U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples, 19743-19745 [2019-09013]

Download as PDF 19743 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 87 Monday, May 6, 2019 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 51 [Document Number AMS–SC–18–0055, SC– 18–330] U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples by removing smooth net-like russeting as a grade-determining factor in the U.S. Extra Fancy, U.S. Fancy, and U.S. No. 1 grades for Fuji apples. In addition, AMS proposes to remove obsolete references to the location where color standards may be examined and purchased. The changes will modernize the standards and meet growing consumer demand by providing greater marketing flexibility. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before July 5, 2019. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to the USDA, Specialty Crops Inspection Division, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406; fax: (540) 361–1199, or at: www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the dates and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Comments will be posted without change, including any personal information provided. All comments received within the comment period will become part of the public record maintained by the Agency, and will be made available to the public via www.regulations.gov and at the above address during regular business hours. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact David G. Horner at the address above, or at phone (540) 361–1120; fax (540) 361–1199; or, email Dave.Horner@ ams.usda.gov. Copies of the proposed jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:28 May 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples are available at http://www.regulations.gov. Copies of the current U.S. Standards for Apples are available on the AMS website at https://www.ams.usda.gov/ grades-standards/fruits. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed changes exempt Fuji apples from smooth net-like russeting. These revisions also affect the grade requirements under the Export Apple Act. Executive Orders 12866, 13771, and 13563 This rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action contained in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Because this rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action, it does not trigger the requirements 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). 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. 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 or 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 that must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Background The current U.S. standards provide for apples to be sorted into various grades, including but not limited to: U.S. Extra Fancy, U.S. Fancy, and U.S. No. 1. Each of these grades describes the qualities that must be present for apples to meet the standards. These descriptions also specify features that are not to be scored against certain varieties of apples when determining grade. AMS proposes adding one such specification to the U.S. standards for apples that would allow for smooth netlike russeting of Fuji apples in all grades. Smooth net-like russeting is a cosmetic defect that affects the apple skin but not the internal quality of the fruit. Smooth net-like russeting, which has been called flecking by the Pacific Northwest apple industry, is prevalent in the Fuji variety. U.S. apple standards in their current form restrict apples exhibiting an aggregate area of smooth net-like russeting greater than 10 percent for U.S. Extra Fancy, 15 percent for U.S. Fancy, and 25 percent for U.S. No. 1 from meeting the grade requirements. The Export Apple Act regulations (7 CFR 33) require that apples grade at least U.S. No. 1 or U.S. No. 1 Early, except that apples for export to Pacific ports of Russia must grade at least U.S. Utility or U.S. No. 1 Hail for hail damaged apples, as specified in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples. Fuji apples that display smooth net-like russeting greater than the percentages allowed are therefore excluded from the export market due to current U.S. grade standards. The Washington State Grade Standards for Apples (16 W.A.C. 403) do not consider smooth net-like russeting to be a defect for the Fuji variety of apple, provided that the russeting does not rise above the surface of the skin or is rough to the touch. Nearly three-quarters of domesticallyproduced fresh apples are grown in Washington and represent more than 90 percent of apples in the export market. Revising the U.S. apple grade standards to exclude scoring of smooth net-like russeting on Fuji apples as a quality defect, as specified in the Washington State standards, will promote consistency across the apple market and remove barriers to the export market for growers of the Fuji variety. E:\FR\FM\06MYP1.SGM 06MYP1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 19744 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 87 / Monday, May 6, 2019 / Proposed Rules In December 2016 the Northwest Horticultural Council (NHC) petitioned AMS to remove the requirement for scoring smooth net-like russeting from the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples for the Fuji variety. In response, AMS asked the NHC to provide justification and evidence of industry support, which they did in a memorandum submitted in April 2018. The NHC provided research claiming that Fuji apples have a propensity for smooth net-like russeting, which does not negatively affect the internal quality of the fruit. In addition, the NHC stated the revision would partially harmonize the U.S. apple standards with the Washington State apple standards, and help prevent sound Fuji apples from being rejected in domestic and international markets. The NHC petition was supported by the Washington Apple Commission, Idaho Apple Commission, California Apple Commission, and many other apple organizations. AMS conducted research on the proposal by meeting with Washington State and industry personnel in November 2018. Based on available data, AMS concluded