Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Modification of Handling Regulation, 29565-29567 [06-4748]

Download as PDF 29565 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 71, No. 99 Tuesday, May 23, 2006 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 945 [Docket No. FV06–945–1 FR] Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Modification of Handling Regulation Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. dsatterwhite on PROD1PC76 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This rule removes the minimum quantity exemption for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes from the handling regulations issued under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in certain designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon, and is administered locally by the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Potato Committee (Committee). A minimum quantity shipment exemption of up to 200 hundredweight per day is provided for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes. Because yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes are no longer produced in the production area covered under the marketing order, the exemption from handling and assessment regulations is no longer necessary. DATES: Effective Date: This final rule becomes effective May 24, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry Broadbent, Marketing Specialist, Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1220 SW., Third Avenue, Suite 385, Portland, OR 97204; Telephone: (503) 326–2724, Fax: (503) 326–7440. Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Jay Guerber, VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:30 May 22, 2006 Jkt 208001 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 final rule is issued under Marketing Agreement No. 98 and Marketing Order No. 945, both as amended (7 CFR part 945), regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in certain designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon, hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘order.’’ The order is 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 final 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 final rule removes the exception for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes from the minimum quantity exemption paragraph of the handling regulations issued under the order. The minimum quantity exemption in the regulation allows handlers to ship up to five hundredweight of potatoes without regard to the inspection and assessment PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 requirements of the order. An exception for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes is included in the exemption which allows up to 200 hundredweight per day to be shipped without regard to inspection or assessment requirements. The Committee unanimously recommended the removal of the exception at its meeting on November 2, 2005. Section 945.42 of the order provides authority to assess first handlers of potatoes to provide funds to cover the expenses of the Committee. Sections 945.51 and 945.52 provide authority for the establishment and modification of regulations applicable to the handling of potatoes, including required inspections. Section 945.54 provides authority to establish exemptions from the regulations based on shipment size. Section 945.341 establishes minimum quality, maturity, pack, and inspection requirements for potatoes handled subject to the order. Paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) of § 945.341 delineate the circumstances in which the shipment of potatoes subject to the order may be granted an exemption from regulation. Paragraph (g) of that section specifies the five hundredweight or less per day shipment exemption, and the exception of up to 200 hundredweight per day for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes. At its meeting on November 2, 2005, the Committee unanimously recommended the removal of the special exception for yellow fleshed Finnishtype from the handling regulations. In its deliberations, the Committee commented that yellow fleshed Finnishtype potatoes are no longer produced within the production area and that the exception is no longer needed. The exception to the minimum quantity exemption for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes was added to the regulation in 1987, specifically to promote the production and marketing of this new type potato by relieving shipments of less than 200 hundredweight of the burden of inspection and assessment. In spite of this advantage, the production of yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes declined over time and is currently nonexistent. The Committee noted, however, that the production of other colorful varieties (some with yellow flesh but not Finnish-type) has increased and that the exception, if retained, may cause confusion to industry participants. E:\FR\FM\23MYR1.SGM 23MYR1 29566 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 99 / Tuesday, May 23, 2006 / Rules and Regulations dsatterwhite on PROD1PC76 with RULES Since the niche market for which the exception was intended no longer exists, and there remains the potential for misunderstanding within the industry, the Committee believes that the exception should be removed from the handling regulations. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Pursuant to the 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 final 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 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 48 handlers of Idaho-Eastern Oregon potatoes who are subject to regulation under the order and about 1,000 potato producers in the regulated area. Small agricultural service firms, which include potato handlers, are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA)(13 CFR 121.201) as those having annual receipts of less than $6,500,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $750,000. Based on a three-year average fresh potato production of 33,623,000 hundredweight as calculated from Committee records, a three-year average of producer prices of $4.64 per hundredweight reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and 1,000 Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato producers, the average annual producer revenue is approximately $156,000. It can be concluded, therefore, that a majority of these producers would be classified as small entities. In addition, based on Committee records and 2004–05 f.o.b. shipping point prices ranging from about $4.00 to $28.00 per hundredweight reported by USDA’s Market News Service, most of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato handlers do not ship over $6,500,000 worth of potatoes. In view of the foregoing, it can be concluded that a majority of the handlers would be classified as small entities as defined by the SBA. This final rule removes the exception for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes from the minimum quantity exemption VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:30 May 22, 2006 Jkt 208001 in the order. The exception was added to the regulation in 1987 to allow less restrictive requirements for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes. The intent was to facilitate the production and marketing of this new experimental type potato. In the years that have followed, though, the production and marketing of this type potato has shifted to other potato producing regions. Consequently, yellow fleshed Finnishtype potatoes currently are not produced within the production area covered by the order and the exception to the minimum quantity exemption in handling regulations is no longer warranted. Authority for the establishment and modification of minimum quantity exemptions is provided in § 945.54 of the order. At the November 2, 2005, meeting, the Committee discussed the impact of this change on producers and handlers. Since there currently is not any production of the type of potato covered by the exception, producers and handlers should not be adversely impacted. In addition, there should be no increased costs associated with this modification