Onions Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano/Creole; Bermuda-Granex-Grano, 63293-63295 [2014-25193]

Download as PDF 63293 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 205 Thursday, October 23, 2014 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 51 [Doc. Number AMS–FV–12–0013] Onions Other Than Bermuda-GranexGrano/Creole; Bermuda-Granex-Grano Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This rule revises the U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions (Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano (BGG) and Creole Type) and the U.S. Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions which were issued under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the ‘‘similar varietal characteristic’’ and ‘‘one type’’ requirements to allow mixed colors of onions when designated as a mixed or specialty pack. This revision will update the standards to more accurately represent today’s marketing practices and to provide the industry with greater flexibility. DATES: Effective November 24, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Horner, Standardization Branch, Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) Division, (540) 361–1128 or 1150. The current U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions (Other Than BGG and Creole Type) and the U.S. Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions are available on the SCI Division Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/scihome. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The changes in these two sets of standards will permit specified packs of mixed colors of onions to be certified to a U.S. grade. The revisions apply to the U.S. standards for grades for two categories of onions: (1) Other Than BGG and Creole Type and (2) BGG Type. Also, these revisions affect the grade wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:42 Oct 22, 2014 Jkt 235001 requirements under two marketing orders, 7 CFR parts 958 and 959, issued under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (7 U.S.C. 601– 674) and applicable imports. 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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. This rule has been determined not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. 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 rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. There are no administrative procedures which must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Paperwork Reduction Act Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601–612), AMS has considered the economic impact of these revisions on small entities. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis. Each of the standards, except the section in the Other Than BGG and PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Creole Type Standards that affects the U.S. No. 2 grade, currently states that one of the requirements to be certified in a grade is that the onion pack contains ‘‘similar varietal characteristics.’’ The wording will be changed to: ‘‘Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack.’’ In the U.S. No. 2 grade for the Other Than BGG and Creole Type Standards, the wording will be changed to ‘‘One type, except when designated as a specialty or mixed pack.’’ The additional wording will permit onions of different colors in the same pack as long as the pack is appropriately designated as a ‘‘specialty or mixed pack.’’ Allowing the commingling of mixed colors in an onion pack, when designated, will facilitate the marketing of onions by providing the industry with more flexibility that reflects current industry practices, thereby encouraging additional commerce. A farm-level estimate of the size of the U.S. onion industry can be obtained from National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data. Averaging NASS onion production for the most recent three years of data available (2010– 2012) yields a U.S. production estimate of 73.3 million hundredweight (cwt), of which about 9.6 million cwt (13 percent) are onions for processing. Subtracting 9.6 million for processing from the total 73.3 million cwt yields an estimate of 63.7 million cwt sold for the fresh market. The total 3-year average onion crop value is $912 million, and the value of onions for processing is $81.5 million. The difference is a computed estimate of $830.5 million for the crop value sold into the fresh market. Average onion acreage for the period 2010–2012 is 143,383. Dividing total crop value by acreage yields a 3year average grower revenue per acre estimate of about $5,800. An estimate of the total number of onion farms from the 2007 Agricultural Census (the most recent data available on farm numbers) is 4,074. An onion farm is defined by the Census as a farm from which 50 percent or more of the value of agricultural sales are from onions. The Small Business Administration (SBA) threshold for a large business in farming is $750,000 in annual sales. With average revenue per acre of $5,800, 129 acres of onions would generate approximately $750,000 E:\FR\FM\23OCR1.SGM 23OCR1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES 63294 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 205 / Thursday, October 23, 2014 / Rules and Regulations in crop value. Census data shows that 3,679 out of a total of 4,074 farms (90 percent) are less than 100 acres. Most onion farms would therefore be considered small businesses under the SBA definition, in terms of onion sales only (not including sales of other crops). There is no published data with which to make comparable estimates of the number of packers or shippers of onions. However, we estimate that at least some would be considered small entities under applicable SBA criteria. With regard to the marketing orders, there are approximately 30 Idaho and Eastern Oregon onion handlers and approximately 30 South Texas onion handlers subject to regulation under marketing orders 958 and 959, respectively. Under both marketing orders, the majority of these handlers would be considered small businesses under the SBA criteria. In addition to these domestic handlers, in 2013, there were approximately 460 