that exempting Fuji apples from scoring smooth net-like russeting as a quality defect will provide the industry with greater flexibility, and align the standards with current state and industry practices. In addition, AMS proposes to remove obsolete references to the location where color standards may be examined and purchased. AMS proposes to make the following revisions to the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples: • § 51.300 U.S. Extra Fancy: Revised to exempt the Fuji variety from scoring of smooth net-like russeting as a defect. • § 51.301 U.S. Fancy: Revised to exempt the Fuji variety from scoring of smooth net-like russeting as a defect. • § 51.302 U.S. No. 1: Revised to exempt the Fuji variety from scoring of smooth net-like russeting as a defect. The revision in the U.S. No. 1 grade will also affect the U.S. No. 1 Hail (§ 51.302 (a)) grade and the permitted combination grades (§ 51.304). • § 51.305 Color Requirements: Revised to remove obsolete references to the location where color standards may be examined and purchased. The proposed rule provides a 60-day period during which interested parties may comment on the revisions to the standards. the economic impacts of the revision to the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples (7 CFR 51.300–51.322). The purpose of the RFA is to structure regulatory actions such that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis. The proposed revision will result in a minor change to the current U.S. standards to allow smooth net-like russeting of the Fuji variety of apple. There will be little or no additional cost to implement this revision. The proposed change applies uniformly to all market participants and will not result in disproportionate additional costs being borne by small apple producers or other small businesses. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) (13 CFR 121.601), the definition of a small apple producer is one whose annual sales are less than $750,000. Based on this definition, data from the 2012 Agricultural Census show that at least 94 percent of farm operations that produce apples would be considered small. These small growers will not be disproportionately affected by the proposed rule as all changes to the standard will be applied uniformly to all market participants. The proposal for the change to the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples was submitted by the NHC, which represents apple growers, packers, and shippers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Altogether, this region accounts for 75 percent of domestic fresh apple production. This proposal was reviewed by the U.S. Apple Association and the U.S. Apple Export Council. Revising the current grading standards will impose minimal costs on the industry. The addition of smooth net-like russeting to the list of features that are not scorable against Fuji apples in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples will promote consistency in apple grading, and allow for greater entry into export markets and greater price stability for the Fuji variety of apples. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601–612), AMS has considered ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:28 May 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 51 Food grades and standards, Fruits, Nuts, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vegetables. For reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 51 is proposed 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. Revise § 51.300 to read as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 § 51.300 U.S. Extra Fancy. ‘‘U.S. Extra Fancy’’ consists of apples of one variety (except when more than one variety is printed on the container) which are mature but not overripe, clean, fairly well formed, free from decay, internal browning, internal breakdown, soft scald, scab, freezing injury, visible watercore, and broken skins. The apples are also free from injury caused by bruises, brown surface discoloration, smooth net-like russeting, sunburn or sprayburn, limb rubs, hail, drought spots, scars, disease, insects, or other means. The apples are free from damage caused by bitter pit or Jonathan spot and by smooth solid, slightly rough or rough russeting, or stem or calyx cracks, as well as damage by invisible watercore after January 31st of the year following the year of production except for the Fuji variety of apples. Invisible watercore and smooth net-like russeting shall not be scored against the Fuji variety of apples under any circumstances. For the apple varieties listed in table I of § 51.305, each apple of this grade has the amount of color specified for the variety. (See § 51.305 and § 51.306.) ■ 3. Revise § 51.301 to read as follows: § 51.301 U.S. Fancy. ‘‘U.S. Fancy’’ consists of apples of one variety (except when more than one variety is printed on the container) which are mature but not overripe, clean, fairly well formed, and free from decay, internal browning, internal breakdown, soft scald, freezing injury, visible watercore, and broken skins. The apples are also free from damage caused by bruises, brown surface discoloration, russeting, sunburn or sprayburn, limb rubs, hail, drought spots, scars, stem or calyx cracks, disease, insects, bitter pit, Jonathan spot, or damage by other means, or invisible watercore after January 31st of the year following the year of production, except for the Fuji variety of apples. Invisible watercore and smooth net-like russeting shall not be scored against the Fuji variety of apples under any circumstances. For the apple varieties listed in table I of § 51.305, each apple of this grade has the amount of color specified for the variety. (See § 51.305 and § 51.306.) ■ 4. Amend § 51.302 by revising the introductory text to read as follows: § 51.302 U.S. No. 1. ‘‘U.S. No. 1’’ consists of apples which meet the requirements of U.S. Fancy grade except for color, russeting, and invisible water core. In this grade, less color is required for all varieties listed in table I of § 51.305. Apples of this grade are free from excessive damage E:\FR\FM\06MYP1.SGM 