefore, a majority of producers of Texas oranges and grapefruit may be classified as small entities. This rule revises container and pack requirements currently prescribed under the Texas orange and grapefruit order and makes several conforming and formatting changes. The rule revises the rules and regulations and container requirements by adding eight new containers to the list of authorized containers for use by Texas citrus handlers, removing one obsolete container, combining all of the requirements on authorized bags into one grouping for easier reference. Other changes include revising incorrect references to the U.S. grade standards for oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona (7 CFR 51.680 through 51.714 for oranges, and 7 CFR 51.620 through 51.653 for grapefruit). See 68 FR 46433, August 6, 2003; and 66 FR 48785, September 24, 2001, for information on changes to the grade standards that necessitate changes in the Texas citrus handling regulations. These changes are expected to help handlers compete more effectively in the marketplace, better meet the needs of buyers, and to improve producer returns by lessening the chances of confusion in the marketplace. In addition, this rule is needed to bring the order’s rules and regulations into conformance with amendments to the U.S. grade standards. These changes were unanimously recommended by the Committee on May 26, 2005. The Committee’s Container Subcommittee met on May 26, 2005, and discussed in detail possible changes to the order’s container requirements. The Subcommittee recommended and the Committee unanimously approved the following changes to the orange and grapefruit container requirements and conforming changes to the rules and regulations to bring them into conformity with current industry marketing practices: (1) The addition of eight new containers to the list of approved containers for use by Texas citrus handlers; (2) Elimination of one obsolete wire crib from the container list, combining the requirements of five approved bags currently listed separately into one paragraph for easier reference, and removing obsolete language in one container listing; (3) Removing references no longer needed in the Texas citrus regulations because of changes made to the U.S. grade standards for Texas oranges and grapefruit; and (4) Correcting references to legal citations in the regulations. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Under the terms of the order, fresh market shipments of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas are required to be inspected and meet grade, size, container, and pack requirements. Section 906.40 of the citrus marketing order authorizes the issuance of container and pack regulations. Section 906.340(a)(1) of the order’s rules and regulations outlines container requirements for fresh shipments of Texas oranges and grapefruit. Container standardization helps prevent marketing confusion. Section 906.340 of the rules and regulations currently specifies 12 containers authorized for use by Texas citrus handlers in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (xi). Paragraph (a)(1)(xi) of § 906.340 also authorizes the Committee to approve other types of containers for testing purposes. Such test containers are subject to prior approval and under the supervision of the Committee. Over the years, the Committee has approved experimental containers for use by the Texas citrus industry. The need for experimental containers is reviewed by the Committee at the beginning of each season. Because buyers, including retailers, have continued to request an increasing array of containers to meet their various display objectives, the number of Committee approved experimental containers has increased to 11. The Committee recently reviewed its experimental container list and decided to convert those being used by handlers to permanent status and to eliminate those that are no longer in use to lessen the chances of confusion and to reflect current industry practices. The Committee, therefore, recommended converting to permanent status 8 experimental containers which are now widely used by the Texas citrus industry. The following containers are being added from the experimental container list to the permanent container list: (1) A fiberboard box holding two layers of fruit, with approximate dimensions of 23 inches in length, 151⁄2 inches in width, and 7 inches in depth; (2) A fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 15 inches in length, 11 inches in width, and 71⁄4 inches in depth; (3) A fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 253⁄4 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 83⁄8 to 101⁄2 inches in depth; (4) A reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 7 to 11 inches in depth; E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations (5) a reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate dimensions of 141⁄4 x 103⁄4 x 63⁄4 inches; (6) A reusable collapsible plastic bin with approximate dimensions of 363⁄4 x 443⁄4 x 27 inches; (7) An octagonal bulk triple wall fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 373⁄4 inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 25 inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,100 pounds: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit; and (8) A closed fiberboard carton with approximate dimensions of 161⁄2 inches in length, 103⁄4 inches in width, and 615⁄16 inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 200 pounds. Retail buyers are highly competitive and experiment frequently with various in-store displays utilizing many container shapes and sizes. This ongoing experimentation is influenced by European container development, consumer preferences, evolving handling/racking systems, and other variables. These forces have combined to demand an ever-increasing number of containers on the experimental list. The intent of this action is to reduce the experimental container list to those which truly are still experimental. The