Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Decreased Assessment Rate, 41423-41425 [E7-14621]

Download as PDF 41423 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 145 Monday, July 30, 2007 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 905 [Docket No. AMS–FV–07–0088; FV07–905– 1 IFR] Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Decreased Assessment Rate Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2007–08 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.008 to $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. Assessments upon Florida citrus handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. DATES: Effective July 31, 2007. Comments received by September 28, 2007, 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; or Internet: https:// www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the docket number and the VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:39 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: https://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Jamieson, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Manager, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA; telephone: (863) 324– 3375, Fax: (863) 325–8793, or E-mail: Doris.Jamieson@usda.gov or Christian.Nissen@usda.gov. 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 No. 84 and Marketing Order No. 905, both as amended (7 CFR part 905), regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida, 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 marketing order now in effect, Florida citrus handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the order are derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate as issued herein will be applicable to all assessable oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida, beginning August 1, 2007, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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. Such 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 decreases the assessment rate established for the Committee for the 2007–08 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.008 per 4/5 bushel carton to $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. The Florida citrus marketing order provides authority for the Committee, with the approval of USDA, to formulate an annual budget of expenses and collect assessments from handlers to administer the program. The members of the Committee are producers and handlers of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. They are familiar with the Committee’s needs and with the costs for goods and services in their local area and are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have an opportunity to participate and provide input. For the 2005–06 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee recommended, and USDA approved, a decreased assessment rate that would continue in effect from fiscal period to fiscal period unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other information available to USDA. The Committee met on May 29, 2007, and unanimously recommended 2007– 08 expenditures of $275,000 and an assessment rate of $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. In E:\FR\FM\30JYR1.SGM 30JYR1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 41424 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Rules and Regulations comparison, last year’s budgeted expenditures were $241,000. The assessment rate of $0.0072 is $0.0008 lower than the rate currently in effect. This reduction was recommended because the Committee experienced an unanticipated increase in shipments for the 2006–07 fiscal period and had revenues greater than expenses. In addition, the industry has continued to recover from the hurricane damage sustained during the 2004–05 and 2005– 06 seasons, which is expected to have a positive affect on total production. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2007–08 fiscal year include $112,000 for salaries, $25,000 for Manifest Department-Florida Department of Agriculture and Customer Services (FDACS), $17,800 for retirement plan, and $14,550 for insurance and bonds. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2006–07 were $110,000, $25,000, $17,250, and $14,550, respectively. The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by dividing anticipated expenses by expected shipments of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. Florida citrus shipments for the year are estimated at 30 million 4/5 bushels which should provide $216,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Funds in the reserve (currently approximately $60,000) will be kept within the maximum permitted by the order of not to exceed one half of one fiscal period’s expenses as stated in § 905.42(a). The assessment rate established in this rule will continue in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other available information. Although this assessment rate is in effect for an indefinite period, the Committee will continue to meet prior to or during each fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and times of Committee meetings are available from the Committee or USDA. Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Committee recommendations and other available information to determine whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking will be undertaken as necessary. The Committee’s 2007–08 budget and those VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:39 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 for subsequent fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, approved by USDA. 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 rule 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. There are approximately 8,000 producers of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos in the production area and approximately 55 handlers subject to regulation under the marketing order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $6,500,000 (13 CFR 121.201). Based on industry and Committee data, the average annual f.o.b. price for fresh Florida citrus during the 2005–06 season was approximately $11.50 per 4/5-bushel carton, and total fresh shipments were approximately 29.1 million cartons. Using the average f.o.b. price, at least 70 percent of the Florida citrus handlers could be considered small businesses under SBA’s definition. In addition, based on production and producer prices reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the total number of Florida citrus producers, the average annual producer revenue is approximately $55,540. Therefore, the majority of handlers and producers of Florida citrus may be classified as small entities. This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Committee and collected from handlers for the 2007–08 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.008 to $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. The Committee unanimously recommended 2007–08 expenditures of $275,000 and an assessment rate of $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton. The assessment rate of $0.0072 is $0.0008 lower than the 2006–07 rate. The quantity of assessable oranges, PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos for the 2007–08 season is estimated at 30 million 4/5 bushel cartons. Thus, the $0.0072 rate should provide $216,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve, will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2007–08 fiscal year include $112,000 for salaries, $25,000 for Manifest Department-FDACS, $17,800 for retirement plan, and $14,550 for insurance and bonds. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2006–07 were $110,000, $25,000, $17,250, and $14,550, respectively. The reduction in the assessment rate was recommended by the Committee as a result of an unanticipated increase in shipments for the 2006–07 fiscal period, which produced revenues that were greater than expenses. In addition, the industry has continued to recover from the hurricane damage sustained during the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons, which is expected to have a positive impact on production. The Committee reviewed and unanimously recommended 2007–08 expenditures of $275,000. Prior to arriving at this budget, the Committee considered information from various sources including the Committee’s Budget Subcommittee. Alternative expenditure levels were discussed by this group, based on different estimates of assessable cartons and budget expenses. The assessment rate of $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton of assessable oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos was then determined by dividing the total recommended budget by the quantity of assessable Florida citrus, estimated at 30 million 4/5 bushel cartons for the 2007– 08 season, taking into consideration the availability of reserve funds and interest income. This is approximately $59,000 under anticipated expenses, which the Committee determined to be acceptable. A review of historical information and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates that the producer price for the 2007–08 season could range between $1.83 and $9.76 per 4/5 bushel of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. Therefore, the estimated assessment revenue for the 2007–08 fiscal period as a percentage of total producer revenue could range between .07 and .39 percent. This action decreases the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. Assessments are applied uniformly on all handlers, and some of the costs may E:\FR\FM\30JYR1.SGM 30JYR1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Rules and Regulations be passed on to producers. However, decreasing the assessment rate reduces the burden on handlers, and may reduce the burden on producers. In addition, the Committee’s meeting was widely publicized throughout the Florida citrus industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the May 29, 2007, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. Finally, interested persons are invited to submit comments on this interim final rule, including the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small businesses. This action imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Florida citrus 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. The AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule. A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: https://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. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, it is also found and determined upon good cause that it is impracticable, unnecessary, 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) The 2007–08 fiscal period begins August 1, 2007, and the marketing order requires that the rate of assessment for each fiscal period apply to all assessable Florida citrus handled VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:39 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 during such fiscal period; (2) this action decreases the assessment rate for assessable Florida citrus beginning with the 2007–08 fiscal year; (3) handlers are aware of this action, which was unanimously recommended by the Committee at a public meeting and is similar to other assessment rate actions issued in past years; and (4) this interim final rule provides a 60-day comment period, and all comments timely received will be considered prior to finalization of this rule. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 905 Grapefruit, Marketing agreements, Oranges, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tangelos, Tangerines. I For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 905 is amended as follows: PART 905—ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 905 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. 2. Section 905.235 is revised to read as follows: I § 905.235 Assessment rate. On and after August 1, 2007, an assessment rate of $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton or equivalent is established for Florida citrus covered under the order. Dated: July 23, 2007. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. E7–14621 Filed 7–27–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1206 [Docket No. : AMS–FV–07–0042; FV–07–702 IFR] Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Amendment to Term of Office Provision Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This rule amends, on an interim basis, the term of office provision of the Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) so that the term of office and term limit PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 41425 for the two wholesaler and/or retailer positions of the National Mango Board (Board) be the same as that of other members. Specifically, the amendment modifies the term of office from one year to three years, and modifies the term limit for these positions from a maximum of three consecutive one-year terms to a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms in order to conform to the requirements of the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 Act. DATES: Effective date: July 31, 2007. Comments must be submitted on or before August 29, 2007. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the Internet at https:// www.regulations.gov or to the Research and Promotion Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, Stop 0244-Room 0634–S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250– 0244; Fax: (202) 205–2800. Comments, which should reference the docket number, title of action, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register, will be made available for public inspection at the above address during regular business hours and may also be viewed at https:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathie Birdsell, Marketing Specialist, or Sonia N. Jimenez, Chief, Research and Promotion Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Stop 0244-Room 0634– S, Washington, DC 20250–0244; telephone (202) 720–9915 or (888) 720– 9917 (toll free). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under the Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order [7 CFR Part 1206]. The Order is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Act) [7 U.S.C. 7411–7425]. Executive Order 12866 The Office of Management and Budget has waived the review process required by Executive Order 12866 for this action. Executive Order 12988 This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. The rule is not intended to have a retroactive effect and will not affect or preempt any other State or Federal law authorizing promotion or research relating to an agricultural commodity. The Act provides that any person subject to an order may file a written petition with the Department of Agriculture (Department) if they believe E:\FR\FM\30JYR1.SGM 30JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 145 (Monday, July 30, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41423-41425]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-14621]



========================================================================
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. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 41423]]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 905

[Docket No. AMS-FV-07-0088; FV07-905-1 IFR]


Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; 
Decreased Assessment Rate

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the 
Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2007-08 and 
subsequent fiscal periods from $0.008 to $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton 
of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos handled. The Committee 
locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of 
oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. 
Assessments upon Florida citrus handlers are used by the Committee to 
fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal 
period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will 
remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or 
terminated.