onion importers subject to import regulations. About 80 percent of the value of production for U.S. onions comes from seven states. In declining order of magnitude, with three year average market shares ranging from 19 to 7 percent, those states are: California, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Texas, Nevada, and New Mexico. The remaining five states for which NASS reports annual onion production are Idaho, New York, Colorado, Michigan, and Wisconsin, whose combined crop value is 20 percent of total U.S. onion crop value. In considering alternatives to this rule, benefits of the changes substantially outweigh the costs. The only additional cost borne by packers/ shippers, which is expected to be minimal, is when ‘‘specialty or mixed packs’’ are designated by means of labeling. There are no other additional costs to packers/shippers or growers from this change, and smaller entities would not bear a disproportionate cost. The change in the standards reflects a shift in onion packing/shipping practices that is already underway. The additional flexibility in the revised standards will facilitate additional onion sales, to the benefit of growers, packers, and consumers. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this rule would not result in a change to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved and would impose no additional reporting and recordkeeping burden on domestic producers, first handlers, and importers of onions. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:42 Oct 22, 2014 Jkt 235001 USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule. However, there are marketing programs that regulate the handling of onions under 7 CFR parts 958 and 959. Onions under a marketing order have to meet certain requirements set forth in the grade standards. In addition, onions are subject to section 8e import requirements under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601–674) which requires imported onions to meet grade, size and quality under the applicable marketing order (7 CFR part 980). Background The industry is packing mixed colors of onions, primarily in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Texas. In addition, marketing order 958 for Idaho and Oregon Onions, administered by the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee, was amended November, 2011, to allow pearl onion packs and experimental shipments of mixed colors. Furthermore, in a May 2012 meeting with the USDA Marketing Order Administration Division, AMS was informed that Washington State, which is outside of marketing order 958, has packed mixed colors of larger Walla Walla type onions for Canada. However, the U.S. Onion Standards do not permit certifying a U.S. grade to mixed color packs. To address this issue, a rule proposing revisions to U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions (Other Than BGG and Creole Type) and the U.S. Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions was published in the Federal Register on August 22, 2013 (78 FR 52099). The public comment period closed on October 21, 2013. The one response, which came from a large industry trade association, showed full support for the revisions. Based on the information gathered, the revisions will bring the U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions (Other Than BGG and Creole Type) and the U.S. Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions in line with current marketing practices and provide shippers and packers with more flexibility. Therefore, AMS will amend the similar varietal characteristic and one type requirements for: • Onions Other Than BGG and Creole Type in Sections 51.2830, 51.2831, and 51.2832, which affects the U.S. No. 1, U.S. Export No. 1, and U.S. Commercial grades, by adding ‘‘except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack.’’ Likewise, AMS will amend the one type requirement in Section 51.2835, which affects the U.S. No. 2 grade, by adding ‘‘except when PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 designated as a specialty or mixed pack.’’ • BGG Type Onions in Sections 51.3195 and 51.3197, which affects the U.S. No. 1, U.S. Combination, and U.S. No. 2 grades, by adding ‘‘except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack.’’ In addition, AMS will correct an administrative error from the rule that inadvertently recorded ‘‘of’’ instead of ‘‘or’’ in Section 51.2831. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 51 Agricultural commodities, Food grades and standards, Fruits, Nuts, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trees, Vegetables. For reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 51 is to be amended as follows: PART 51—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621–1627. 2. In § 51.2830, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 51.2830 U.S. No. 1. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack; * * * * * ■ 3. In § 51.2831, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows: § 51.2831 U.S. Export No. 1. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack; * * * * * ■ 4. In § 51.2832, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows: § 51.2832 U.S. Commercial. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack; * * * * * ■ 5. In § 51.2835, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows: § 51.2835 U.S. No. 2. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) One type, except when designated as a specialty or mixed pack; * * * * * ■ 6. In § 51.3195, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\23OCR1.SGM 23OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 205 / Thursday, October 23, 2014 / Rules and Regulations § 51.3195 U.S. No. 1. heightened due to the continuing high volume of servicing transfers. Servicers engaged in significant servicing transfers should expect that the CFPB will, in appropriate cases, require them to prepare and submit informational plans describing how they will be managing the related risks to consumers. The CFPB is continuing to monitor the mortgage servicing market and may engage in further rulemaking in this area. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack; * * * * * ■ 7. In § 51.3197, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows: § 51.3197 U.S. No. 2. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack; * * * * * Dated: October 17, 2014. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2014–25193 Filed 10–22–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1024 Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance—Mortgage Servicing Transfers Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. ACTION: Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance. AGENCY: The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) is issuing a compliance bulletin and policy guidance entitled ‘‘Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance—Mortgage Servicing Transfers’’ in light of potential risks to consumers that may arise in connection with transfers of residential mortgage servicing rights. DATES: This bulletin is effective October 23, 2014 and applicable beginning August 19, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Brown, Program Manager (202) 435–7107; Yevgeny Shrago, Attorney, (202) 435–7098; or Whitney Patross, Attorney (202) 435–7057, Office of Supervision Policy. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: I. Introduction The CFPB is issuing this compliance bulletin and policy guidance to residential mortgage servicers and subservicers (collectively, servicers), in light of potential risks to consumers that may arise in connection with transfers of residential mortgage servicing rights. The CFPB’s concern in this area remains VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:42 Oct 22, 2014 Jkt 235001 II. Description of Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance This document replaces CFPB Bulletin 2013–01 (Mortgage Servicing Transfers), released in February 2013, which also addressed servicing transfers. This document advises mortgage servicers that the CFPB will be carefully reviewing servicers’ compliance with Federal consumer financial laws applicable to servicing transfers. The revised Regulation X, implementing the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (new servicing rule), took effect on January 10, 2014. It requires servicers to, among other things, maintain policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to achieve the objectives of facilitating the transfer of information during mortgage servicing transfers and of properly evaluating loss mitigation applications.1 Section A of this document, ‘‘General Transfer-Related Policies and Procedures’’, provides examples of general transfer-related policies and procedures that CFPB examiners may consider in evaluating whether servicers have satisfied these requirements successfully. The examples listed in this section are not exhaustive and in future examinations CFPB examiners will consider a servicer’s transfer-related policies and procedures as a whole in determining whether they are reasonably designed to achieve these objectives. Section B, ‘‘Applicability of the New Servicing Rules to Transfers’’, answers certain frequently asked questions about how the revised Regulation X applies in the area of servicing transfers. This section also describes certain focus areas for CFPB examiners and explains how entities can minimize compliance risk. Section C, ‘‘Protections under Federal Consumer Financial Law’’, describes other Federal consumer financial laws applicable to servicing transfers and explains potential consequences if servicers are not fulfilling their obligations under the law. Section D, ‘‘Plans for Handling 1 12 PO 00000 CFR 1024.38(a), (b)(4). Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 63295 Servicing Transfers’’, informs servicers engaged in significant servicing transfers that the CFPB will, in appropriate cases, require them to prepare and submit informational plans describing how they will be managing the related risks to consumers. III. Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance A mortgage servicer, among other things, collects and processes loan payments on behalf of the owner of the mortgage note. Servicing transfers are common and may occur in several ways. The mortgage owner may sell the rights to service the loan, called the Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR), separately from the note ownership. The owner of the loan or MSR may, rather than servicing the loan itself, hire a vendor—typically called a subservicer—to take on the servicing duties. MSR owners frequently sell MSR outright as an asset. Servicing transfers may also occur through whole loan servicing transfers or whole loan portfolio transfers, rather than through sales of MSR. In this document, we are using the term ‘‘transfer’’ broadly to cover transfers of servicing rights as well as transfers of servicing responsibilities through subservicing or whole loan servicing arrangements. The CFPB advises mortgage servicers that its examiners will be carefully reviewing servicers’ compliance with Federal consumer financial laws applicable to servicing transfers. These may include, among others, the RESPA and its implementing regulation, Regulation X, the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and its implementing regulation, Regulation V, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s prohibitions on unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAPs). The provisions of the new servicing rule and related commentary that relate to transfers can be found at 12 CFR 1024.33, 12 CFR 1024.38, and 12 CFR 1024.41.2 A. General Transfer-Related Policies and Procedures CFPB mortgage servicing examinations now include reviews for compliance with the new servicing rule. Among other things, the rule requires servicers to maintain policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to achieve the objective of facilitating 2 12 CFR 1024.30 defines the scope of application of these provisions. Note that small servicers, as defined in 12 CFR 1026.41(e)(4), are exempt from certain provisions. E:\FR\FM\23OCR1.SGM 23OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 205 (Thursday, October 23, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 63293-63295]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-25193]