Committee believes that the permanent container list should include all the containers the Texas citrus industry is now using. Moving the widely used containers from the experimental list to the permanent list and eliminating unused containers will bring the container requirements into conformity with industry operating practices. This change does not preclude additional containers being put on the experimental list, when necessary. The Committee also recommended eliminating one wire crib on the permanent list with dimensions of 461⁄2 by 37 by 30 inches, which is no longer being used by the industry. In addition, the Committee recommended combining five separate bag requirements into one paragraph to allow for easier reference. Currently, paragraph (a)(1) of § 906.340 lists bags with a capacity of five, eight, ten, or 18 pounds of fruit, and four-pound poly or vexar bags for oranges only, in paragraphs (iv), (v), (x), and (xi). This rule combines all the bag requirements into one paragraph so all authorized bags can be more easily identified. In addition, the Committee indicated that a reference to Freight Container Tariff 2G currently in § 906.340(a)(1)(ii), is VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 obsolete and recommended that it be removed. The U.S. grade standards for Texas oranges and grapefruit were revised in 2003 to reflect current cultural and marketing practices and give the industry greater flexibility in marketing and packaging using developing technologies. The major changes revised the standard pack sections of the grapefruit and orange standards, and the standard sizing section of the orange standard by redefining the requirements in each section. To bring the order regulations into conformity with the revised grade standards, in paragraphs (c)(3)(iii) and (e) of § 906.120, the words ‘‘which are packed level full,’’ and ‘‘the term level full means that the fruit is level with the top edge of the bottom section of the carton;’’, respectively, are removed. In addition, in the introductory text of paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) of § 906.340, the comma after ‘‘and’’ and the words ‘‘when place packed in cartons or other containers,’’ are removed. Also, in the introductory text of paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) of § 906.340, the words ‘‘when place packed in cartons or other containers’’ and ‘‘and otherwise meet the requirements of standard sizing’’, when referring to grapefruit only, are removed. Furthermore, this rule revises several references to the U.S. standards for grapefruit and oranges for Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona in paragraph (b) of § 906.137 in the regulations to correctly identify applicable sections of the U.S. grade standards. A reference to ‘‘51.685’’ of the U.S. grade standards for grapefruit is incorrect and is revised to ‘‘51.653’’ to accurately reflect sections of the grapefruit standard. Also, an incorrect reference to ‘‘51.712’’ of the U.S. grade standards for oranges is revised to ‘‘51.714’’. In addition, a reference to ‘‘51.652’’ in paragraph (c) of § 906.340 is revised to ‘‘51.653’’. The benefits of these changes are expected to be equally available to all Texas citrus producers and handlers regardless of their size of operation. The recommended changes offer benefits to the entire Texas citrus industry. These changes will enable handlers to compete more effectively in the marketplace by lessening the chances of marketing confusion. These changes also will contribute to the industry’s long-term objective of marketing as much citrus as possible. These regulation changes are expected to lead to market expansion. The alternative of leaving the regulations unchanged would not bring the regulations into conformity with PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51577 industry operating practices. Accordingly, in assessing alternatives to the changes provided in this interim final rule, this action provides the most beneficial results. This rule will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Texas orange and grapefruit handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. In addition, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule. Further, the Committee’s meeting was widely publicized throughout the Texas orange and grapefruit industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations. Like all Committee meetings, the May 26, 2005, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express their views on this issue. Also, the Committee has a number of appointed subcommittees to review certain issues and make recommendations to the Committee. The Committee’s Container Subcommittee met on May 26, 2005, and discussed this issue in detail. That meeting was also a public meeting and both large and small entities were able to participate and express their views. Finally, interested persons are invited to submit information on the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small businesses. A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/ fv/moab.html. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jay Guerber at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. This rule invites comments on changes to the rules and regulations and container requirements currently prescribed under the Texas citrus marketing order. Any comments received will be considered prior to finalization of this rule. After consideration of all relevant material presented, including the Committee’s recommendation, and other information, it is found that this interim final rule, as hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, it is also found and determined upon good cause that it is impracticable, unnecessary, E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 51578 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations and contrary to the public interest to give preliminary notice prior to putting this rule into effect and that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because: (1) This rule relaxes container requirements for oranges and grapefruit; (2) the regulatory period begins September 1 and this action should be in effect promptly so handlers can plan accordingly; (3) the Committee unanimously recommended these changes at a public meeting and interested parties had an opportunity to provide input; and (4) this rule provides a 60-day comment period and any comments received will be considered prior to finalization of this rule. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 906 Grapefruit, Marketing agreements, Oranges, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. I For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 906 is amended as follows: PART 906—ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN TEXAS 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 906 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. § 906.120 [Amended] 2. In § 906.120, paragraph (c)(3)(iii), remove the words ‘‘which are packed level full,’’; and in paragraph (e), remove the words ‘‘the term level full means that the fruit is level with the top edge of the bottom section of the carton;’’. I § 906.137 [Amended] 3. In § 906.137, paragraph (b), change the number ‘‘51.685’’ to ‘‘51.653’’ and the number ‘‘51.712’’ to ‘‘51.714’’. I 4. Section 906.340 is amended as follows: I A. Revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as set forth below; I B. Amend paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) introductory text by removing the words ‘‘, when place packed in cartons or other containers,’’; I C. Amend paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) introductory text by removing the words ‘‘when place packed in cartons or other containers’’ and ‘‘and otherwise meet the requirements of standard sizing’’; and I D. Amend paragraph (c) by revising ‘‘51.652’’ to read ‘‘51.653’’. I § 906.340 Container, pack, and container marking regulations. (a) * * * VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 (1) Containers. (i) Closed fiberboard carton with inside dimensions of 131⁄4 x 101⁄2 x 71⁄4 inches: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 200 pounds; (ii) Closed fully telescopic fiberboard carton with inside dimensions of 161⁄2 x 103⁄4 x 91⁄2 inches; (iii) Closed fiberboard carton with inside dimensions of 20 x 131⁄4 inches and a depth from 93⁄4 to 13 inches: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 250 pounds: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section; (iv) Poly or mesh bags having a capacity of four, five, eight, ten, or 18 pounds of fruit: Provided, That only oranges are to be packed in the fourpound bag. (v) Rectangular or octagonal bulk fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 46 to 471⁄2 inches in length, 37 to 38 inches in width, and 36 inches in height: Provided, That this container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only once for the shipment of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit. (vi) Rectangular or octagonal 2⁄3 fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 46 to 471⁄2 inches in length, 37 to 38 inches in width, and 24 inches in height: Provided, That the crib has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only once for the shipment of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit. (vii) Octagonal fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 46 to 471⁄2 inches in width, 37 to 38 inches in depth, and 26 to 261⁄2 inches in height: Provided, That the crib has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only once for the shipment of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the crib may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit. (viii) Fiberboard box holding two layers of fruit, with approximate dimensions of 23 inches in length, 151⁄2 inches in width, and 7 inches in depth; (ix) Fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 15 inches in length, 11 inches in width, and 71⁄2 inches in depth; (x) Fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 253⁄4 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 83⁄8 to 101⁄2 inches in depth; PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (xi) Reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 7 to 11 inches in depth; (xii) Reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate dimensions of 141⁄4 x 103⁄4 x 63⁄4 inches; (xiii) Reusable collapsible plastic bin with approximate dimensions of 363⁄4 x 443⁄4 x 27 inches; (xiv) Octagonal bulk triple wall fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 373⁄4 inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 25 inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,100 pounds: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit; (xv) Closed fiberboard carton with approximate dimensions of 161⁄2 inches in length, 103⁄4 inches in width, and 615⁄16 inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 200 pounds; (xvi) Such types and sizes of containers as may be approved by the committee for testing in connection with a research project conducted by or in cooperation with the committee: Provided, That the handling of each lot of fruit in such test containers shall be subject to prior approval and under the supervision of the committee. * * * * * Dated: August 26, 2005. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 05–17321 Filed 8–30–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 958 [Docket No. FV05–958–1 FIR] Onions Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, OR; Decreased Assessment Rate Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule which decreased the assessment rate established for the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee (Committee) for the 2005–2006 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.105 to E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 31, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51574-51578]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-17321]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 906

