Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Pummelos Grown in Florida; Decreased Assessment Rate, 49499-49501 [2018-21424]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 191 / Tuesday, October 2, 2018 / Proposed Rules AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2043–S, Washington, DC 20250–3614. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Kendra Kline, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2043–S, Washington, DC 20250–3614. • Internet: Go to http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick McCluskey, USDA, AMS; Telephone: (816) 659–8403; Email: Patrick.J.McCluskey@ams.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 29, 2018, AMS published its request for comments from the public in the Federal Register (83 FR 30591) regarding the United States (U.S.) Standards for Corn under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) (7 U.S.C. 71–87k). The comment period for the request for comments ended August 28, 2018. In response to requests from interested stakeholders, AMS is reopening the comment period an additional 60-days. The realignment of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized by the Secretary’s Memorandum dated November 14, 2017, eliminates the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency. The grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now organized under AMS. Authority: 7 U.S.C. 71–87k. Dated: September 27, 2018. Greg Ibach, Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs. [FR Doc. 2018–21427 Filed 10–1–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 905 [Doc. No. AMS–SC–18–0065; SC18–905–4 PR] Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Pummelos Grown in Florida; Decreased Assessment Rate Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 AGENCY: This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2018–19 and subsequent fiscal periods. The SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Oct 01, 2018 Jkt 247001 assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. DATES: Comments must be received by November 1, 2018. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposed 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 proposed rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the internet at the address provided above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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 Richard Lower, 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: Richard.Lower@ams.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This action, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, proposes an amendment to regulations issued to carry out a marketing order as defined in 7 CFR 900.2(j). This proposed rule is issued under Marketing Agreement and Order No. 905, as amended (7 CFR part 905), regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and pummelos grown in Florida. Part 905 (referred to as ‘‘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 Committee locally administers the Order and is comprised of growers and PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 49499 handlers operating within the area of production, and a public member. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this proposed rule in conformance with Executive Orders 13563 and 13175. This proposed rule falls within a category of regulatory actions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. Additionally, because this proposed rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action, it does not trigger the requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB’s Memorandum titled ‘‘Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, titled ‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs’ ’’ (February 2, 2017). This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the Order now in effect, Florida citrus handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the Order are derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate would be applicable to all assessable citrus for the 2018–19 crop year, 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. The 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 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. E:\FR\FM\02OCP1.SGM 02OCP1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 49500 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 191 / Tuesday, October 2, 2018 / Proposed Rules This proposed rule would decrease the assessment rate from $0.02, the rate that was established for the 2017–18 and subsequent fiscal periods, to $0.015 per 4/5-bushel cartons of citrus for the 2018–19 and subsequent fiscal periods. Shipments from last season exceeded initial projections after Hurricane Irma, allowing the Committee to maintain their financial reserve. As the industry continues to recover from Hurricane Irma, the Committee estimates that the 2018–19 Florida citrus crop will be around 8,250,000 regulated cartons, an increase of nearly one million cartons from last season. The anticipated increase in production prompted the Committee to recommend the reduction in the assessment rate. The Committee met on July 17, 2018, and unanimously recommended 2018– 19 expenditures of $130,260 and an assessment rate of $0.015 per 4/5-bushel cartons of citrus. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2018–19 year include $113,260 for management, $9,000 for auditing, and $4,000 for travel. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2017–18 were $75,000, $9,000, and $4,200, respectively. The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by considering anticipated expenses, expected shipments of 8.25 million 4/5bushel cartons, and the amount of funds available in the authorized reserve. Income derived from handler assessments calculated at $123,750 (8.25 million × $0.015), along with interest income and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve, would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses of $130,260. Funds in the reserve are estimated to be at $147,500 and would be kept within the maximum permitted by the Order. As stated in § 905.42, the amount of the reserve is not to exceed two fiscal periods’ expenses. The assessment rate proposed in this rule would continue in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA based upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other available information. Although the proposed assessment rate would be 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Oct 01, 2018 Jkt 247001 express their views at these meetings. USDA would evaluate Committee recommendations and other available information to determine whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking would be undertaken as necessary. The Committee’s 2018–19 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 proposed rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf. There are approximately 500 producers of Florida citrus in the production area and approximately 20 handlers subject to regulation under the Order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,500,000 (13 CFR 121.201). According to data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the industry, and the Committee, the weighted average f.o.b. price for Florida citrus for the 2016–17 season was approximately $15.20 per carton with total shipments of around 12.6 million cartons. Using the number of handlers, and assuming a normal distribution, the majority of handlers have average annual receipts of more than $7,500,000 ($15.20 times 12.6 million equals $191,520,000 divided by 20 handlers equals $9,576,000 per handler). In addition, based on the NASS data, the weighted average grower price for the 2016–17 season was around $8.30 per carton of citrus. Based on grower price, shipment data, and the total number of Florida citrus growers, and assuming a normal distribution, the average annual grower revenue is below $750,000 ($8.30 times 12.6 million cartons equals $104,580,000 divided by 500 growers equals $209,160 per grower). Thus, the majority of Florida PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 citrus handlers may be classified as large entities, while the majority of growers may be classified as small entities. This proposal would decrease the assessment rate collected from handlers for the 2018–19 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.02 to $0.015 per 4/5bushel cartons of citrus. The Committee unanimously recommended 2018–19 expenditures of $130,260 and an assessment rate of $0.015 per 4/5-bushel cartons. The proposed assessment rate of $0.015 is $0.005 lower than the 2017– 18 rate. The quantity of assessable citrus for the 2018–19 fiscal period is estimated at 8.25 million 4/5-bushel cartons. Thus, the $0.015 rate should provide $123,750 in assessment income (8.25 million × $0.015). Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve (currently $147,500), would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2018–19 fiscal year include $113,260 for management, $9,000 for auditing, and $4,000 for travel. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2017–18 were $75,000, $9,000, and $4,200, respectively. Shipments from last season exceeded initial projections after Hurricane Irma, allowing the Committee to maintain its financial reserve. The Committee estimates the 2018–19 Florida citrus crop will be around 8,250,000 regulated cartons, an increase of nearly one million cartons from last season. The Committee recommended the reduction in the assessment rate based on the anticipated increase in production. Prior to arriving at this budget and assessment rate, the Committee considered information from the Executive Committee. Alternative expenditure levels and assessment rates were discussed by the Executive Committee, based upon the relative value of various activities to the citrus industry. The Committee determined that all program activities were adequately funded and essential to the functionality of the Order, thus no alternate expenditure levels were deemed appropriate. Based on these discussions and estimated shipments, the recommended assessment rate of $0.015 would provide $123,750 in assessment income. The Committee determined that assessment revenue, along with funds from reserves and interest income, would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses for the 2018–19 fiscal period. A review of historical information and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates E:\FR\FM\02OCP1.SGM 02OCP1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 191 / Tuesday, October 2, 2018 / Proposed Rules that the average grower price for the 2018–19 season should be approximately $8.30 per 4/5-bushel cartons of citrus. Therefore, the estimated assessment revenue for the 2018–19 crop year as a percentage of total grower revenue would be about 0.2 percent. This proposed rule would decrease the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. Assessments are applied uniformly on all handlers, and some of the costs may be passed on to producers. However, decreasing the assessment rate reduces the burden on handlers and may also reduce the burden on producers. The Committee’s meeting was widely publicized throughout the Florida citrus industry. All interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the July 17, 2018, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule, including the regulatory and information collection impacts of this action on small businesses. Based on its evaluation of the Committee recommendation and other available information, USDA has determined that a modification of the assessment rate for the 2018–19 Florida citrus fiscal period would be appropriate. Therefore, USDA issues this proposed rule. 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 OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581–0189, Fruit Crops. No changes in those requirements would be necessary as a result of this proposed rule. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval. This proposed rule would not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Florida citrus handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Oct 01, 2018 Jkt 247001 USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed 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/ rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 905 Grapefruit, Marketing agreements, Oranges, Pummelos, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tangerines. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 905 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 905—ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND PUMMELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 905 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. 2. Section 905.235 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 905.235 Assessment rate. On and after August 1, 2018, an assessment rate of $0.015 per 4/5-bushel carton or equivalent is established for Florida citrus covered under the Order. Dated: September 27, 2018. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2018–21424 Filed 10–1–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 431 [EERE–2017–BT–TP–0031] Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Three-Phase Commercial Air-Cooled Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps With a Certified Cooling Capacity of Less Than 65,000 Btu/h Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Request for information. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Energy (‘‘DOE’’) is initiating a data collection process through this request for information (‘‘RFI’’) to consider whether to amend its test procedure for SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 49501 three-phase commercial air-cooled air conditioners and heat pumps with a cooling capacity of less than 65,000 British thermal units per hour (‘‘Btu/h’’). To inform interested parties and to facilitate this process, DOE has gathered data, identifying several issues associated with the currently applicable test procedures on which DOE is interested in receiving comment. The issues outlined in this document mainly concern three-phase commercial aircooled air conditioners and heat pumps with a cooling capacity of less than 65,000 Btu/h and whether the test procedure and certification and compliance provisions for this equipment should align with those provisions that apply to single-phase central air conditioners and heat pumps with rated cooling capacities of less than 65,000 Btu/h; and any additional topics that may inform DOE’s decisions in a future test procedure rulemaking, including methods to reduce regulatory burden while ensuring the procedure’s accuracy. DOE welcomes written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this document (including topics not raised in this RFI). DATES: Written comments and information are requested and will be accepted on or before December 3, 2018. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Alternatively, interested persons may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE–201X–BT–TP–0031, by any of the following methods: 1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. 2. Email: AirCooledACHP2017TP0031@ ee.doe.gov. Include EERE–2017–BT– TP–0031 in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, portable document format (PDF), or American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. 3. Postal Mail: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE–5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. 4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. E:\FR\FM\02OCP1.SGM 02OCP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 191 (Tuesday, October 2, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 49499-49501]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-21424]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 905