DATES: Effective July 31, 2007. Comments received by September 28, 
2007, 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; or Internet: https://
www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the docket number and 
the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will 
be available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk 
during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: https://
www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Jamieson, Marketing Specialist, 
or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Manager, Southeast Marketing Field 
Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable 
Programs, AMS, USDA; telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 325-8793, or 
E-mail: Doris.Jamieson@usda.gov or Christian.Nissen@usda.gov.
    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 No. 84 and Marketing Order No. 905, both as amended (7 CFR 
part 905), regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, 
and tangelos grown in Florida, 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 marketing order now in effect, Florida citrus 
handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the order are 
derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate 
as issued herein will be applicable to all assessable oranges, 
grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida, beginning August 
1, 2007, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated. 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. Such 
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 decreases the assessment rate established for the 
Committee for the 2007-08 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.008 per 
4/5 bushel carton to $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton of oranges, 
grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida.
    The Florida citrus marketing order provides authority for the 
Committee, with the approval of USDA, to formulate an annual budget of 
expenses and collect assessments from handlers to administer the 
program. The members of the Committee are producers and handlers of 
oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. They are familiar with 
the Committee's needs and with the costs for goods and services in 
their local area and are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate 
budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and 
discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have 
an opportunity to participate and provide input.
    For the 2005-06 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee 
recommended, and USDA approved, a decreased assessment rate that would 
continue in effect from fiscal period to fiscal period unless modified, 
suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information 
submitted by the Committee or other information available to USDA.
    The Committee met on May 29, 2007, and unanimously recommended 
2007-08 expenditures of $275,000 and an assessment rate of $0.0072 per 
4/5 bushel of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in 
Florida. In

[[Page 41424]]

comparison, last year's budgeted expenditures were $241,000. The 
assessment rate of $0.0072 is $0.0008 lower than the rate currently in 
effect. This reduction was recommended because the Committee 
experienced an unanticipated increase in shipments for the 2006-07 
fiscal period and had revenues greater than expenses. In addition, the 
industry has continued to recover from the hurricane damage sustained 
during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, which is expected to have a 
positive affect on total production.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2007-08 
fiscal year include $112,000 for salaries, $25,000 for Manifest 
Department-Florida Department of Agriculture and Customer Services 
(FDACS), $17,800 for retirement plan, and $14,550 for insurance and 
bonds. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2006-07 were $110,000, 
$25,000, $17,250, and $14,550, respectively.
    The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by 
dividing anticipated expenses by expected shipments of oranges, 
grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. Florida citrus shipments for the 
year are estimated at 30 million 4/5 bushels which should provide 
$216,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, 
along with interest income and funds from the Committee's authorized 
reserve will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Funds in the 
reserve (currently approximately $60,000) will be kept within the 
maximum permitted by the order of not to exceed one half of one fiscal 
period's expenses as stated in Sec.  905.42(a).
    The assessment rate established in this rule will continue in 
effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA 
upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other 
available information.
    Although this assessment rate is in effect for an indefinite 
period, the Committee will continue to meet prior to or during each 
fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider 
recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and 
times of Committee meetings are available from the Committee or USDA. 
Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may 
express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Committee 
recommendations and other available information to determine whether 
modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking will 
be undertaken as necessary. The Committee's 2007-08 budget and those 
for subsequent fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, 
approved by USDA.