========================================================================
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. 79, No. 205 / Thursday, October 23, 2014 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 63293]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 51

[Doc. Number AMS-FV-12-0013]


Onions Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano/Creole; Bermuda-Granex-
Grano

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This rule revises the U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions 
(Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano (BGG) and Creole Type) and the U.S. 
Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions which were issued under the 
Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. The Agricultural Marketing Service 
(AMS) is amending the ``similar varietal characteristic'' and ``one 
type'' requirements to allow mixed colors of onions when designated as 
a mixed or specialty pack. This revision will update the standards to 
more accurately represent today's marketing practices and to provide 
the industry with greater flexibility.

DATES: Effective November 24, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Horner, Standardization Branch, 
Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) Division, (540) 361-1128 or 1150. The 
current U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions (Other Than BGG and Creole 
Type) and the U.S. Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions are 
available on the SCI Division Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/scihome.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The changes in these two sets of standards 
will permit specified packs of mixed colors of onions to be certified 
to a U.S. grade. The revisions apply to the U.S. standards for grades 
for two categories of onions: (1) Other Than BGG and Creole Type and 
(2) BGG Type. Also, these revisions affect the grade requirements under 
two marketing orders, 7 CFR parts 958 and 959, issued under the 
Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (7 U.S.C. 601-674) and 
applicable imports.

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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. 
This rule has been determined not significant for purposes of Executive 
Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget.

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 rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. There 
are no administrative procedures which must be exhausted prior to any 
judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act and Paperwork Reduction Act

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has considered the 
economic impact of these revisions on small entities. The purpose of 
the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject 
to such actions so that small businesses will not be unduly or 
disproportionately burdened. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final 
regulatory flexibility analysis.
    Each of the standards, except the section in the Other Than BGG and 
Creole Type Standards that affects the U.S. No. 2 grade, currently 
states that one of the requirements to be certified in a grade is that 
the onion pack contains ``similar varietal characteristics.'' The 
wording will be changed to: ``Similar varietal characteristics, except 
color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack.'' In the U.S. No. 2 
grade for the Other Than BGG and Creole Type Standards, the wording 
will be changed to ``One type, except when designated as a specialty or 
mixed pack.'' The additional wording will permit onions of different 
colors in the same pack as long as the pack is appropriately designated 
as a ``specialty or mixed pack.'' Allowing the commingling of mixed 
colors in an onion pack, when designated, will facilitate the marketing 
of onions by providing the industry with more flexibility that reflects 
current industry practices, thereby encouraging additional commerce.
    A farm-level estimate of the size of the U.S. onion industry can be 
obtained from National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data. 
Averaging NASS onion production for the most recent three years of data 
available (2010-2012) yields a U.S. production estimate of 73.3 million 
hundredweight (cwt), of which about 9.6 million cwt (13 percent) are 
onions for processing. Subtracting 9.6 million for processing from the 
total 73.3 million cwt yields an estimate of 63.7 million cwt sold for 
the fresh market. The total 3-year average onion crop value is $912 
million, and the value of onions for processing is $81.5 million. The 
difference is a computed estimate of $830.5 million for the crop value 
sold into the fresh market. Average onion acreage for the period 2010-
2012 is 143,383. Dividing total crop value by acreage yields a 3-year 
average grower revenue per acre estimate of about $5,800.
    An estimate of the total number of onion farms from the 2007 
Agricultural Census (the most recent data available on farm numbers) is 
4,074. An onion farm is defined by the Census as a farm from which 50 
percent or more of the value of agricultural sales are from onions. The 
Small Business Administration (SBA) threshold for a large business in 
farming is $750,000 in annual sales. With average revenue per acre of 
$5,800, 129 acres of onions would generate approximately $750,000

[[Page 63294]]