[Doc. No. AMS-SC-18-0065; SC18-905-4 PR]


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

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the 
Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment 
rate established for the 2018-19 and subsequent fiscal periods. The 
assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, 
suspended, or terminated.

DATES: Comments must be received by November 1, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
concerning this proposed 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 
proposed rule will be included in the record and will be made available 
to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals 
or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the internet 
at the address provided above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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: [email protected] or [email protected].
    Small businesses may request information on complying with this 
regulation by contacting Richard Lower, 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: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This action, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, 
proposes an amendment to regulations issued to carry out a marketing 
order as defined in 7 CFR 900.2(j). This proposed rule is issued under 
Marketing Agreement and Order No. 905, as amended (7 CFR part 905), 
regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and 
pummelos grown in Florida. Part 905 (referred to as ``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 
Committee locally administers the Order and is comprised of growers and 
handlers operating within the area of production, and a public member.
    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this proposed rule 
in conformance with Executive Orders 13563 and 13175. This proposed 
rule falls within a category of regulatory actions that the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. 
Additionally, because this proposed rule does not meet the definition 
of a significant regulatory action, it does not trigger the 
requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum 
titled ``Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order 
of January 30, 2017, titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs'[thinsp]'' (February 2, 2017).
    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. Under the Order now in effect, Florida citrus 
handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the Order are 
derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate 
would be applicable to all assessable citrus for the 2018-19 crop year, 
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.
    The 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 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.

[[Page 49500]]

