Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate, 70669-70671 [2015-28913]

Download as PDF 70669 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 80, No. 220 Monday, November 16, 2015 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 906 [Doc. No. AMS–FV–15–0035; FV15–906–1 IR] Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments. AGENCY: This rule implements a recommendation from the Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee) for a decrease in the assessment rate established for the 2015–16 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.11 to $0.08 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit handled under the marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order, and is comprised of producers and handlers of oranges and grapefruit operating within the area of production. Assessments upon orange and grapefruit handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. DATES: Effective November 17, 2015. Comments received by January 15, 2016, will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Fax: (202) 720–8938; or Internet: http:// asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Nov 13, 2015 Jkt 238001 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: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments submitted in response to this 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: Abigail Campos, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324– 3375, Fax: (863) 291–8614, or Email: Abigail.Campos@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, Specialty Crops 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 Agreement and Order No. 906, as amended (7 CFR part 906), regulating the handling of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, 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, 13563, and 13175. This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the marketing order now in effect, orange and grapefruit handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the order are derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate as issued herein will be applicable to all assessable oranges and grapefruit beginning August, 1, 2015, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA’s ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling. This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Committee for the 2015–16 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.11 to $0.08 per 7/10bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit handled. The Texas orange and grapefruit 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 Texas oranges and grapefruit. They are familiar with the Committee’s needs and with the costs for goods and services in their local area and are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have an opportunity to participate and provide input. For the 2014–15 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 24, 2015, and unanimously recommended 2015– 16 expenditures of $701,148 and an assessment rate of $0.08 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and E:\FR\FM\16NOR1.SGM 16NOR1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 70670 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 220 / Monday, November 16, 2015 / Rules and Regulations grapefruit. In comparison, last year’s budgeted expenditures were $809,500. The assessment rate of $0.08 is $0.03 lower than the rate currently in effect. The recommended 2015–16 expenditures include decreases in educational outreach and compliance, which were reduced by approximately $100,000. The Committee considered proposed expenses and recommended decreasing the assessment rate to more closely align assessment income to the lower budget. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2015–16 year include $600,248 for the Mexican fruit fly control program, $77,200 for management and compliance, and $23,700 for operating expenses. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2014–15 were $503,000, $175,000, and $21,500, respectively. The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by dividing anticipated expenses by expected shipments of Texas oranges and grapefruit. Orange and grapefruit shipments for the 2015–16 year are estimated at 8 million 7/10-bushel cartons or equivalent, which should provide $640,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve, will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Income in the reserve (currently around $230,000) will be kept within the maximum permitted by the order (approximately one fiscal period’s expenses as stated in § 906.35). The assessment rate established in this rule will continue in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other available information. Although this assessment rate is effective for an indefinite period, the Committee will continue to meet prior to or during each fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and times of Committee meetings are available from the Committee or USDA. Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Committee recommendations and other available information to determine whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking will be undertaken as necessary. The Committee’s 2015–16 budget and those for subsequent fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, approved by USDA. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Nov 13, 2015 Jkt 238001 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 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 approximately 170 producers of oranges and grapefruit in the production area and 13 handlers subject to regulation under the marketing order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration as those having annual receipts less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,000,000 (13 CFR 121.201). According to Committee data and information from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the weighted average grower price for Texas citrus during the 2013–14 season was around $13.89 per box and total shipments were near 7.4 million boxes. Using the weighted average price and shipment information, and assuming a normal distribution, the majority of growers would have annual receipts of less than $750,000. In addition, based on available information, the majority of handlers have annual receipts of less than $7,000,000 and could be considered small businesses under SBA’s definition. Thus, the majority of Texas citrus producers and handlers may be classified as small entities. This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Committee and collected from handlers for the 2015–16 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.11 to $0.08 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent of Texas citrus. The Committee unanimously recommended 2015–16 expenditures of $701,148 and an assessment rate of $0.08 per 7/10bushel carton or equivalent handled. The assessment rate of $0.08 is $0.03 lower than the 2014–2015 rate. The quantity of assessable oranges and grapefruit for the 2015–16 fiscal period is estimated at 8 million 7/10-bushel cartons or equivalent. Thus, the $0.08 rate should provide $640,000 in PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments along with interest income and funds from Committee’s authorized reserve, will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2015–16 year include $600,248 for the Mexican fruit fly control program, $77,200 for management and compliance, and $23,700 for operating expenses. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2014–15 were $503,000, $175,000, and $21,500, respectively. The recommended 2015–16 expenditures include decreases in the amount budgeted for educational outreach and compliance. The Committee considered proposed expenses and recommended decreasing the assessment rate to more closely align assessment income to the lower budget. Prior to arriving at this budget and assessment rate, the Committee considered information from various sources, such as the Committee’s Budget and Personnel Committee and the Market Development Committee. Alternative expenditure levels were discussed by these groups, based upon the relative value of various activities to the Texas citrus industry. Based on estimated shipments, the recommended assessment rate of $0.08 should provide $640,000 in assessment income. The Committee determined that the assessment revenue, along with funds from reserves and interest income, would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses for the 2015–16 fiscal period. A review of historical information and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates that the average grower price for the 2015–16 season could be around $13.00 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit. Therefore, the estimated assessment revenue for the 2015–16 fiscal period, as a percentage of total grower revenue would be around 0.6 percent. This action decreases the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. Assessments are applied uniformly on all handlers, and decreasing the assessment rate reduces the burden on handlers. The Committee’s meeting was widely publicized throughout the Texas 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 June 24, 2015, meeting was a public meeting. All entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on this interim rule, including the regulatory E:\FR\FM\16NOR1.SGM 16NOR1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 220 / Monday, November 16, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 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 Fruit Crops. No changes in those requirements are necessary as a result of this action. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval. This action imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Texas orange and grapefruit 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 increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule. A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/ 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 upon good cause that it is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest to give preliminary notice prior to putting this rule into effect, and that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because: (1) The 2015–16 fiscal period began on August, 1, 2015, and the marketing order requires that the rate of assessment for each fiscal period apply to all assessable oranges and grapefruit handled during such fiscal period; (2) this action decreases the assessment rate for assessable oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas beginning with the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Nov 13, 2015 Jkt 238001 2015–16 fiscal period; (3) handlers are aware of this action which was recommended by the Committee at a public meeting and is similar to other assessment rate actions issued in past years; and (4) this interim rule provides a 60-day comment period, and all comments timely received will be considered prior to finalization of this rule. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 906 Grapefruit, Marketing agreements, Oranges, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 906 is amended as follows: PART 906—ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN TEXAS 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 906 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. 2. Section 906.235 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 906.235 Assessment rate. On and after August, 1, 2015, an assessment rate of $0.08 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent is established for oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Dated: November 9, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2015–28913 Filed 11–13–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 70671 Capital Plan and Stress Test Rules. This publication removes certain expired transitional requirements in Regulations H and Y, resolves certain citation errors, replaces a wrongly duplicated paragraph in Regulation Q, and corrects a typographical error in Regulation YY. The corrections are effective November 16, 2015, except that instructions 10.b and 10.f amending 12 CFR 208.43 are effective January 1, 2018. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Benjamin McDonough, Special Counsel, (202) 452–2036, Julie Anthony, Counsel, (202) 475–6682, or Mark Buresh, Senior Attorney, (202) 452–5270, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263–4869. The Board is correcting errors in and deleting certain expired transitional requirements from the final rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 11, 2013 (78 FR 62018). These revisions will remove text or footnotes in 12 CFR parts 208 and 225 describing certain transitional requirements that have expired, correct citations in 12 CFR 217.2 and 12 CFR 217.202(b)(10), and remove and replace a wrongly duplicated paragraph in 12 CFR 217.300(c)(3). The Board is also correcting a typographical error in the final rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2014 (79 FR 64025), which caused the unintended deletion of § 252.153(e)(2)– (5). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: List of Subjects 12 CFR Parts 208, 217, 225, and 252 12 CFR Part 208 [Regulations H, Q, Y, and YY; Docket Nos. R–1442 and R–1492] Accounting, Agriculture, Banks, Banking, Confidential business information, Consumer protection, Crime, Currency, Global systemically important bank, Insurance, Investments, Mortgages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities. RIN 7100 AE–87 Regulatory Capital Rules; Enhanced Prudential Standards for Bank Holding Companies and Foreign Banking Organizations; Correction Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. ACTION: Final rule; correcting amendment. AGENCY: The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) published a final rule in the Federal Register on October 11, 2013 (78 FR 62018) regarding Regulatory Capital Rules and another final rule on October 27, 2014 (79 FR 64025) regarding SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 12 CFR Part 217 Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Holding companies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities. 12 CFR Part 225 Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, banking, Federal Reserve System, Holding companies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities. E:\FR\FM\16NOR1.SGM 16NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 220 (Monday, November 16, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 70669-70671]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-28913]