of the handling regulations. As an alternative to the proposal, the Committee discussed leaving the handling regulation as it was issued. The Committee rejected this idea because it would have left outdated language in the rules and regulations. They also felt that the exception, if unchanged, could be misinterpreted by the industry and applied to other colored flesh type potatoes that are not yellow fleshed Finnish-type. No other alternatives were discussed. This final rule does not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large potato handlers or importers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sectors. The USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this final rule. AMS is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), which requires Government agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible. Further, the Committee’s meeting was widely publicized throughout the potato industry, and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations. Like all Committee meetings, the PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 November 2, 2005, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express their views on this issue. Finally, interested persons were invited to submit information on the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small businesses. A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2006 (71 FR 9002). Copies of the rule were mailed or sent via facsimile to all Committee members and potato handlers. Finally, the rule was made available through the Internet by the Office of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period ending April 24, 2006, was provided to allow interested persons to respond to the proposal. No comments were received. A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at the following Web site: 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. After consideration of all relevant material presented, including the information and recommendation submitted by the Committee and other available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. It is further found that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 553) because this rule removes provisions that are no longer necessary. Further, handlers are shipping potatoes from the 2005–2006 crop. Moreover, handlers are aware of this rule, which was recommended at a public meeting. Also, a 60-day comment period was provided in the proposed rule and no comments were received. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 945 Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons set forth above, 7 CFR part 945 is amended as follows: I PART 945—IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN CERTAIN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN IDAHO, AND MALHEUR COUNTY, OREGON 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 945 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. E:\FR\FM\23MYR1.SGM 23MYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 99 / Tuesday, May 23, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 2. In § 945.341, paragraph (g) is revised to read as follows: I § 945.341 Handling regulation. * * * * * (g) Minimum quantity exemption. Each handler may ship up to, but not to exceed, five hundredweight of potatoes any day without regard to the inspection and assessment requirements of this part, but this exception shall not apply to any shipment that exceeds five hundredweight of potatoes. * * * * * Dated: May 17, 2006. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 06–4748 Filed 5–22–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 989 [Docket No. FV06–989–2 IFR] Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Final Free and Reserve Percentages for 2005–06 Crop Natural (Sun-Dried) Seedless Raisins Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments. dsatterwhite on PROD1PC76 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This rule establishes final volume regulation percentages for 2005– 06 crop Natural (sun-dried) Seedless (NS) raisins covered under the Federal marketing order for California raisins (order). The order regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California and is locally administered by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee). The volume regulation percentages are 82.50 percent free and 17.50 percent reserve. The percentages are intended to help stabilize raisin supplies and prices, and strengthen market conditions. DATES: Effective August 1, 2005, through July 31, 2006. The volume regulation percentages apply to acquisitions of NS raisins from the 2005–06 crop until the reserve raisins from that crop are disposed of under the marketing order. Comments received by July 24, 2006, 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:30 May 22, 2006 Jkt 208001 Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Fax: (202) 720–8938; or 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: Kurt Kimmel, Officer-in-Charge, or Rose M. Aguayo, Marketing Specialist, California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (559) 487–5901; Fax: (559) 487–5906. 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. 989 (7 CFR part 989), both as amended, regulating the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California, hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘order.’’ The order is 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. Under the order provisions now in effect, final free and reserve percentages may be established for raisins acquired by handlers during the crop year. This rule establishes final free and reserve percentages for NS raisins for the 2005–06 crop year, which began August 1, 2005, and ends July 31, 2006. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 29567 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 establishes final volume regulation percentages for 2005–06 crop NS raisins covered under the order. The volume regulation percentages are 82.50 percent free and 17.50 percent reserve. Free tonnage raisins may be sold by handlers to any market. Reserve raisins must be held in a pool for the account of the Committee and are disposed of through various programs authorized under the order. For example, reserve raisins may be sold by the Committee to handlers for free use or to replace part of the free tonnage raisins they exported; used in diversion programs; carried over as a hedge against a short crop; or disposed of in other outlets not competitive with those for free tonnage raisins, such as government purchase, distilleries, or animal feed. The volume regulation percentages are intended to help stabilize raisin supplies and prices, and strengthen market conditions. The Committee unanimously recommended final percentages on January 26, 2006, and further justified their recommendation on March 16, 2006. Computation of Trade Demands Section 989.54 of the order prescribes procedures and time frames to be followed in establishing volume regulation. This includes methodology used to calculate percentages. Pursuant to § 989.54(a) of the order, the Committee met on August 15, 2005, to review shipment and inventory data, and other matters relating to the supplies of raisins of all varietal types. The Committee computed a trade demand for each varietal type for which a free tonnage percentage might be recommended. Trade demand is computed using a formula specified in the order and, for each varietal type, is equal to 90 percent of the prior year’s shipments of free tonnage and reserve tonnage raisins sold for free use into all market outlets, adjusted by subtracting the carryin on August 1 of the current crop year, and adding the desirable carryout at the end of that crop year. As specified in § 989.154(a), the desirable E:\FR\FM\23MYR1.SGM 23MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 99 (Tuesday, May 23, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 29565-29567]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-4748]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 99 / Tuesday, May 23, 2006 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 29565]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 945

