Avocados Grown in South Florida; Increased Assessment Rate, 2773-2775 [2014-00753]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 11 / Thursday, January 16, 2014 / Rules and Regulations the additional transfers possibly attributable to the increase in flexibility to SFAs are likely within the cost estimate range published with the interim rule 48 and updated above. VIII. Accounting Statement As required by OMB Circular A–4 (available at http:// www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ omb/assets/regulatory_matters_pdf/a4.pdf), we have prepared an accounting statement showing the annualized estimates of benefits, costs and transfers associated with the provisions of this final rule. The figures in the accounting statement are the estimated discounted, annualized costs and transfers of the rule. The figures are computed from the nominal 5-year estimates developed above and summarized in Table 3. The accounting statement contains figures computed with 7 percent and 3 percent discount rates for both our upper bound (primary) estimate and our alternate estimate. Note that we only provide an accounting statement for the final rule, not for the interim rule (as the interim rule was the baseline for our cost Year dollar Estimate 2773 analysis for the final rule). As noted in the above analysis, any possible changes in costs or transfers attributed to the final rule are small and are likely within the cost estimate range published with the interim rule and updated above. Illustration of Computation The annualized value of this discounted cost stream over FY 2013– 2017 is computed with the following formula, where PV is the discounted present value of the cost stream, i is the discount rate (e.g., 7 percent), and n is the number of years (5): 49 Discount rate % Period covered Benefits Qualitative: Compared with the interim rule, the final rule makes permanent the increased flexibility for SFAs regarding weekly maximum grains and meat/meat alternates and the serving of frozen fruit with added sugar. If the greater flexibility leads to more SFA participation in the reimbursable school meals program, then students’ health may improve. Costs Annualized Monetized ($millions/year) ................... n.a. 2013 7 FY 2013–2017. n.a. 2013 3 As discussed in Section V.A., the reduction in administrative costs to State agencies as a result of the reduced quarterly reporting requirement on SFA compliance is already in the range estimated for our baseline. The reduction in burden for State agencies who will no longer have to submit quarterly reports on SFA compliance once all SFAs have been certified is minimal. The final rule may also slightly reduce the costs of complying with the meal patterns for some SFAs, and reduce the costs of maintaining compliance by others. This reduction in SFA cost is not estimated, and likely lies within our range of alternate estimates for the interim rule. Transfers Annualized Monetized ($millions/year) ................... n.a. n.a. 2013 2013 7 3 FY 2013–2017. The changes in the final rule that are designed to facilitate compliance with the new meal patterns are expected to increase slightly the number of SFAs that are certified by their State agencies to receive the additional 6 cents per reimbursable lunch. This increased transfer from the Federal government to SFAs will be realized after the end of SY 2013–2014 (primarily in FY 2014 and beyond) when the grains, meat/meat alternate, and frozen fruit provisions contained in FNS policy memos would have expired in the absence of the rule. This possible, small increase in Federal transfers to SFAs also likely lies within our range of alternate estimates for the interim rule. [FR Doc. 2014–00624 Filed 1–15–14; 8:45 am] ACTION: Agricultural Marketing Service SUMMARY: 7 CFR Part 915 BILLING CODE 3410–30–P ehiers on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES [Doc. No. AMS–FV–13–0054; FV13–915–2 FR] Avocados Grown in South Florida; Increased Assessment Rate AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. 48 Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 82 pp. 25024– 25036. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jan 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 Final rule. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2013–14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.25 to $0.30 per 55-pound bushel container of Florida avocados handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida. Assessments upon Florida avocado handlers are used by the 49 The Excel formula for this is PMT (rate, # periods, PV, 0, 1) PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\16JAR1.SGM 16JAR1 ER16JA14.003</GPH> Dated: January 9, 2014. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service. ehiers on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES 2774 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 11 / Thursday, January 16, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. DATES: Effective Date: January 17, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Jamieson, 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: Doris.Jamieson@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 rule is issued under Marketing Order No. 915, as amended (7 CFR part 915), regulating the handling of avocados grown in South 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 Orders 12866 and 13563. This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the marketing order now in effect, Florida avocado 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 Florida avocados beginning April 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jan 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 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 increases the assessment rate established for the Committee for the 2013–14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.25 to $0.30 per 55pound bushel container of avocados. The Florida avocado 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 avocados. They are familiar with the Committee’s needs and with the costs of 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 2012–13 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee recommended, and USDA approved, an 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 June 12, 2013, and unanimously recommended 2013– 14 expenditures of $472,553 and an assessment rate of $0.30 per 55-pound container of avocados. In comparison, last year’s budgeted expenditures were $324,575. The assessment rate of $0.30 is $0.05 higher than the rate currently in effect. The Committee recommended increasing the assessment rate to provide additional funds for research to address the Laurel Wilt fungus, which can infect and kill avocado trees. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2013–14 year include $175,000 for research, $119,483 for salaries, and $51,500 for employee benefits. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2012–13 were $75,000, $101,705, and $48,000, respectively. The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by reviewing anticipated expenses, expected shipments of Florida avocados, and available reserves. Florida avocado shipments for the year are estimated at 1,000,000 55-pound bushel containers, which should PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 provide $300,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments and interest, and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve, should be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Funds in the reserve (currently $465,000) will be kept within the maximum permitted by the order (approximately three fiscal periods’ expenses, § 915.42). 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 will be 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, and further rulemaking will 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. Final 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 rule 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 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 approximately 30 handlers of Florida avocados subject to regulation under the order and approximately 300 producers of avocados in the production area. Small agricultural service firms, which include avocado handlers, are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,000,000, E:\FR\FM\16JAR1.SGM 16JAR1 ehiers on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 11 / Thursday, January 16, 2014 / Rules and Regulations and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201). According to Committee data and information from the National Agricultural Statistical Service, the average price for Florida avocados during the 2011–12 season was approximately $20.79 per 55-pound bushel container and total shipments were slightly higher than 1.2 million 55pound bushels. Using the average price and shipment information, the majority of avocado handlers could be considered small businesses under SBA’s definition. In addition, based on avocado production, producer prices, and the total number of Florida avocado producers, the average annual producer revenue is less than $750,000. Consequently, the majority of avocado handlers and producers may be classified as small entities. This rule increases the assessment rate for the 2013–14 and subsequent fiscal periods from the current rate of $0.25 to $0.30 per 55-pound bushel container of avocados. The Committee unanimously recommended the increased assessment rate, and 2013–14 expenditures of $472,553. The increase was recommended to provide an additional $100,000 for research to address the Laurel Wilt fungus, which can infect and kill avocado trees. As previously stated, income from handler assessments and interest, and funds from reserves, should be adequate to meet this year’s expenses. Alternative expenditure and assessments levels were discussed prior to arriving at this budget. However, the Committee agreed on $472,553 in expenditures, reviewed the quantity of assessable avocados and available reserves, and recommended an assessment rate of $0.30 per 55-pound bushel container. This action increases the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. While assessments impose some additional costs on handlers, the costs are minimal and uniform on all handlers. Some of the additional costs may be passed on to producers. However, these costs are offset by the benefits derived by the operation of the marketing order. In addition, the Committee’s meeting was widely publicized throughout the Florida avocado industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the June 12, 2013, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (44 U.S.C. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jan 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 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 rule imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Florida avocado 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. As noted in the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this final rule. 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. A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on September 17, 2013 (78 FR 57099). Copies of the proposed rule were also mailed or sent via facsimile to all Florida avocado handlers. Finally, the proposal was made available through the internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 15-day comment period ending October 2, 2013, was provided for 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: http://www.ams.usda.gov/ MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey Smutny 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 that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because handlers are already receiving avocadoes from the 2013–14 crop from growers, the fiscal period began on PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2775 April 1, 2013, and the assessment rate applies to all Florida avocados received during the 2013–14 and subsequent seasons. Further, handlers are aware of this rule which was recommended at a public meeting. Also, a 15-day comment period was provided for in the proposed rule and no comments were received. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 915 Avocados, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 915 is amended as follows: PART 915—AVOCADOS GROWN IN SOUTH FLORIDA 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 915 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. 2. Section 915.235 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 915.235 Assessment rate. On and after April 1, 2013, an assessment rate of $0.30 per 55-pound container or equivalent is established for avocados grown in South Florida. Dated: January 10, 2014. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2014–00753 Filed 1–15–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 930 [Doc. No. AMS–FV–13–0030; FV13–930–2 FIR] Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin; Revising Handler Reporting and Grower Diversion Requirements Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule. AGENCY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that changed handler reporting and grower diversion requirements prescribed under the marketing order for tart cherries grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin (order). The Cherry Industry SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16JAR1.SGM 16JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 11 (Thursday, January 16, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2773-2775]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00753]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 915

