Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate, 67977-67979 [2013-27018]

Download as PDF 67977 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 219 Wednesday, November 13, 2013 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 905 [Doc. No. AMS–FV–13–0074; FV13–905–3 PR] Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: This proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2013–14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.008 to $0.009 per 4/5 bushel carton of Florida citrus handled. The Committee locally administers the Federal 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 would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. DATES: Comments must be received by November 29, 2013. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, 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 document 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. All comments submitted in response to this emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:16 Nov 12, 2013 Jkt 232001 proposed rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the internet at the address provided above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Corey E. Elliott, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324– 3375, Fax: (863) 325–8793, or Email: Corey.Elliott@ams.usda.gov or Christian.Nissen@ams.usda.gov. Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Jeffrey Smutny, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Telephone: (202) 720– 2491, Fax: (202) 720–8938, or Email: Jeffrey.Smutny@ams.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed rule is issued under Marketing Order No. 905, 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 proposed rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. This proposed 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 proposed herein would be applicable to all assessable Florida citrus beginning on August 1, 2013, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Committee for the 2013–14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.008 to $0.009 per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus. 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 Florida citrus. They are familiar with the Committee’s needs and with the costs of goods and services in their local area and are therefore 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 2012–13 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee recommended, and USDA approved, an assessment rate of $0.08 per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus 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 July 16, 2013, and unanimously recommended 2013– 14 expenditures of $190,000 and an assessment rate of $0.009 per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus. In comparison, last year’s budgeted expenditures were $223,500. The assessment rate of $0.009 is $0.001 higher than the rate currently in effect. Over the past few years, the Committee’s reserve has been depleted as the Committee has used reserve funds to help meet its annual expenditures. Therefore, the Committee recommended increasing the assessment rate to E:\FR\FM\13NOP1.SGM 13NOP1 67978 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 219 / Wednesday, November 13, 2013 / Proposed Rules emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS generate additional funds to increase the Committee’s reserve balance. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2013–14 year include $92,400 for salaries, $25,000 for Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) manifesting reports and statistics, and $13,000 for a retirement plan. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2012–13 were $116,200, $25,000, and $18,250, respectively. The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by reviewing anticipated expenses, expected shipments of Florida citrus, interest income, and the need to add additional funds to the reserve. Florida citrus shipments for the year are estimated at 23.8 million 4/5 bushel cartons, which should provide $214,200 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments and interest income would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Funds in the reserve (projected at approximately $40,000) would 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. The proposed assessment rate would 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 would be in effect for an indefinite period, the Committee would continue to meet prior to or during each fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider recommendations to modify 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 would evaluate Committee recommendations and other available information to determine whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking would be undertaken as necessary. The Committee’s 2013–14 budget and those for subsequent fiscal periods would be reviewed and, as appropriate, approved by USDA. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601–612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this proposed rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:16 Nov 12, 2013 Jkt 232001 The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses 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 44 Florida citrus handlers subject to regulation under the marketing order and approximately 8,000 producers of citrus in the production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,000,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201). Based on industry and Committee data, the average annual f.o.b. price for fresh Florida citrus during the 2011–12 season was approximately $11.79 per 4/5 bushel carton, and total fresh shipments were approximately 29.5 million cartons. Using the average f.o.b. price and shipment data, about 48 percent of the Florida citrus handlers could be considered small businesses under SBA’s definition. In addition, based on production data, grower prices as reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the total number of Florida citrus growers, the average annual grower revenue is below $750,000. Thus, assuming a normal distribution, the majority of handlers of Florida citrus may be classified as large entities and the majority of producers of Florida citrus may be classified as small entities. This proposal would increase the assessment rate for the 2013–14 and subsequent fiscal periods from the current rate of $0.008 to $0.009 per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus. The Committee unanimously recommended the increased assessment rate, and 2013–14 expenditures of $190,000. The increase was recommended to generate additional funds to add to the Committee’s reserve. As previously stated, income derived from handler assessments and interest would be adequate to meet this year’s anticipated expenses. A review of historical information and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming season indicates that the grower price for the 2013–14 season should average around $5.05 per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus. Utilizing this estimate and the proposed assessment rate of $0.009, estimated assessment revenue as a percentage of total grower PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 revenue would be approximately 0.18 percent for the season. Alternative expenditure and assessment levels were discussed prior to arriving at this budget. However, the Committee agreed on $190,000 in expenditures, reviewed the quantity of assessable citrus and the need to add additional funds to the reserve, and recommended an assessment rate of $0.009 per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus. This action would increase the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. While assessments impose some additional costs on handlers, the costs are minimal and uniform on all handlers. These costs would be offset by the benefits derived from the operation of the marketing order. 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 July 16, 2013, 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 proposed rule, including the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small businesses. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the order’s information collection requirements have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB No. 0581–0189 Generic OMB Fruit Crops. No changes in those requirements as a result of this action are necessary. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval. This proposed rule would impose 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. AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide more opportunities for citizens to access Government information and services, and for other purposes. USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this action. 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/ MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide. E:\FR\FM\13NOP1.SGM 13NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 219 / Wednesday, November 13, 2013 / Proposed Rules Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey Smutny at the previously-mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. A 15-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposed rule. Fifteen days is deemed appropriate because: (1) The 2013–14 fiscal period began on August 1, 2013, with shipments beginning in September, 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) the Committee needs to have sufficient funds to pay its expenses, which are incurred on a continuous basis; and (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. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 905 Grapefruit, Oranges, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tangelos, Tangerines. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 905 is proposed to be 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: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. 2. Section 905.235 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 905.235 Assessment rate. On and after August 1, 2013, an assessment rate of $0.009 per 4/5 bushel carton or equivalent is established for Florida citrus covered under the order. Dated: November 5, 2013. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2013–27018 Filed 11–12–13; 8:45 am] emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS BILLING CODE 3410–02–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:16 Nov 12, 2013 Jkt 232001 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1211 [Document Number AMS–FV–11–0074; PR–B] RIN 0581–AD24 Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order; Referendum Procedures Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: This proposed rule invites comments on procedures for conducting a referendum to determine whether issuance of a proposed Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order) is favored by domestic manufacturers of hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood. Hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood are used in products like flooring, furniture, moldings, doors, and kitchen cabinets. The procedures would also be used for any subsequent referendum under the Order. The proposed Order is being published separately in this issue of the Federal Register. This proposed rule also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program. DATES: Comments must be received by January 13, 2014. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), comments on the information collection burden that would result from this proposal must be received by January 13, 2014. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this rule. Comments may be submitted on the Internet at: https:// www.regulations.gov or to the Promotion and Economics Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 1406–S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250–0244; facsimile: (202) 205–2800. All comments should reference the document number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection, including name and address, if provided, in the above office during regular business hours or it can be viewed at https://www.regulations.gov. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 67979 Pursuant to the PRA, comments regarding the accuracy of the burden estimate, ways to minimize the burden, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, or any other aspect of this collection of information, should be sent to the above address. In addition, comments concerning the information collection should also be sent to the Desk Office for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Room 725, Washington, DC 20503. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia A. Petrella, Marketing Specialist, Promotion and Economics Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 1406, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250–0244; telephone: (301) 334–2891; facsimile (301) 334– 2896; or electronic mail: Patricia.Petrella@ams.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed rule is issued pursuant to the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act) (7 U.S.C. 7411–7425). Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This action has been designated as ‘‘non-significant regulatory action’’ under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, OMB has waived the review process. Executive Order 13175 This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not have significant Tribal implications. Executive Order 12988 This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. Section 524 of the 1996 Act provides that it shall not E:\FR\FM\13NOP1.SGM 13NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 219 (Wednesday, November 13, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 67977-67979]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-27018]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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


Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 219 / Wednesday, November 13, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 67977]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 905

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-13-0074; FV13-905-3 PR]


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

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: This proposed rule would increase the assessment rate 
established for the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 
2013-14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.008 to $0.009 per 4/5 
bushel carton of Florida citrus handled. The Committee locally 
administers the Federal 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 would 
remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or 
terminated.

DATES: Comments must be received by November 29, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on 
this proposed rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, 
Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, 
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 document 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. All comments submitted in response to this 
proposed rule will be included in the record and will be made available 
to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals 
or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the internet 
at the address provided above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Corey E. Elliott, Marketing 
Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast 
Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit 
and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 
325-8793, or Email: Corey.Elliott@ams.usda.gov or 
Christian.Nissen@ams.usda.gov.
    Small businesses may request information on complying with this 
regulation by contacting Jeffrey Smutny, Marketing Order and Agreement 
Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence 
Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-
2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: Jeffrey.Smutny@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed rule is issued under Marketing 
Order No. 905, 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 proposed rule 
in conformance with Executive Orders 12866 and 13563.
    This proposed 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 proposed herein would be applicable to all 
assessable Florida citrus beginning on August 1, 2013, and continue 
until amended, suspended, or terminated.
    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 proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established 
for the Committee for the 2013-14 and subsequent fiscal periods from 
$0.008 to $0.009 per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus.
    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 
Florida citrus. They are familiar with the Committee's needs and with 
the costs of goods and services in their local area and are therefore 
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 2012-13 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee 
recommended, and USDA approved, an assessment rate of $0.08 per 4/5 
bushel carton of citrus 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 July 16, 2013, and unanimously recommended 
2013-14 expenditures of $190,000 and an assessment rate of $0.009 per 
4/5 bushel carton of citrus. In comparison, last year's budgeted 
expenditures were $223,500. The assessment rate of $0.009 is $0.001 
higher than the rate currently in effect. Over the past few years, the 
Committee's reserve has been depleted as the Committee has used reserve 
funds to help meet its annual expenditures. Therefore, the Committee 
recommended increasing the assessment rate to