[Docket No. FV05-906-1 IFR]


Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; 
Changes to Container and Pack Requirements

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This rule revises the container and pack requirements 
currently prescribed under the marketing order (order) covering oranges 
and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. The order 
regulates the handling of such fruit and is administered locally by the 
Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee). This rule revises the orange 
and grapefruit rules and regulations and container requirements by 
adding eight new containers to the list of authorized containers for 
use by Texas citrus handlers, removing one obsolete container, and by 
combining all the requirements on authorized bags into one grouping for 
easier reference. Other changes would revise incorrect references to 
the U.S. grade standards for oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas. 
These changes are expected to help handlers compete more effectively in 
the marketplace, better meet the needs of buyers, and to improve 
producer returns.

DATES: Effective September 1, 2005; comments received by October 31, 
2005 will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
concerning this rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, 
Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, 
AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 
20250-0237; Fax: (202) 720-8938; E-mail: moab.docketclerk@usda.gov; or 
Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should reference the 
docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal 
Register and will be made available for public inspection in the Office 
of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: 
http://www.ams.usda.gov/fv/moab.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Belinda G. Garza, Regional Manager, 
Texas Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, 
Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (956) 682-2833, 
Fax: (956) 682-5942; or George Kelhart, Technical Advisor, Marketing 
Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 
1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; 
Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938.
    Small businesses may request information on complying with this 
regulation by contacting Jay Guerber, Marketing Order Administration 
Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence 
Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-
2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or E-mail: Jay.Guerber@usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing 
Agreement and Order No. 906, as amended (7 CFR part 906), regulating 
the handling of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley in Texas, hereinafter referred to as the ``order.'' The 
marketing agreement and order are effective under the Agricultural 
Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), 
hereinafter referred to as the ``Act.''
    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in 
conformance with Executive Order 12866.
    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have retroactive effect. 
This rule will not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or 
policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this 
rule.
    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted 
before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the 
Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition 
stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation 
imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and 
request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A 
handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. 
After the hearing USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides 
that the district court of the United States in any district in which 
the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of 
business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, 
provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of 
the entry of the ruling.
    This rule revises container and pack requirements currently 
prescribed under the Texas orange and grapefruit order and makes 
several conforming and formatting changes. The rule revises the rules 
and regulations and container requirements by adding eight new 
containers to the list of authorized containers for use by Texas citrus 
handlers, removing one obsolete container, combining all of the 
requirements on authorized bags into one grouping for easier reference. 
Other changes include revising incorrect references to the U.S. grade 
standards for oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas and States other 
than Florida, California, and Arizona (7 CFR 51.680 through 51.714 for 
oranges, and 7 CFR 51.620 through 51.653 for grapefruit). See 68 FR 
46433, August 6, 2003; and 66 FR 48785, September 24, 2001, for 
information on changes in the grade standards that necessitate changes 
to the Texas citrus handling regulations.

[[Page 51575]]

    These changes are expected to help handlers compete more 
effectively in the marketplace, better meet the needs of buyers, and to 
improve producer returns by lessening the chances of confusion in the 
marketplace. In addition, this rule is needed to bring the 
administrative rules and regulations into conformance with amendments 
to the U.S. grade standards. These changes were unanimously recommended 
by the Committee on May 26, 2005.
    The Committee's Container Subcommittee met on May 26, 2005, and 
discussed in detail possible changes to the order's container 
requirements. The Subcommittee recommended and the Committee 
unanimously approved the following changes to the orange and grapefruit 
container requirements and conforming changes to the rules and 
regulations to bring them into conformity with current industry 
marketing practices:
    (1) The addition of eight new containers to the list of approved 
containers for use by Texas citrus handlers;
    (2) Elimination of one obsolete wire crib from the container list, 
combining five approved bags currently listed separately into one 
paragraph for easier reference, and removal of some obsolete language 
in one container listing;
    (3) Removal of references no longer needed in the Texas citrus 