========================================================================
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. 80, No. 220 / Monday, November 16, 2015 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 70669]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 906

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-15-0035; FV15-906-1 IR]


Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; 
Decreased Assessment Rate

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: This rule implements a recommendation from the Texas Valley 
Citrus Committee (Committee) for a decrease in the assessment rate 
established for the 2015-16 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.11 to 
$0.08 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit 
handled under the marketing order (order). The Committee locally 
administers the order, and is comprised of producers and handlers of 
oranges and grapefruit operating within the area of production. 
Assessments upon orange and grapefruit handlers are used by the 
Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The 
fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate 
will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or 
terminated.

DATES: Effective November 17, 2015. Comments received by January 15, 
2016, will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
concerning this rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, 
Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, 
USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-
0237; Fax: (202) 720-8938; or Internet: http://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: http://www.regulations.gov. All 
comments submitted in response to this 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: Abigail Campos, Marketing Specialist, 
or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field 
Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops 
Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 291-8614, or 
Email: Abigail.Campos@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, Specialty Crops 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 
Agreement and Order No. 906, as amended (7 CFR part 906), regulating 
the handling of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley in Texas, 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, 13563, and 13175.
    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. Under the marketing order now in effect, orange and 
grapefruit handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the 
order are derived from such assessments. It is intended that the 
assessment rate as issued herein will be applicable to all assessable 
oranges and grapefruit beginning August, 1, 2015, 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 decreases the assessment rate established for the 
Committee for the 2015-16 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.11 to 
$0.08 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit 
handled.
    The Texas orange and grapefruit 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 
Texas oranges and grapefruit. They are familiar with the Committee's 
needs and with the costs for goods and services in their local area and 
are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate budget and 
assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and discussed in a 
public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have an opportunity 
to participate and provide input.
    For the 2014-15 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 24, 2015, and unanimously recommended 
2015-16 expenditures of $701,148 and an assessment rate of $0.08 per 7/
10-bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and

[[Page 70670]]