06MYP1 19745 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 87 / Monday, May 6, 2019 / Proposed Rules caused by russeting which means that apples meet the russeting requirements for U.S. Fancy as defined under the definitions of ‘‘damage by russeting,’’ except the aggregate area of an apple which may be covered by smooth netlike russeting shall not exceed 25 percent; and the aggregate area of an apple which may be covered by smooth solid russeting shall not exceed 10 percent: Provided, That, in the case of the Yellow Newtown or similar varieties, the aggregate area of an apple which may be covered with smooth solid russeting shall not exceed 20 percent; and that smooth net-like russeting shall not be scored against the Fuji variety under any circumstances. Each apple of this grade has the amount of color specified in § 51.305 for the variety. Invisible watercore shall not be scored in this grade. (See § 51.305 and § 51.306.) * * * * * ■ 5. Revise § 51.305 to read as follows: § 51.305 Color Requirements. (a) In addition to the requirements specified for the grades set forth in §§ 51.300 to 51.304, apples of these grades shall have the percentage of color specified for the variety in table I appearing in this section. All apple varieties other than those appearing in table I shall have no color requirements pertaining to these grades. For the solid red varieties, the percentage stated refers to the area of the surface which must be covered with a good shade of solid red characteristic of the variety: Provided, That an apple having color of a lighter shade of solid red or striped red than that considered as a good shade of red characteristic of the variety may be admitted to a grade, provided it has sufficient additional area covered so that the apple has as good an appearance as one with the minimum percentage of good red characteristic of the variety required for the grade. For the striped red varieties, the percentage stated refers to the area of the surface in which the stripes of a good shade of red characteristic of the variety shall predominate over stripes of lighter red, green, or yellow. However, an apple having color of a lighter shade than that considered as a good shade of red characteristic of the variety may be admitted to a grade, provided it has sufficient additional area covered so that the apple has as good an appearance as one with the minimum percentage of stripes of a good red characteristic of the variety required for the grade. Faded brown stripes shall not be considered as color. (b) Color standards USDA Visual Aid APL–CC–1 (Plates a–e) consists of a folder containing the color requirements for apples set forth in this section and five plates illustrating minimum good shade of solid red or striped red color, minimum compensating color and shade not considered color, for the following 12 varieties: Red Delicious, Red Rome, Empire, Idared, Winesap, Jonathan, Stayman, McIntosh, Cortland, Rome Beauty, Delicious, and York. TABLE 1 1 [Only the varieties listed below shall be required to meet a minimum color requirement] U.S. extra fancy (percent) Variety Red Delicious ............................................................................................................................... Red Rome .................................................................................................................................... Empire .......................................................................................................................................... Idared ........................................................................................................................................... Winesap ....................................................................................................................................... Jonathan ...................................................................................................................................... Stayman ....................................................................................................................................... McIntosh ...................................................................................................................................... Cortland ....................................................................................................................................... Rome Beauty ............................................................................................................................... Delicious ...................................................................................................................................... York .............................................................................................................................................. 1 66 66 66 66 66 66 50 50 50 50 50 50 40 40 40 40 40 40 33 33 33 33 33 33 U.S. No. 1 (percent) 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 Variations on varietal designations listed above must meet or exceed those color requirements listed. Dated: April 26, 2019. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2019–09013 Filed 5–3–19; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2019–0213; Product Identifier 2019–NE–03–AD] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG Turbofan Engines jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS U.S. fancy (percent) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:28 May 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG (RRD) model Tay 611–8C turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of low-pressure compressor (LPC) rotor blade retention lug failures. This proposed AD would limit the service life of the LPC rotor blades based on the number of dry-film lubricant (DFL) re-applications. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 20, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. E:\FR\FM\06MYP1.SGM 06MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 87 (Monday, May 6, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 19743-19745]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-09013]