regulations because of changes made to the U.S. grade standards for 
Texas oranges and grapefruit; and
    (4) Correction of references to legal citations in the regulations.
    Under the terms of the order, fresh market shipments of oranges and 
grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas are required 
to be inspected and meet grade, size, container, and pack requirements. 
Section 906.40 of the citrus marketing order authorizes the issuance of 
container and pack regulations. Section 906.340(a)(1) of the order's 
rules and regulations outlines container requirements for fresh 
shipments of Texas oranges and grapefruit. Container standardization 
helps prevent marketing confusion and helps foster orderly marketing.
    Section 906.340 of the rules and regulations currently specifies 12 
containers authorized for use by Texas citrus handlers in paragraphs 
(a)(1)(i) through (xi). Paragraph (a)(1)(xi) of Sec.  906.340 also 
authorizes the Committee to approve other types of containers for 
testing purposes. Such test containers are subject to prior approval 
and their use by handlers is supervised by the Committee.
    Over the years, the Committee has approved experimental containers 
for use by the Texas citrus industry. The need for experimental 
containers is reviewed by the Committee at the beginning of each 
season. Because buyers, including retailers, have continued to request 
an increasing array of containers to meet their various display 
objectives, the number of Committee approved experimental containers 
has increased to 11.
    The Committee recently reviewed its experimental container list and 
decided to convert those being used by handlers to permanent status and 
to eliminate those that are no longer in use to lessen the chances of 
confusion and to reflect current industry practices. The Committee, 
therefore, recommended converting to permanent status 8 experimental 
containers which are now widely used by the Texas citrus industry. The 
following containers are being added from the experimental to the 
permanent container list:
    (1) A fiberboard box holding two layers of fruit, with approximate 
dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15\1/2\ inches in width, and 7 
inches in depth;
    (2) A fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 15 inches in 
length, 11 inches in width, and 7\1/4\ inches in depth;
    (3) A fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 25\3/4\ inches 
in length, 15 inches in width, and 8\3/8\ to 10\1/2\ inches in depth;
    (4) A reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate 
dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 7 to 11 
inches in depth;
    (5) A reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate 
dimensions of 14\1/4\ x 10\3/4\ x 6\3/4\ inches;
    (6) A reusable collapsible plastic bin with approximate dimensions 
of 36\3/4\ x 44\3/4\ x 27 inches;
    (7) An octagonal bulk triple wall fiberboard crib with approximate 
dimensions of 37\3/4\ inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 25 
inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady 
test of at least 1,100 pounds: And Provided further, That the container 
may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, 
or bulk fruit; and
    (8) A closed fiberboard carton with approximate dimensions of 16\1/
2\ inches in length, 10\3/4\ inches in width, and 6\15/16\ inches in 
height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at 
least 200 pounds.
    Retail buyers are highly competitive and experiment frequently with 
various in-store displays utilizing many container shapes and sizes. 
This on-going experimentation is influenced by European container 
development, consumer preferences, evolving handling/racking systems, 
and other variables. These forces have combined to demand an ever-
increasing number of containers on the experimental list. The intent of 
this action is to reduce the experimental container list to those which 
truly are still experimental. The Committee believes that the permanent 
container list should include all the containers that the Texas citrus 
industry is now using. Adding the widely used containers to the 
permanent list and eliminating the unused containers will bring the 
requirements into conformity with current industry operating practices. 
This change does not preclude additional containers being put on the 
experimental list, when necessary.
    The Committee also recommended eliminating one wire crib on the 
permanent list with dimensions of 46\1/2\ by 37 by 30 inches, which is 
no longer being used by the industry. In addition, the Committee 
recommended combining five separate bag requirements into one paragraph 
to allow for easier reference. Currently, paragraph (a)(1) of Sec.  
906.340 lists bags with a capacity of five, eight, ten, or 18 pounds of 
fruit, and four-pound poly or vexar bags for oranges only, in 
paragraphs (iv), (v), (x), and (xi). This action combines all the bag 
requirements into one paragraph so all of the authorized bags can be 
more easily identified. In addition, the Committee indicated that a 
reference to Freight Container Tariff 2G currently in Sec.  
906.340(a)(1)(ii) is obsolete and recommended that it be removed.
    The U.S. grade standards for Texas oranges and grapefruit were 
revised in 2003 to reflect current cultural and marketing practices and 
give the industry greater flexibility in marketing and packaging using 
developing technologies. The major changes revised the standard pack 
sections of the grapefruit and orange standards, and the standard 
sizing section of the orange standard by redefining the requirements in 
each section. To bring the order regulations into conformity with the 
revised grade standards, in paragraphs (c)(3)(iii) and (e) of Sec.  
906.120, the words ``which are packed level full,'' and ``the term 
level full means that the fruit is level with the top edge of the 
bottom section of the carton;'', respectively, are removed. In 
addition, in the introductory text of paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) of Sec.  
906.340, the comma after ``and'' and the words ``when place packed in 
cartons or other containers,'' are removed. Also, in the introductory 
text of paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) of