[[Page 67978]]

generate additional funds to increase the Committee's reserve balance.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2013-14 
year include $92,400 for salaries, $25,000 for Florida Department of 
Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) manifesting reports and 
statistics, and $13,000 for a retirement plan. Budgeted expenses for 
these items in 2012-13 were $116,200, $25,000, and $18,250, 
respectively.
    The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by 
reviewing anticipated expenses, expected shipments of Florida citrus, 
interest income, and the need to add additional funds to the reserve. 
Florida citrus shipments for the year are estimated at 23.8 million 4/5 
bushel cartons, which should provide $214,200 in assessment income. 
Income derived from handler assessments and interest income would be 
adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Funds in the reserve (projected at 
approximately $40,000) would 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.
    The proposed assessment rate would 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 would be in effect for an indefinite 
period, the Committee would continue to meet prior to or during each 
fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider 
recommendations to modify 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 would evaluate Committee 
recommendations and other available information to determine whether 
modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking would 
be undertaken as necessary. The Committee's 2013-14 budget and those 
for subsequent fiscal periods would be reviewed and, as appropriate, 
approved by USDA.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 
has considered the economic impact of this proposed 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 
businesses 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 44 Florida citrus handlers subject to regulation under 
the marketing order and approximately 8,000 producers of citrus in the 
production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the 
Small Business Administration (SBA) as those whose annual receipts are 
less than $7,000,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as 
those having annual receipts less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    Based on industry and Committee data, the average annual f.o.b. 
price for fresh Florida citrus during the 2011-12 season was 
approximately $11.79 per 4/5 bushel carton, and total fresh shipments 
were approximately 29.5 million cartons. Using the average f.o.b. price 
and shipment data, about 48 percent of the Florida citrus handlers 
could be considered small businesses under SBA's definition. In 
addition, based on production data, grower prices as reported by the 
National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the total number of 
Florida citrus growers, the average annual grower revenue is below 
$750,000. Thus, assuming a normal distribution, the majority of 
handlers of Florida citrus may be classified as large entities and the 
majority of producers of Florida citrus may be classified as small 
entities.
    This proposal would increase the assessment rate for the 2013-14 
and subsequent fiscal periods from the current rate of $0.008 to $0.009 
per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus. The Committee unanimously recommended 
the increased assessment rate, and 2013-14 expenditures of $190,000. 
The increase was recommended to generate additional funds to add to the 
Committee's reserve. As previously stated, income derived from handler 
assessments and interest would be adequate to meet this year's 
anticipated expenses.
    A review of historical information and preliminary information 
pertaining to the upcoming season indicates that the grower price for 
the 2013-14 season should average around $5.05 per 4/5 bushel carton of 
citrus. Utilizing this estimate and the proposed assessment rate of 
$0.009, estimated assessment revenue as a percentage of total grower 
revenue would be approximately 0.18 percent for the season.
    Alternative expenditure and assessment levels were discussed prior 
to arriving at this budget. However, the Committee agreed on $190,000 
in expenditures, reviewed the quantity of assessable citrus and the 
need to add additional funds to the reserve, and recommended an 
assessment rate of $0.009 per 4/5 bushel carton of citrus.
    This action would increase the assessment obligation imposed on 
handlers. While assessments impose some additional costs on handlers, 
the costs are minimal and uniform on all handlers. These costs would be 
offset by the benefits derived from the operation of the marketing 
order. 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 July 16, 
2013, 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 proposed rule, including 
the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small 
businesses.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been 
previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
assigned OMB No. 0581-0189 Generic OMB Fruit Crops. No changes in those 
requirements as a result of this action are necessary. Should any 
changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.
    This proposed rule would impose 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.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide 
more opportunities for citizens to access Government information and 
services, and for other purposes.
    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with this action.
    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/MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide.

[[Page 67979]]

Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey 
Smutny at the previously-mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section.
    A 15-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to 
respond to this proposed rule. Fifteen days is deemed appropriate 
because: (1) The 2013-14 fiscal period began on August 1, 2013, with 
shipments beginning in September, 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) the Committee 
needs to have sufficient funds to pay its expenses, which are incurred 
on a continuous basis; and (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.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 905

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

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 905 is 
proposed to be 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, 2013, an assessment rate of $0.009 per 4/5 
bushel carton or equivalent is established for Florida citrus covered 
under the order.

    Dated: November 5, 2013.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-27018 Filed 11-12-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P