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

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

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


Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 87 / Monday, May 6, 2019 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 19743]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 51

[Document Number AMS-SC-18-0055, SC-18-330]


U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise the U.S. Standards for Grades of 
Apples by removing smooth net-like russeting as a grade-determining 
factor in the U.S. Extra Fancy, U.S. Fancy, and U.S. No. 1 grades for 
Fuji apples. In addition, AMS proposes to remove obsolete references to 
the location where color standards may be examined and purchased. The 
changes will modernize the standards and meet growing consumer demand 
by providing greater marketing flexibility.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before July 5, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to 
the USDA, Specialty Crops Inspection Division, 100 Riverside Parkway, 
Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406; fax: (540) 361-1199, or at: 
www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the dates and page 
number of this issue of the Federal Register. Comments will be posted 
without change, including any personal information provided. All 
comments received within the comment period will become part of the 
public record maintained by the Agency, and will be made available to 
the public via www.regulations.gov and at the above address during 
regular business hours.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact David G. Horner at the address 
above, or at phone (540) 361-1120; fax (540) 361-1199; or, email 
[email protected]. Copies of the proposed U.S. Standards for 
Grades of Apples are available at http://www.regulations.gov. Copies of 
the current U.S. Standards for Apples are available on the AMS website 
at https://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/fruits.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed changes exempt Fuji apples from 
smooth net-like russeting. These revisions also affect the grade 
requirements under the Export Apple Act.

Executive Orders 12866, 13771, and 13563

    This rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory 
action contained in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and is not 
subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Because 
this rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory 
action, it does not trigger the requirements 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). 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.

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 or 
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 that must be exhausted prior to any 
judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.

Background

    The current U.S. standards provide for apples to be sorted into 
various grades, including but not limited to: U.S. Extra Fancy, U.S. 
Fancy, and U.S. No. 1. Each of these grades describes the qualities 
that must be present for apples to meet the standards. These 
descriptions also specify features that are not to be scored against 
certain varieties of apples when determining grade. AMS proposes adding 
one such specification to the U.S. standards for apples that would 
allow for smooth net-like russeting of Fuji apples in all grades. 
Smooth net-like russeting is a cosmetic defect that affects the apple 
skin but not the internal quality of the fruit. Smooth net-like 
russeting, which has been called flecking by the Pacific Northwest 
apple industry, is prevalent in the Fuji variety. U.S. apple standards 
in their current form restrict apples exhibiting an aggregate area of 
smooth net-like russeting greater than 10 percent for U.S. Extra Fancy, 
15 percent for U.S. Fancy, and 25 percent for U.S. No. 1 from meeting 
the grade requirements. The Export Apple Act regulations (7 CFR 33) 
require that apples grade at least U.S. No. 1 or U.S. No. 1 Early, 
except that apples for export to Pacific ports of Russia must grade at 
least U.S. Utility or U.S. No. 1 Hail for hail damaged apples, as 
specified in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples. Fuji apples that 
display smooth net-like russeting greater than the percentages allowed 
are therefore excluded from the export market due to current U.S. grade 
standards.
    The Washington State Grade Standards for Apples (16 W.A.C. 403) do 
not consider smooth net-like russeting to be a defect for the Fuji 
variety of apple, provided that the russeting does not rise above the 
surface of the skin or is rough to the touch. Nearly three-quarters of 
domestically-produced fresh apples are grown in Washington and 
represent more than 90 percent of apples in the export market. Revising 
the U.S. apple grade standards to exclude scoring of smooth net-like 
russeting on Fuji apples as a quality defect, as specified in the 
Washington State standards, will promote consistency across the apple 
market and remove barriers to the export market for growers of the Fuji 
variety.

[[Page 19744]]