[[Page 51576]]

Sec.  906.340, the words ``when place packed in cartons or other 
containers'' and ``and otherwise meet the requirements of standard 
sizing'', when referring to grapefruit only, are removed.
    Furthermore, this rule revises several references to the U.S. 
standards for grapefruit and oranges for Texas and States other than 
Florida, California, and Arizona in paragraph (b) of Sec.  906.137 in 
the regulations to correctly identify applicable sections of the U.S. 
grade standards. A reference to ``51.685'' of the U.S. grade standards 
for grapefruit is incorrect and is revised to ``51.653'' to accurately 
reflect sections of the grapefruit standard. Also, an incorrect 
reference to ``51.712'' of the U.S. grade standards for oranges is 
revised to ``51.714''. In addition, a reference to ``51.652'' in 
paragraph (c) of Sec.  906.340 is revised to ``51.653''.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the 
economic impact of this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has 
prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in 
that they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf. Thus, both statutes have small 
entity orientation and compatibility.
    There are approximately 18 handlers of oranges and grapefruit who 
are subject to regulation under the order and approximately 212 
producers in the production area. Small agricultural service firms are 
defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) (13 CFR 121.201) as 
those having annual receipts of less than $6,000,000, and small 
agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of 
less than $750,000. The majority of Texas orange and grapefruit 
handlers and producers may be classified as small entities.
    Last year, 6 of the 18 handlers (33 percent) each shipped over 
545,951 7/10 bushel cartons of oranges and grapefruit. Using an average 
f.o.b. price of $10.99 per carton, these handlers could be considered 
large businesses by the SBA, and the remaining 12 handlers (67 percent) 
could be considered small businesses. Of the approximately 212 
producers within the production area, few have sufficient acreage to 
generate sales in excess of $750,000; therefore, a majority of 
producers of Texas oranges and grapefruit may be classified as small 
entities.
    This rule revises container and pack requirements currently 
prescribed under the Texas orange and grapefruit order and makes 
several conforming and formatting changes. The rule revises the rules 
and regulations and container requirements by adding eight new 
containers to the list of authorized containers for use by Texas citrus 
handlers, removing one obsolete container, combining all of the 
requirements on authorized bags into one grouping for easier reference. 
Other changes include revising incorrect references to the U.S. grade 
standards for oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas and States other 
than Florida, California, and Arizona (7 CFR 51.680 through 51.714 for 
oranges, and 7 CFR 51.620 through 51.653 for grapefruit). See 68 FR 
46433, August 6, 2003; and 66 FR 48785, September 24, 2001, for 
information on changes to the grade standards that necessitate changes 
in the Texas citrus handling regulations.
    These changes are expected to help handlers compete more 
effectively in the marketplace, better meet the needs of buyers, and to 
improve producer returns by lessening the chances of confusion in the 
marketplace. In addition, this rule is needed to bring the order's 
rules and regulations into conformance with amendments to the U.S. 
grade standards. These changes were unanimously recommended by the 
Committee on May 26, 2005.
    The Committee's Container Subcommittee met on May 26, 2005, and 
discussed in detail possible changes to the order's container 
requirements. The Subcommittee recommended and the Committee 
unanimously approved the following changes to the orange and grapefruit 
container requirements and conforming changes to the rules and 
regulations to bring them into conformity with current industry 
marketing practices: (1) The addition of eight new containers to the 
list of approved containers for use by Texas citrus handlers; (2) 
Elimination of one obsolete wire crib from the container list, 
combining the requirements of five approved bags currently listed 
separately into one paragraph for easier reference, and removing 
obsolete language in one container listing; (3) Removing references no 
longer needed in the Texas citrus regulations because of changes made 
to the U.S. grade standards for Texas oranges and grapefruit; and (4) 
Correcting references to legal citations in the regulations.
    Under the terms of the order, fresh market shipments of oranges and 
grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas are required 
to be inspected and meet grade, size, container, and pack requirements. 
Section 906.40 of the citrus marketing order authorizes the issuance of 
container and pack regulations. Section 906.340(a)(1) of the order's 
rules and regulations outlines container requirements for fresh 
shipments of Texas oranges and grapefruit. Container standardization 
helps prevent marketing confusion.
    Section 906.340 of the rules and regulations currently specifies 12 
containers authorized for use by Texas citrus handlers in paragraphs 
(a)(1)(i) through (xi). Paragraph (a)(1)(xi) of Sec.  906.340 also 
authorizes the Committee to approve other types of containers for 
testing purposes. Such test containers are subject to prior approval 
and under the supervision of the Committee.
    Over the years, the Committee has approved experimental containers 
for use by the Texas citrus industry. The need for experimental 
containers is reviewed by the Committee at the beginning of each 
season. Because buyers, including retailers, have continued to request 
an increasing array of containers to meet their various display 
objectives, the number of Committee approved experimental containers 
has increased to 11.
    The Committee recently reviewed its experimental container list and 
decided to convert those being used by handlers to permanent status and 
to eliminate those that are no longer in use to lessen the chances of 
confusion and to reflect current industry practices. The Committee, 
therefore, recommended converting to permanent status 8 experimental 
containers which are now widely used by the Texas citrus industry. The 
following containers are being added from the experimental container 
list to the permanent container list:
    (1) A fiberboard box holding two layers of fruit, with approximate 
dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15\1/2\ inches in width, and 7 
inches in depth;
    (2) A fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 15 inches in 
length, 11 inches in width, and 7\1/4\ inches in depth;
    (3) A fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 25\3/4\ inches 
in length, 15 inches in width, and 8\3/8\ to 10\1/2\ inches in depth;
    (4) A reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate 
dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 7 to 11 
inches in depth;

[[Page 51577]]