[Docket No. FV06-945-1 FR]


Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and 
Malheur County, Oregon; Modification of Handling Regulation

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This rule removes the minimum quantity exemption for yellow 
fleshed Finnish-type potatoes from the handling regulations issued 
under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato marketing order. The marketing 
order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in certain 
designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon, and is 
administered locally by the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Potato Committee 
(Committee). A minimum quantity shipment exemption of up to 200 
hundredweight per day is provided for yellow fleshed Finnish-type 
potatoes. Because yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes are no longer 
produced in the production area covered under the marketing order, the 
exemption from handling and assessment regulations is no longer 
necessary.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule becomes effective May 24, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry Broadbent, Marketing Specialist, 
Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration 
Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1220 SW., Third 
Avenue, Suite 385, Portland, OR 97204; Telephone: (503) 326-2724, Fax: 
(503) 326-7440.
    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 final rule is issued under Marketing 
Agreement No. 98 and Marketing Order No. 945, both as amended (7 CFR 
part 945), regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in certain 
designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon, hereinafter 
referred to as the ``order.'' The order is 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 final 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 final rule removes the exception for yellow fleshed Finnish-
type potatoes from the minimum quantity exemption paragraph of the 
handling regulations issued under the order. The minimum quantity 
exemption in the regulation allows handlers to ship up to five 
hundredweight of potatoes without regard to the inspection and 
assessment requirements of the order. An exception for yellow fleshed 
Finnish-type potatoes is included in the exemption which allows up to 
200 hundredweight per day to be shipped without regard to inspection or 
assessment requirements. The Committee unanimously recommended the 
removal of the exception at its meeting on November 2, 2005.
    Section 945.42 of the order provides authority to assess first 
handlers of potatoes to provide funds to cover the expenses of the 
Committee. Sections 945.51 and 945.52 provide authority for the 
establishment and modification of regulations applicable to the 
handling of potatoes, including required inspections. Section 945.54 
provides authority to establish exemptions from the regulations based 
on shipment size.
    Section 945.341 establishes minimum quality, maturity, pack, and 
inspection requirements for potatoes handled subject to the order. 
Paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) of Sec.  945.341 delineate the 
circumstances in which the shipment of potatoes subject to the order 
may be granted an exemption from regulation. Paragraph (g) of that 
section specifies the five hundredweight or less per day shipment 
exemption, and the exception of up to 200 hundredweight per day for 
yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes.
    At its meeting on November 2, 2005, the Committee unanimously 
recommended the removal of the special exception for yellow fleshed 
Finnish-type from the handling regulations. In its deliberations, the 
Committee commented that yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes are no 
longer produced within the production area and that the exception is no 
longer needed.
    The exception to the minimum quantity exemption for yellow fleshed 
Finnish-type potatoes was added to the regulation in 1987, specifically 
to promote the production and marketing of this new type potato by 
relieving shipments of less than 200 hundredweight of the burden of 
inspection and assessment. In spite of this advantage, the production 
of yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes declined over time and is 
currently nonexistent. The Committee noted, however, that the 
production of other colorful varieties (some with yellow flesh but not 
Finnish-type) has increased and that the exception, if retained, may 
cause confusion to industry participants.