    This proposed rule would decrease the assessment rate from $0.02, 
the rate that was established for the 2017-18 and subsequent fiscal 
periods, to $0.015 per 4/5-bushel cartons of citrus for the 2018-19 and 
subsequent fiscal periods. Shipments from last season exceeded initial 
projections after Hurricane Irma, allowing the Committee to maintain 
their financial reserve. As the industry continues to recover from 
Hurricane Irma, the Committee estimates that the 2018-19 Florida citrus 
crop will be around 8,250,000 regulated cartons, an increase of nearly 
one million cartons from last season. The anticipated increase in 
production prompted the Committee to recommend the reduction in the 
assessment rate.
    The Committee met on July 17, 2018, and unanimously recommended 
2018-19 expenditures of $130,260 and an assessment rate of $0.015 per 
4/5-bushel cartons of citrus. The major expenditures recommended by the 
Committee for the 2018-19 year include $113,260 for management, $9,000 
for auditing, and $4,000 for travel. Budgeted expenses for these items 
in 2017-18 were $75,000, $9,000, and $4,200, respectively.
    The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by 
considering anticipated expenses, expected shipments of 8.25 million 4/
5-bushel cartons, and the amount of funds available in the authorized 
reserve. Income derived from handler assessments calculated at $123,750 
(8.25 million x $0.015), along with interest income and funds from the 
Committee's authorized reserve, would be adequate to cover budgeted 
expenses of $130,260. Funds in the reserve are estimated to be at 
$147,500 and would be kept within the maximum permitted by the Order. 
As stated in Sec.  [thinsp]905.42, the amount of the reserve is not to 
exceed two fiscal periods' expenses.
    The assessment rate proposed in this rule would continue in effect 
indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA based 
upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other 
available information.
    Although the proposed assessment rate would be 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 would evaluate 
Committee recommendations and other available information to determine 
whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further 
rulemaking would be undertaken as necessary. The Committee's 2018-19 
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 proposed rule on small 
entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory 
actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order 
that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately 
burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act are unique in 
that they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf.
    There are approximately 500 producers of Florida citrus in the 
production area and approximately 20 handlers subject to regulation 
under the Order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small 
Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts less than 
$750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those 
whose annual receipts are less than $7,500,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    According to data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service 
(NASS), the industry, and the Committee, the weighted average f.o.b. 
price for Florida citrus for the 2016-17 season was approximately 
$15.20 per carton with total shipments of around 12.6 million cartons. 
Using the number of handlers, and assuming a normal distribution, the 
majority of handlers have average annual receipts of more than 
$7,500,000 ($15.20 times 12.6 million equals $191,520,000 divided by 20 
handlers equals $9,576,000 per handler).
    In addition, based on the NASS data, the weighted average grower 
price for the 2016-17 season was around $8.30 per carton of citrus. 
Based on grower price, shipment data, and the total number of Florida 
citrus growers, and assuming a normal distribution, the average annual 
grower revenue is below $750,000 ($8.30 times 12.6 million cartons 
equals $104,580,000 divided by 500 growers equals $209,160 per grower). 
Thus, the majority of Florida citrus handlers may be classified as 
large entities, while the majority of growers may be classified as 
small entities.
    This proposal would decrease the assessment rate collected from 
handlers for the 2018-19 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.02 to 
$0.015 per 4/5-bushel cartons of citrus. The Committee unanimously 
recommended 2018-19 expenditures of $130,260 and an assessment rate of 
$0.015 per 4/5-bushel cartons. The proposed assessment rate of $0.015 
is $0.005 lower than the 2017-18 rate. The quantity of assessable 
citrus for the 2018-19 fiscal period is estimated at 8.25 million 4/5-
bushel cartons. Thus, the $0.015 rate should provide $123,750 in 
assessment income (8.25 million x $0.015). Income derived from handler 
assessments, along with interest income and funds from the Committee's 
authorized reserve (currently $147,500), would be adequate to cover 
budgeted expenses.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2018-19 
fiscal year include $113,260 for management, $9,000 for auditing, and 
$4,000 for travel. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2017-18 were 
$75,000, $9,000, and $4,200, respectively.
    Shipments from last season exceeded initial projections after 
Hurricane Irma, allowing the Committee to maintain its financial 
reserve. The Committee estimates the 2018-19 Florida citrus crop will 
be around 8,250,000 regulated cartons, an increase of nearly one 
million cartons from last season. The Committee recommended the 
reduction in the assessment rate based on the anticipated increase in 
production.
    Prior to arriving at this budget and assessment rate, the Committee 
considered information from the Executive Committee. Alternative 
expenditure levels and assessment rates were discussed by the Executive 
Committee, based upon the relative value of various activities to the 
citrus industry. The Committee determined that all program activities 
were adequately funded and essential to the functionality of the Order, 
thus no alternate expenditure levels were deemed appropriate.
    Based on these discussions and estimated shipments, the recommended 
assessment rate of $0.015 would provide $123,750 in assessment income. 
The Committee determined that assessment revenue, along with funds from 
reserves and interest income, would be adequate to cover budgeted 
expenses for the 2018-19 fiscal period.
    A review of historical information and preliminary information 
pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates

[[Page 49501]]

that the average grower price for the 2018-19 season should be 
approximately $8.30 per 4/5-bushel cartons of citrus. Therefore, the 
estimated assessment revenue for the 2018-19 crop year as a percentage 
of total grower revenue would be about 0.2 percent.
    This proposed rule would decrease the assessment obligation imposed 
on handlers. Assessments are applied uniformly on all handlers, and 
some of the costs may be passed on to producers. However, decreasing 
the assessment rate reduces the burden on handlers and may also reduce 
the burden on producers.
    The Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the 
Florida citrus industry. All interested persons were invited to attend 
the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. 
Like all Committee meetings, the July 17, 2018, meeting was a public 
meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express 
views on this issue. Interested persons are invited to submit comments 
on this proposed rule, including the regulatory and information 
collection impacts of this action on small businesses.
    Based on its evaluation of the Committee recommendation and other 
available information, USDA has determined that a modification of the 
assessment rate for the 2018-19 Florida citrus fiscal period would be 
appropriate. Therefore, USDA issues this proposed rule.
    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 OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581-0189, Fruit 
Crops. No changes in those requirements would be necessary as a result 
of this proposed rule. Should any changes become necessary, they would 
be submitted to OMB for approval.
    This proposed rule would not impose any additional reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Florida citrus 
handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and 
forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sector agencies.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide 
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 proposed 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/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions 
about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the 
previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 905

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sec.  905.235  Assessment rate.

    On and after August 1, 2018, an assessment rate of $0.015 per 4/5-
bushel carton or equivalent is established for Florida citrus covered 
under the Order.

    Dated: September 27, 2018.
Bruce Summers,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-21424 Filed 10-1-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P