grapefruit. In comparison, last year's budgeted expenditures were 
$809,500. The assessment rate of $0.08 is $0.03 lower than the rate 
currently in effect. The recommended 2015-16 expenditures include 
decreases in educational outreach and compliance, which were reduced by 
approximately $100,000. The Committee considered proposed expenses and 
recommended decreasing the assessment rate to more closely align 
assessment income to the lower budget.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2015-16 
year include $600,248 for the Mexican fruit fly control program, 
$77,200 for management and compliance, and $23,700 for operating 
expenses. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2014-15 were $503,000, 
$175,000, and $21,500, respectively.
    The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by 
dividing anticipated expenses by expected shipments of Texas oranges 
and grapefruit. Orange and grapefruit shipments for the 2015-16 year 
are estimated at 8 million 7/10-bushel cartons or equivalent, which 
should provide $640,000 in assessment income. Income derived from 
handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the 
Committee's authorized reserve, will be adequate to cover budgeted 
expenses. Income in the reserve (currently around $230,000) will be 
kept within the maximum permitted by the order (approximately one 
fiscal period's expenses as stated in Sec.  906.35).
    The assessment rate established in this rule will continue in 
effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA 
upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other 
available information.
    Although this assessment rate is effective for an indefinite 
period, the Committee will continue to meet prior to or during each 
fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider 
recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and 
times of Committee meetings are available from the Committee or USDA. 
Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may 
express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Committee 
recommendations and other available information to determine whether 
modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking will 
be undertaken as necessary. The Committee's 2015-16 budget and those 
for subsequent fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, 
approved by USDA.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA) (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 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 approximately 170 producers of oranges and grapefruit in 
the production area and 13 handlers subject to regulation under the 
marketing order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small 
Business Administration as those having annual receipts less than 
$750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those 
whose annual receipts are less than $7,000,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    According to Committee data and information from the National 
Agricultural Statistics Service, the weighted average grower price for 
Texas citrus during the 2013-14 season was around $13.89 per box and 
total shipments were near 7.4 million boxes. Using the weighted average 
price and shipment information, and assuming a normal distribution, the 
majority of growers would have annual receipts of less than $750,000. 
In addition, based on available information, the majority of handlers 
have annual receipts of less than $7,000,000 and could be considered 
small businesses under SBA's definition. Thus, the majority of Texas 
citrus producers and handlers may be classified as small entities.
    This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the 
Committee and collected from handlers for the 2015-16 and subsequent 
fiscal periods from $0.11 to $0.08 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent 
of Texas citrus. The Committee unanimously recommended 2015-16 
expenditures of $701,148 and an assessment rate of $0.08 per 7/10-
bushel carton or equivalent handled. The assessment rate of $0.08 is 
$0.03 lower than the 2014-2015 rate. The quantity of assessable oranges 
and grapefruit for the 2015-16 fiscal period is estimated at 8 million 
7/10-bushel cartons or equivalent. Thus, the $0.08 rate should provide 
$640,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments 
along with interest income and funds from Committee's authorized 
reserve, will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2015-16 
year include $600,248 for the Mexican fruit fly control program, 
$77,200 for management and compliance, and $23,700 for operating 
expenses. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2014-15 were $503,000, 
$175,000, and $21,500, respectively.
    The recommended 2015-16 expenditures include decreases in the 
amount budgeted for educational outreach and compliance. The Committee 
considered proposed expenses and recommended decreasing the assessment 
rate to more closely align assessment income to the lower budget.
    Prior to arriving at this budget and assessment rate, the Committee 
considered information from various sources, such as the Committee's 
Budget and Personnel Committee and the Market Development Committee. 
Alternative expenditure levels were discussed by these groups, based 
upon the relative value of various activities to the Texas citrus 
industry. Based on estimated shipments, the recommended assessment rate 
of $0.08 should provide $640,000 in assessment income. The Committee 
determined that the assessment revenue, along with funds from reserves 
and interest income, would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses for 
the 2015-16 fiscal period.
    A review of historical information and preliminary information 
pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates that the average 
grower price for the 2015-16 season could be around $13.00 per 7/10-
bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit. Therefore, the 
estimated assessment revenue for the 2015-16 fiscal period, as a 
percentage of total grower revenue would be around 0.6 percent.
    This action decreases the assessment obligation imposed on 
handlers. Assessments are applied uniformly on all handlers, and 
decreasing the assessment rate reduces the burden on handlers.
    The Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the Texas 
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 June 24, 2015, meeting was a public 
meeting. All entities, both large and small, were able to express views 
on this issue. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on 
this interim rule, including the regulatory

[[Page 70671]]

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 Fruit Crops. No changes in those 
requirements are necessary as a result of this action. Should any 
changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.
    This action imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large Texas orange and grapefruit 
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 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services, and for other purposes.
    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with this rule.
    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and 
specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/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 upon good 
cause that it is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public 
interest to give preliminary notice prior to putting this rule into 
effect, and that good cause exists for not postponing the effective 
date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal 
Register because: (1) The 2015-16 fiscal period began on August, 1, 
2015, and the marketing order requires that the rate of assessment for 
each fiscal period apply to all assessable oranges and grapefruit 
handled during such fiscal period; (2) this action decreases the 
assessment rate for assessable oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas 
beginning with the 2015-16 fiscal period; (3) handlers are aware of 
this action which was recommended by the Committee at a public meeting 
and is similar to other assessment rate actions issued in past years; 
and (4) this interim rule provides a 60-day comment period, and all 
comments timely received will be considered prior to finalization of 
this rule.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 906

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

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 906 is 
amended as follows:

PART 906--ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY 
IN TEXAS

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 906 continues to read as 
follows:

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


0
2. Section 906.235 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  906.235  Assessment rate.

    On and after August, 1, 2015, an assessment rate of $0.08 per 7/10-
bushel carton or equivalent is established for oranges and grapefruit 
grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

    Dated: November 9, 2015.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-28913 Filed 11-13-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P