[[Page 29566]]

Since the niche market for which the exception was intended no longer 
exists, and there remains the potential for misunderstanding within the 
industry, the Committee believes that the exception should be removed 
from the handling regulations.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to the 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 final 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 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 48 handlers of Idaho-Eastern Oregon 
potatoes who are subject to regulation under the order and about 1,000 
potato producers in the regulated area. Small agricultural service 
firms, which include potato handlers, are defined by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA)(13 CFR 121.201) as those having annual receipts of 
less than $6,500,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as 
those whose annual receipts are less than $750,000.
    Based on a three-year average fresh potato production of 33,623,000 
hundredweight as calculated from Committee records, a three-year 
average of producer prices of $4.64 per hundredweight reported by the 
National Agricultural Statistics Service, and 1,000 Idaho-Eastern 
Oregon potato producers, the average annual producer revenue is 
approximately $156,000. It can be concluded, therefore, that a majority 
of these producers would be classified as small entities.
    In addition, based on Committee records and 2004-05 f.o.b. shipping 
point prices ranging from about $4.00 to $28.00 per hundredweight 
reported by USDA's Market News Service, most of the Idaho-Eastern 
Oregon potato handlers do not ship over $6,500,000 worth of potatoes. 
In view of the foregoing, it can be concluded that a majority of the 
handlers would be classified as small entities as defined by the SBA.
    This final rule removes the exception for yellow fleshed Finnish-
type potatoes from the minimum quantity exemption in the order. The 
exception was added to the regulation in 1987 to allow less restrictive 
requirements for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes. The intent was 
to facilitate the production and marketing of this new experimental 
type potato. In the years that have followed, though, the production 
and marketing of this type potato has shifted to other potato producing 
regions. Consequently, yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes currently 
are not produced within the production area covered by the order and 
the exception to the minimum quantity exemption in handling regulations 
is no longer warranted. Authority for the establishment and 
modification of minimum quantity exemptions is provided in Sec.  945.54 
of the order.
    At the November 2, 2005, meeting, the Committee discussed the 
impact of this change on producers and handlers. Since there currently 
is not any production of the type of potato covered by the exception, 
producers and handlers should not be adversely impacted. In addition, 
there should be no increased costs associated with this modification of 
the handling regulations.
    As an alternative to the proposal, the Committee discussed leaving 
the handling regulation as it was issued. The Committee rejected this 
idea because it would have left outdated language in the rules and 
regulations. They also felt that the exception, if unchanged, could be 
misinterpreted by the industry and applied to other colored flesh type 
potatoes that are not yellow fleshed Finnish-type. No other 
alternatives were discussed.
    This final rule does not impose any additional reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements on either small or large potato handlers or 
importers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and 
forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sectors. The USDA has not identified 
any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with 
this final rule.
    AMS is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork 
Elimination Act (GPEA), which requires Government agencies in general 
to provide the public the option of submitting information or 
transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible.
    Further, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout 
the potato industry, and all interested persons were invited to attend 
the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations. Like all 
Committee meetings, the November 2, 2005, meeting was a public meeting 
and all entities, both large and small, were able to express their 
views on this issue. Finally, interested persons were invited to submit 
information on the regulatory and informational impacts of this action 
on small businesses.
    A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal 
Register on February 22, 2006 (71 FR 9002). Copies of the rule were 
mailed or sent via facsimile to all Committee members and potato 
handlers. Finally, the rule was made available through the Internet by 
the Office of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period ending 
April 24, 2006, was provided to allow interested persons to respond to 
the proposal. No comments were received.
    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and 
specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at the 
following Web site: 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.
    After consideration of all relevant material presented, including 
the information and recommendation submitted by the Committee and other 
available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as 
hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of 
the Act.
    It is further found that good cause exists for not postponing the 
effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the 
Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 553) because this rule removes provisions 
that are no longer necessary. Further, handlers are shipping potatoes 
from the 2005-2006 crop. Moreover, handlers are aware of this rule, 
which was recommended at a public meeting. Also, a 60-day comment 
period was provided in the proposed rule and no comments were received.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 945

    Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.


0
For the reasons set forth above, 7 CFR part 945 is amended as follows:

PART 945--IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN CERTAIN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN 
IDAHO, AND MALHEUR COUNTY, OREGON

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 945 continues to read as 
follows:

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


[[Page 29567]]



0
2. In Sec.  945.341, paragraph (g) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  945.341  Handling regulation.

* * * * *
    (g) Minimum quantity exemption. Each handler may ship up to, but 
not to exceed, five hundredweight of potatoes any day without regard to 
the inspection and assessment requirements of this part, but this 
exception shall not apply to any shipment that exceeds five 
hundredweight of potatoes.
* * * * *

    Dated: May 17, 2006.
Lloyd C. Day,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 06-4748 Filed 5-22-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P