in crop value. Census data shows that 3,679 out of a total of 4,074 
farms (90 percent) are less than 100 acres. Most onion farms would 
therefore be considered small businesses under the SBA definition, in 
terms of onion sales only (not including sales of other crops). There 
is no published data with which to make comparable estimates of the 
number of packers or shippers of onions. However, we estimate that at 
least some would be considered small entities under applicable SBA 
criteria.
    With regard to the marketing orders, there are approximately 30 
Idaho and Eastern Oregon onion handlers and approximately 30 South 
Texas onion handlers subject to regulation under marketing orders 958 
and 959, respectively. Under both marketing orders, the majority of 
these handlers would be considered small businesses under the SBA 
criteria. In addition to these domestic handlers, in 2013, there were 
approximately 460 onion importers subject to import regulations.
    About 80 percent of the value of production for U.S. onions comes 
from seven states. In declining order of magnitude, with three year 
average market shares ranging from 19 to 7 percent, those states are: 
California, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Texas, Nevada, and New Mexico. 
The remaining five states for which NASS reports annual onion 
production are Idaho, New York, Colorado, Michigan, and Wisconsin, 
whose combined crop value is 20 percent of total U.S. onion crop value.
    In considering alternatives to this rule, benefits of the changes 
substantially outweigh the costs. The only additional cost borne by 
packers/shippers, which is expected to be minimal, is when ``specialty 
or mixed packs'' are designated by means of labeling. There are no 
other additional costs to packers/shippers or growers from this change, 
and smaller entities would not bear a disproportionate cost. The change 
in the standards reflects a shift in onion packing/shipping practices 
that is already underway. The additional flexibility in the revised 
standards will facilitate additional onion sales, to the benefit of 
growers, packers, and consumers.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), this rule would not result in a change to the information 
collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved and would 
impose no additional reporting and recordkeeping burden on domestic 
producers, first handlers, and importers of onions.
    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with this rule. However, there are marketing 
programs that regulate the handling of onions under 7 CFR parts 958 and 
959. Onions under a marketing order have to meet certain requirements 
set forth in the grade standards. In addition, onions are subject to 
section 8e import requirements under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 
1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674) which requires imported onions to 
meet grade, size and quality under the applicable marketing order (7 
CFR part 980).

Background

    The industry is packing mixed colors of onions, primarily in Idaho, 
Oregon, Washington, and Texas. In addition, marketing order 958 for 
Idaho and Oregon Onions, administered by the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion 
Committee, was amended November, 2011, to allow pearl onion packs and 
experimental shipments of mixed colors. Furthermore, in a May 2012 
meeting with the USDA Marketing Order Administration Division, AMS was 
informed that Washington State, which is outside of marketing order 
958, has packed mixed colors of larger Walla Walla type onions for 
Canada. However, the U.S. Onion Standards do not permit certifying a 
U.S. grade to mixed color packs.
    To address this issue, a rule proposing revisions to U.S. Standards 
for Grades of Onions (Other Than BGG and Creole Type) and the U.S. 
Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions was published in the Federal 
Register on August 22, 2013 (78 FR 52099). The public comment period 
closed on October 21, 2013. The one response, which came from a large 
industry trade association, showed full support for the revisions.
    Based on the information gathered, the revisions will bring the 
U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions (Other Than BGG and Creole Type) 
and the U.S. Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions in line with 
current marketing practices and provide shippers and packers with more 
flexibility. Therefore, AMS will amend the similar varietal 
characteristic and one type requirements for:
     Onions Other Than BGG and Creole Type in Sections 51.2830, 
51.2831, and 51.2832, which affects the U.S. No. 1, U.S. Export No. 1, 
and U.S. Commercial grades, by adding ``except color when designated as 
a specialty or mixed pack.'' Likewise, AMS will amend the one type 
requirement in Section 51.2835, which affects the U.S. No. 2 grade, by 
adding ``except when designated as a specialty or mixed pack.''
     BGG Type Onions in Sections 51.3195 and 51.3197, which 
affects the U.S. No. 1, U.S. Combination, and U.S. No. 2 grades, by 
adding ``except color when designated as a specialty or mixed pack.''
    In addition, AMS will correct an administrative error from the rule 
that inadvertently recorded ``of'' instead of ``or'' in Section 
51.2831.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 51

    Agricultural commodities, Food grades and standards, Fruits, Nuts, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trees, Vegetables.

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 51 is to be 
amended as follows:

PART 51--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627.


0
2. In Sec.  51.2830, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  51.2830  U.S. No. 1.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated 
as a specialty or mixed pack;
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  51.2831, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  51.2831  U.S. Export No. 1.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated 
as a specialty or mixed pack;
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  51.2832, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  51.2832  U.S. Commercial.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated 
as a specialty or mixed pack;
* * * * *

0
5. In Sec.  51.2835, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  51.2835  U.S. No. 2.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) One type, except when designated as a specialty or mixed pack;
* * * * *

0
6. In Sec.  51.3195, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows:

[[Page 63295]]

Sec.  51.3195  U.S. No. 1.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated 
as a specialty or mixed pack;
* * * * *

0
7. In Sec.  51.3197, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  51.3197  U.S. No. 2.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) Similar varietal characteristics, except color when designated 
as a specialty or mixed pack;
* * * * *

    Dated: October 17, 2014.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-25193 Filed 10-22-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P