    (5) a reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate 
dimensions of 14\1/4\ x 10\3/4\ x 6\3/4\ inches;
    (6) A reusable collapsible plastic bin with approximate dimensions 
of 36\3/4\ x 44\3/4\ x 27 inches;
    (7) An octagonal bulk triple wall fiberboard crib with approximate 
dimensions of 37\3/4\ inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 25 
inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady 
test of at least 1,100 pounds: And Provided further, That the container 
may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, 
or bulk fruit; and
    (8) A closed fiberboard carton with approximate dimensions of 16\1/
2\ inches in length, 10\3/4\ inches in width, and 6\15/16\ inches in 
height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at 
least 200 pounds.
    Retail buyers are highly competitive and experiment frequently with 
various in-store displays utilizing many container shapes and sizes. 
This on-going experimentation is influenced by European container 
development, consumer preferences, evolving handling/racking systems, 
and other variables. These forces have combined to demand an ever-
increasing number of containers on the experimental list. The intent of 
this action is to reduce the experimental container list to those which 
truly are still experimental. The Committee believes that the permanent 
container list should include all the containers the Texas citrus 
industry is now using. Moving the widely used containers from the 
experimental list to the permanent list and eliminating unused 
containers will bring the container requirements into conformity with 
industry operating practices. This change does not preclude additional 
containers being put on the experimental list, when necessary.
    The Committee also recommended eliminating one wire crib on the 
permanent list with dimensions of 46\1/2\ by 37 by 30 inches, which is 
no longer being used by the industry. In addition, the Committee 
recommended combining five separate bag requirements into one paragraph 
to allow for easier reference. Currently, paragraph (a)(1) of Sec.  
906.340 lists bags with a capacity of five, eight, ten, or 18 pounds of 
fruit, and four-pound poly or vexar bags for oranges only, in 
paragraphs (iv), (v), (x), and (xi). This rule combines all the bag 
requirements into one paragraph so all authorized bags can be more 
easily identified. In addition, the Committee indicated that a 
reference to Freight Container Tariff 2G currently in Sec.  
906.340(a)(1)(ii), is obsolete and recommended that it be removed.
    The U.S. grade standards for Texas oranges and grapefruit were 
revised in 2003 to reflect current cultural and marketing practices and 
give the industry greater flexibility in marketing and packaging using 
developing technologies. The major changes revised the standard pack 
sections of the grapefruit and orange standards, and the standard 
sizing section of the orange standard by redefining the requirements in 
each section. To bring the order regulations into conformity with the 
revised grade standards, in paragraphs (c)(3)(iii) and (e) of Sec.  
906.120, the words ``which are packed level full,'' and ``the term 
level full means that the fruit is level with the top edge of the 
bottom section of the carton;'', respectively, are removed. In 
addition, in the introductory text of paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) of Sec.  
906.340, the comma after ``and'' and the words ``when place packed in 
cartons or other containers,'' are removed. Also, in the introductory 
text of paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) of Sec.  906.340, the words ``when 
place packed in cartons or other containers'' and ``and otherwise meet 
the requirements of standard sizing'', when referring to grapefruit 
only, are removed.
    Furthermore, this rule revises several references to the U.S. 
standards for grapefruit and oranges for Texas and States other than 
Florida, California, and Arizona in paragraph (b) of Sec.  906.137 in 
the regulations to correctly identify applicable sections of the U.S. 
grade standards. A reference to ``51.685'' of the U.S. grade standards 
for grapefruit is incorrect and is revised to ``51.653'' to accurately 
reflect sections of the grapefruit standard. Also, an incorrect 
reference to ``51.712'' of the U.S. grade standards for oranges is 
revised to ``51.714''. In addition, a reference to ``51.652'' in 
paragraph (c) of Sec.  906.340 is revised to ``51.653''.
    The benefits of these changes are expected to be equally available 
to all Texas citrus producers and handlers regardless of their size of 
operation. The recommended changes offer benefits to the entire Texas 
citrus industry. These changes will enable handlers to compete more 
effectively in the marketplace by lessening the chances of marketing 
confusion. These changes also will contribute to the industry's long-
term objective of marketing as much citrus as possible.
    These regulation changes are expected to lead to market expansion. 
The alternative of leaving the regulations unchanged would not bring 
the regulations into conformity with industry operating practices. 
Accordingly, in assessing alternatives to the changes provided in this 
interim final rule, this action provides the most beneficial results.
    This rule will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large Texas orange and grapefruit 
handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and 
forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sector agencies.
    In addition, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules 
that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule.
    Further, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout 
the Texas orange and grapefruit industry and all interested persons 
were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee 
deliberations. Like all Committee meetings, the May 26, 2005, meeting 
was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able 
to express their views on this issue.
    Also, the Committee has a number of appointed subcommittees to 
review certain issues and make recommendations to the Committee. The 
Committee's Container Subcommittee met on May 26, 2005, and discussed 
this issue in detail. That meeting was also a public meeting and both 
large and small entities were able to participate and express their 
views. Finally, interested persons are invited to submit information on 
the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small 
businesses.
    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and 
specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http:/
/www.ams.usda.gov/fv/moab.html. Any questions about the compliance 
guide should be sent to Jay Guerber at the previously mentioned address 
in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
    This rule invites comments on changes to the rules and regulations 
and container requirements currently prescribed under the Texas citrus 
marketing order. Any comments received will be considered prior to 
finalization of this rule.
    After consideration of all relevant material presented, including 
the Committee's recommendation, and other information, it is found that 
this interim final rule, as hereinafter set forth, will tend to 
effectuate the declared policy of the Act.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, it is also found and determined upon good 
cause that it is impracticable, unnecessary,

[[Page 51578]]

and contrary to the public interest to give preliminary notice prior to 
putting this rule into effect and that good cause exists for not 
postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register because: (1) This rule relaxes 
container requirements for oranges and grapefruit; (2) the regulatory 
period begins September 1 and this action should be in effect promptly 
so handlers can plan accordingly; (3) the Committee unanimously 
recommended these changes at a public meeting and interested parties 
had an opportunity to provide input; and (4) this rule provides a 60-
day comment period and any comments received will be considered prior 
to finalization of this rule.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 906

    Grapefruit, Marketing agreements, Oranges, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.