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-13-0054; FV13-915-2 FR]


Avocados Grown in South Florida; Increased Assessment Rate

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This rule increases the assessment rate established for the 
Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2013-14 and 
subsequent fiscal periods from $0.25 to $0.30 per 55-pound bushel 
container of Florida avocados handled. The Committee locally 
administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of 
avocados grown in South Florida. Assessments upon Florida avocado 
handlers are used by the

[[Page 2774]]

Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The 
fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate 
will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or 
terminated.

DATES: Effective Date: January 17, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Jamieson, 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: Doris.Jamieson@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 rule is issued under Marketing Order 
No. 915, as amended (7 CFR part 915), regulating the handling of 
avocados grown in South 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 Orders 12866 and 13563.
    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. Under the marketing order now in effect, Florida 
avocado 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 
Florida avocados beginning April 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 rule increases the assessment rate established for the 
Committee for the 2013-14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.25 to 
$0.30 per 55-pound bushel container of avocados.
    The Florida avocado 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 avocados. They are familiar with the Committee's needs and with 
the costs of 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 2012-13 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee 
recommended, and USDA approved, an 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 June 12, 2013, and unanimously recommended 
2013-14 expenditures of $472,553 and an assessment rate of $0.30 per 
55-pound container of avocados. In comparison, last year's budgeted 
expenditures were $324,575. The assessment rate of $0.30 is $0.05 
higher than the rate currently in effect. The Committee recommended 
increasing the assessment rate to provide additional funds for research 
to address the Laurel Wilt fungus, which can infect and kill avocado 
trees.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2013-14 
year include $175,000 for research, $119,483 for salaries, and $51,500 
for employee benefits. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2012-13 
were $75,000, $101,705, and $48,000, respectively.
    The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by 
reviewing anticipated expenses, expected shipments of Florida avocados, 
and available reserves. Florida avocado shipments for the year are 
estimated at 1,000,000 55-pound bushel containers, which should provide 
$300,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments 
and interest, and funds from the Committee's authorized reserve, should 
be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Funds in the reserve (currently 
$465,000) will be kept within the maximum permitted by the order 
(approximately three fiscal periods' expenses, Sec.  915.42).
    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 will be 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, and further rulemaking 
will 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.

Final 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 rule 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 
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 approximately 30 handlers of Florida avocados subject to 
regulation under the order and approximately 300 producers of avocados 
in the production area. Small agricultural service firms, which include 
avocado handlers, are defined by the Small Business Administration 
(SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,000,000,

[[Page 2775]]

and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual 
receipts of less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    According to Committee data and information from the National 
Agricultural Statistical Service, the average price for Florida 
avocados during the 2011-12 season was approximately $20.79 per 55-
pound bushel container and total shipments were slightly higher than 
1.2 million 55-pound bushels. Using the average price and shipment 
information, the majority of avocado handlers could be considered small 
businesses under SBA's definition. In addition, based on avocado 
production, producer prices, and the total number of Florida avocado 
producers, the average annual producer revenue is less than $750,000. 
Consequently, the majority of avocado handlers and producers may be 
classified as small entities.
    This rule increases the assessment rate for the 2013-14 and 
subsequent fiscal periods from the current rate of $0.25 to $0.30 per 
55-pound bushel container of avocados. The Committee unanimously 
recommended the increased assessment rate, and 2013-14 expenditures of 
$472,553. The increase was recommended to provide an additional 
$100,000 for research to address the Laurel Wilt fungus, which can 
infect and kill avocado trees. As previously stated, income from 
handler assessments and interest, and funds from reserves, should be 
adequate to meet this year's expenses.
    Alternative expenditure and assessments levels were discussed prior 
to arriving at this budget. However, the Committee agreed on $472,553 
in expenditures, reviewed the quantity of assessable avocados and 
available reserves, and recommended an assessment rate of $0.30 per 55-
pound bushel container.
    This action increases the assessment obligation imposed on 
handlers. While assessments impose some additional costs on handlers, 
the costs are minimal and uniform on all handlers. Some of the 
additional costs may be passed on to producers. However, these costs 
are offset by the benefits derived by the operation of the marketing 
order. In addition, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized 
throughout the Florida avocado industry and all interested persons were 
invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee 
deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the June 12, 
2013, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and 
small, were able to express views on this issue.
    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 rule imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large Florida avocado 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. As noted in the 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis, USDA has not identified any 
relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this 
final rule.
    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.
    A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal 
Register on September 17, 2013 (78 FR 57099). Copies of the proposed 
rule were also mailed or sent via facsimile to all Florida avocado 
handlers. Finally, the proposal was made available through the internet 
by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 15-day comment period 
ending October 2, 2013, was provided for 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: http://www.ams.usda.gov/MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide. Any questions 
about the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey Smutny 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 that good 
cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 
30 days after publication in the Federal Register because handlers are 
already receiving avocadoes from the 2013-14 crop from growers, the 
fiscal period began on April 1, 2013, and the assessment rate applies 
to all Florida avocados received during the 2013-14 and subsequent 
seasons. Further, handlers are aware of this rule which was recommended 
at a public meeting. Also, a 15-day comment period was provided for in 
the proposed rule and no comments were received.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 915

    Avocados, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 915 is 
amended as follows:

PART 915--AVOCADOS GROWN IN SOUTH FLORIDA

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 915 continues to read as 
follows:

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


0
2. Section 915.235 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  915.235  Assessment rate.

    On and after April 1, 2013, an assessment rate of $0.30 per 55-
pound container or equivalent is established for avocados grown in 
South Florida.

    Dated: January 10, 2014.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-00753 Filed 1-15-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P