    In December 2016 the Northwest Horticultural Council (NHC) 
petitioned AMS to remove the requirement for scoring smooth net-like 
russeting from the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples for the Fuji 
variety. In response, AMS asked the NHC to provide justification and 
evidence of industry support, which they did in a memorandum submitted 
in April 2018. The NHC provided research claiming that Fuji apples have 
a propensity for smooth net-like russeting, which does not negatively 
affect the internal quality of the fruit. In addition, the NHC stated 
the revision would partially harmonize the U.S. apple standards with 
the Washington State apple standards, and help prevent sound Fuji 
apples from being rejected in domestic and international markets. The 
NHC petition was supported by the Washington Apple Commission, Idaho 
Apple Commission, California Apple Commission, and many other apple 
organizations. AMS conducted research on the proposal by meeting with 
Washington State and industry personnel in November 2018. Based on 
available data, AMS concluded that exempting Fuji apples from scoring 
smooth net-like russeting as a quality defect will provide the industry 
with greater flexibility, and align the standards with current state 
and industry practices.
    In addition, AMS proposes to remove obsolete references to the 
location where color standards may be examined and purchased.
    AMS proposes to make the following revisions to the U.S. Standards 
for Grades of Apples:
     Sec.  51.300 U.S. Extra Fancy: Revised to exempt the Fuji 
variety from scoring of smooth net-like russeting as a defect.
     Sec.  51.301 U.S. Fancy: Revised to exempt the Fuji 
variety from scoring of smooth net-like russeting as a defect.
     Sec.  51.302 U.S. No. 1: Revised to exempt the Fuji 
variety from scoring of smooth net-like russeting as a defect. The 
revision in the U.S. No. 1 grade will also affect the U.S. No. 1 Hail 
(Sec.  51.302 (a)) grade and the permitted combination grades (Sec.  
51.304).
     Sec.  51.305 Color Requirements: Revised to remove 
obsolete references to the location where color standards may be 
examined and purchased.
    The proposed rule provides a 60-day period during which interested 
parties may comment on the revisions to the standards.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has considered the 
economic impacts of the revision to the U.S. Standards for Grades of 
Apples (7 CFR 51.300-51.322). The purpose of the RFA is to structure 
regulatory actions such that small businesses will not be unduly or 
disproportionately burdened. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis.
    The proposed revision will result in a minor change to the current 
U.S. standards to allow smooth net-like russeting of the Fuji variety 
of apple. There will be little or no additional cost to implement this 
revision. The proposed change applies uniformly to all market 
participants and will not result in disproportionate additional costs 
being borne by small apple producers or other small businesses.
    According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) (13 CFR 
121.601), the definition of a small apple producer is one whose annual 
sales are less than $750,000. Based on this definition, data from the 
2012 Agricultural Census show that at least 94 percent of farm 
operations that produce apples would be considered small. These small 
growers will not be disproportionately affected by the proposed rule as 
all changes to the standard will be applied uniformly to all market 
participants.
    The proposal for the change to the U.S. Standards for Grades of 
Apples was submitted by the NHC, which represents apple growers, 
packers, and shippers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Altogether, 
this region accounts for 75 percent of domestic fresh apple production. 
This proposal was reviewed by the U.S. Apple Association and the U.S. 
Apple Export Council. Revising the current grading standards will 
impose minimal costs on the industry. The addition of smooth net-like 
russeting to the list of features that are not scorable against Fuji 
apples in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples will promote 
consistency in apple grading, and allow for greater entry into export 
markets and greater price stability for the Fuji variety of apples.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 51

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

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 51 is proposed 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. Revise Sec.  51.300 to read as follows:


Sec.  51.300  U.S. Extra Fancy.

    ``U.S. Extra Fancy'' consists of apples of one variety (except when 
more than one variety is printed on the container) which are mature but 
not overripe, clean, fairly well formed, free from decay, internal 
browning, internal breakdown, soft scald, scab, freezing injury, 
visible watercore, and broken skins. The apples are also free from 
injury caused by bruises, brown surface discoloration, smooth net-like 
russeting, sunburn or sprayburn, limb rubs, hail, drought spots, scars, 
disease, insects, or other means. The apples are free from damage 
caused by bitter pit or Jonathan spot and by smooth solid, slightly 
rough or rough russeting, or stem or calyx cracks, as well as damage by 
invisible watercore after January 31st of the year following the year 
of production except for the Fuji variety of apples. Invisible 
watercore and smooth net-like russeting shall not be scored against the 
Fuji variety of apples under any circumstances. For the apple varieties 
listed in table I of Sec.  51.305, each apple of this grade has the 
amount of color specified for the variety. (See Sec.  51.305 and Sec.  
51.306.)
0
3. Revise Sec.  51.301 to read as follows:


Sec.  51.301  U.S. Fancy.