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 rule 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.
    There are approximately 8,000 producers of oranges, grapefruit, 
tangerines, and tangelos in the production area and approximately 55 
handlers subject to regulation under the marketing order. Small 
agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration 
(SBA) as those having annual receipts less than $750,000, and small 
agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts 
are less than $6,500,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    Based on industry and Committee data, the average annual f.o.b. 
price for fresh Florida citrus during the 2005-06 season was 
approximately $11.50 per 4/5-bushel carton, and total fresh shipments 
were approximately 29.1 million cartons. Using the average f.o.b. 
price, at least 70 percent of the Florida citrus handlers could be 
considered small businesses under SBA's definition. In addition, based 
on production and producer prices reported by the National Agricultural 
Statistics Service, and the total number of Florida citrus producers, 
the average annual producer revenue is approximately $55,540. 
Therefore, the majority of handlers and producers of Florida citrus may 
be classified as small entities.
    This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the 
Committee and collected from handlers for the 2007-08 and subsequent 
fiscal periods from $0.008 to $0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton of oranges, 
grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. The Committee unanimously 
recommended 2007-08 expenditures of $275,000 and an assessment rate of 
$0.0072 per 4/5 bushel carton. The assessment rate of $0.0072 is 
$0.0008 lower than the 2006-07 rate. The quantity of assessable 
oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos for the 2007-08 season is 
estimated at 30 million 4/5 bushel cartons. Thus, the $0.0072 rate 
should provide $216,000 in assessment income. Income derived from 
handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the 
Committee's authorized reserve, will be adequate to cover budgeted 
expenses.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2007-08 
fiscal year include $112,000 for salaries, $25,000 for Manifest 
Department-FDACS, $17,800 for retirement plan, and $14,550 for 
insurance and bonds. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2006-07 were 
$110,000, $25,000, $17,250, and $14,550, respectively.
    The reduction in the assessment rate was recommended by the 
Committee as a result of an unanticipated increase in shipments for the 
2006-07 fiscal period, which produced revenues that were greater than 
expenses. In addition, the industry has continued to recover from the 
hurricane damage sustained during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, 
which is expected to have a positive impact on production.
    The Committee reviewed and unanimously recommended 2007-08 
expenditures of $275,000. Prior to arriving at this budget, the 
Committee considered information from various sources including the 
Committee's Budget Subcommittee. Alternative expenditure levels were 
discussed by this group, based on different estimates of assessable 
cartons and budget expenses. The assessment rate of $0.0072 per 4/5 
bushel carton of assessable oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and 
tangelos was then determined by dividing the total recommended budget 
by the quantity of assessable Florida citrus, estimated at 30 million 
4/5 bushel cartons for the 2007-08 season, taking into consideration 
the availability of reserve funds and interest income. This is 
approximately $59,000 under anticipated expenses, which the Committee 
determined to be acceptable.
    A review of historical information and preliminary information 
pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates that the producer 
price for the 2007-08 season could range between $1.83 and $9.76 per 4/
5 bushel of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. Therefore, 
the estimated assessment revenue for the 2007-08 fiscal period as a 
percentage of total producer revenue could range between .07 and .39 
percent.
    This action decreases the assessment obligation imposed on 
handlers. Assessments are applied uniformly on all handlers, and some 
of the costs may

[[Page 41425]]

be passed on to producers. However, decreasing the assessment rate 
reduces the burden on handlers, and may reduce the burden on producers. 
In addition, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout 
the Florida citrus industry and all interested persons were invited to 
attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all 
issues. Like all Committee meetings, the May 29, 2007, meeting was a 
public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to 
express views on this issue. Finally, interested persons are invited to 
submit comments on this interim final rule, including the regulatory 
and informational impacts of this action on small businesses.
    This action imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large Florida citrus 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.
    The AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to 
promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to 
provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government 
information and services, and for other purposes.
    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with this rule.
    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.
    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.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, it is also found and determined upon good 
cause that it is impracticable, unnecessary, 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) The 2007-08 fiscal period begins August 1, 2007, 
and the marketing order requires that the rate of assessment for each 
fiscal period apply to all assessable Florida citrus handled during 
such fiscal period; (2) this action decreases the assessment rate for 
assessable Florida citrus beginning with the 2007-08 fiscal year; (3) 
handlers are aware of this action, which was unanimously recommended by 
the Committee at a public meeting and is similar to other assessment 
rate actions issued in past years; and (4) this interim final rule 
provides a 60-day comment period, and all comments timely received will 
be considered prior to finalization of this rule.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 905

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

0
For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 905 is amended as 
follows:

PART 905--ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN 
FLORIDA

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 905 continues to read as 
follows:

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


0
2. Section 905.235 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  905.235  Assessment rate.

    On and after August 1, 2007, an assessment rate of $0.0072 per 4/5 
bushel carton or equivalent is established for Florida citrus covered 
under the order.

    Dated: July 23, 2007.
Lloyd C. Day,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-14621 Filed 7-27-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P