0
For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 906 is amended as 
follows:

PART 906--ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY 
IN TEXAS

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 906 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601-674.


Sec.  906.120  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  906.120, paragraph (c)(3)(iii), remove the words ``which 
are packed level full,''; and in paragraph (e), remove the words ``the 
term level full means that the fruit is level with the top edge of the 
bottom section of the carton;''.


Sec.  906.137  [Amended]

0
3. In Sec.  906.137, paragraph (b), change the number ``51.685'' to 
``51.653'' and the number ``51.712'' to ``51.714''.

0
4. Section 906.340 is amended as follows:
0
A. Revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as set forth below;
0
B. Amend paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) introductory text by removing the words 
``, when place packed in cartons or other containers,'';
0
C. Amend paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) introductory text by removing the 
words ``when place packed in cartons or other containers'' and ``and 
otherwise meet the requirements of standard sizing''; and
0
D. Amend paragraph (c) by revising ``51.652'' to read ``51.653''.


Sec.  906.340  Container, pack, and container marking regulations.

    (a) * * *
    (1) Containers. (i) Closed fiberboard carton with inside dimensions 
of 13\1/4\ x 10\1/2\ x 7\1/4\ inches: Provided, That the container has 
a Mullen or Cady test of at least 200 pounds;
    (ii) Closed fully telescopic fiberboard carton with inside 
dimensions of 16\1/2\ x 10\3/4\ x 9\1/2\ inches;
    (iii) Closed fiberboard carton with inside dimensions of 20 x 13\1/
4\ inches and a depth from 9\3/4\ to 13 inches: Provided, That the 
container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 250 pounds: And 
Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or 
mesh bags authorized in this section;
    (iv) Poly or mesh bags having a capacity of four, five, eight, ten, 
or 18 pounds of fruit: Provided, That only oranges are to be packed in 
the four-pound bag.
    (v) Rectangular or octagonal bulk fiberboard crib with approximate 
dimensions of 46 to 47\1/2\ inches in length, 37 to 38 inches in width, 
and 36 inches in height: Provided, That this container has a Mullen or 
Cady test of at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only once for 
the shipment of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the container 
may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, 
or bulk fruit.
    (vi) Rectangular or octagonal \2/3\ fiberboard crib with 
approximate dimensions of 46 to 47\1/2\ inches in length, 37 to 38 
inches in width, and 24 inches in height: Provided, That the crib has a 
Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only 
once for the shipment of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the 
container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this 
section, or bulk fruit.
    (vii) Octagonal fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 46 
to 47\1/2\ inches in width, 37 to 38 inches in depth, and 26 to 26\1/2\ 
inches in height: Provided, That the crib has a Mullen or Cady test of 
at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only once for the shipment 
of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the crib may be used to 
pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit.
    (viii) Fiberboard box holding two layers of fruit, with approximate 
dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15\1/2\ inches in width, and 7 
inches in depth;
    (ix) Fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 15 inches in 
length, 11 inches in width, and 7\1/2\ inches in depth;
    (x) Fiberboard box with approximate dimensions of 25\3/4\ inches in 
length, 15 inches in width, and 8\3/8\ to 10\1/2\ inches in depth;
    (xi) Reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate 
dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 7 to 11 
inches in depth;
    (xii) Reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate 
dimensions of 14\1/4\ x 10\3/4\ x 6\3/4\ inches;
    (xiii) Reusable collapsible plastic bin with approximate dimensions 
of 36\3/4\ x 44\3/4\ x 27 inches;
    (xiv) Octagonal bulk triple wall fiberboard crib with approximate 
dimensions of 37\3/4\ inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 25 
inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady 
test of at least 1,100 pounds: And Provided further, That the container 
may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, 
or bulk fruit;
    (xv) Closed fiberboard carton with approximate dimensions of 16\1/
2\ inches in length, 10\3/4\ inches in width, and 6\15/16\ inches in 
height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at 
least 200 pounds;
    (xvi) Such types and sizes of containers as may be approved by the 
committee for testing in connection with a research project conducted 
by or in cooperation with the committee: Provided, That the handling of 
each lot of fruit in such test containers shall be subject to prior 
approval and under the supervision of the committee.
* * * * *

    Dated: August 26, 2005.
Lloyd C. Day,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 05-17321 Filed 8-30-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P