    ``U.S. Fancy'' consists of apples of one variety (except when more 
than one variety is printed on the container) which are mature but not 
overripe, clean, fairly well formed, and free from decay, internal 
browning, internal breakdown, soft scald, freezing injury, visible 
watercore, and broken skins. The apples are also free from damage 
caused by bruises, brown surface discoloration, russeting, sunburn or 
sprayburn, limb rubs, hail, drought spots, scars, stem or calyx cracks, 
disease, insects, bitter pit, Jonathan spot, or damage by other means, 
or invisible watercore after January 31st of the year following the 
year of production, except for the Fuji variety of apples. Invisible 
watercore and smooth net-like russeting shall not be scored against the 
Fuji variety of apples under any circumstances. For the apple varieties 
listed in table I of Sec.  51.305, each apple of this grade has the 
amount of color specified for the variety. (See Sec.  51.305 and Sec.  
51.306.)
0
4. Amend Sec.  51.302 by revising the introductory text to read as 
follows:


Sec.  51.302  U.S. No. 1.

    ``U.S. No. 1'' consists of apples which meet the requirements of 
U.S. Fancy grade except for color, russeting, and invisible water core. 
In this grade, less color is required for all varieties listed in table 
I of Sec.  51.305. Apples of this grade are free from excessive damage

[[Page 19745]]

caused by russeting which means that apples meet the russeting 
requirements for U.S. Fancy as defined under the definitions of 
``damage by russeting,'' except the aggregate area of an apple which 
may be covered by smooth net-like russeting shall not exceed 25 
percent; and the aggregate area of an apple which may be covered by 
smooth solid russeting shall not exceed 10 percent: Provided, That, in 
the case of the Yellow Newtown or similar varieties, the aggregate area 
of an apple which may be covered with smooth solid russeting shall not 
exceed 20 percent; and that smooth net-like russeting shall not be 
scored against the Fuji variety under any circumstances. Each apple of 
this grade has the amount of color specified in Sec.  51.305 for the 
variety. Invisible watercore shall not be scored in this grade. (See 
Sec.  51.305 and Sec.  51.306.)
* * * * *
0
5. Revise Sec.  51.305 to read as follows:


Sec.  51.305  Color Requirements.

    (a) In addition to the requirements specified for the grades set 
forth in Sec. Sec.  51.300 to 51.304, apples of these grades shall have 
the percentage of color specified for the variety in table I appearing 
in this section. All apple varieties other than those appearing in 
table I shall have no color requirements pertaining to these grades. 
For the solid red varieties, the percentage stated refers to the area 
of the surface which must be covered with a good shade of solid red 
characteristic of the variety: Provided, That an apple having color of 
a lighter shade of solid red or striped red than that considered as a 
good shade of red characteristic of the variety may be admitted to a 
grade, provided it has sufficient additional area covered so that the 
apple has as good an appearance as one with the minimum percentage of 
good red characteristic of the variety required for the grade. For the 
striped red varieties, the percentage stated refers to the area of the 
surface in which the stripes of a good shade of red characteristic of 
the variety shall predominate over stripes of lighter red, green, or 
yellow. However, an apple having color of a lighter shade than that 
considered as a good shade of red characteristic of the variety may be 
admitted to a grade, provided it has sufficient additional area covered 
so that the apple has as good an appearance as one with the minimum 
percentage of stripes of a good red characteristic of the variety 
required for the grade. Faded brown stripes shall not be considered as 
color.
    (b) Color standards USDA Visual Aid APL-CC-1 (Plates a-e) consists 
of a folder containing the color requirements for apples set forth in 
this section and five plates illustrating minimum good shade of solid 
red or striped red color, minimum compensating color and shade not 
considered color, for the following 12 varieties: Red Delicious, Red 
Rome, Empire, Idared, Winesap, Jonathan, Stayman, McIntosh, Cortland, 
Rome Beauty, Delicious, and York.

                                                   Table 1 \1\
             [Only the varieties listed below shall be required to meet a minimum color requirement]
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                                                                    U.S. extra
                             Variety                                   fancy        U.S. fancy      U.S. No. 1
                                                                     (percent)       (percent)       (percent)
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Red Delicious...................................................              66              40              25
Red Rome........................................................              66              40              25
Empire..........................................................              66              40              25
Idared..........................................................              66              40              25
Winesap.........................................................              66              40              25
Jonathan........................................................              66              40              25
Stayman.........................................................              50              33              25
McIntosh........................................................              50              33              25
Cortland........................................................              50              33              25
Rome Beauty.....................................................              50              33              25
Delicious.......................................................              50              33              25
York............................................................              50              33              25
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\1\ Variations on varietal designations listed above must meet or exceed those color requirements listed.


    Dated: April 26, 2019.
Bruce Summers,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-09013 Filed 5-3-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P