Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Realignment, 23248-23252 [2020-08395]

Download as PDF 23248 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 81 / Monday, April 27, 2020 / Proposed Rules Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2101–2119, 2611–2627, 2701–2718, 2901–2911, 4501–4514, 4801– 4819, 4901–4916, 6101–6112, 6301–6311, 6401–6417, 7411–7425, 7481–7491, and 7801–7813. 2. In part 1200, add subpart D, consisting of §§ 1200.200 through 1200.206, to read as follows: ■ Subpart D—Administrative Procedures Governing Formulation of a Research and Promotion Order Sec. 1200.200 General. 1200.201 Definitions. 1200.202 Proposals. 1200.203 Initial referendum. 1200.204 Reimbursement of Secretary’s expenses. 1200.205 Termination of proceedings. 1200.206 Execution of the order. Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7411–7425. Subpart D—Administrative Procedures Governing Formulation of a Research and Promotion Order § 1200.200 General. The terms defined/specified in this subpart shall apply to all research and promotion programs authorized under the Act. § 1200.201 Definitions. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS Act means the Commodity Research, Promotion, and Information Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7411–7425). Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service or any officer or employee of the United States Department of Agriculture to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act for the Administrator. Cost of the Referendum means all USDA expenditures related to development of an order proposal, including, but not limited to, salaries, travel, supplies, printing, mailing, and shipping, and any costs related to an initial referendum. Order means any order which may be issued pursuant to the Act. Secretary means the United States Secretary of Agriculture or any officer or employee of the United States Department of Agriculture to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act for the Secretary. § 1200.202 Proposals. (a) An order may be proposed by any association of producers of an agricultural commodity, by any person that may be affected by the issuance of an order with respect to an agricultural commodity, or by the Secretary. Any person or organization other than the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 Secretary proposing an order shall file with the Administrator a written proposal. (b) Upon receipt of a proposal, the Administrator shall investigate and evaluate the proposal. (c) If the proposal is submitted by an association of producers of the agricultural commodity or by any person that may be affected by the issuance of an order, and the investigation and consideration lead the Administrator to conclude that the proposed order will not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act, the Administrator shall deny the proposal. The Administrator will promptly notify the proponent(s) of such denial, which will be accompanied by a brief statement of the grounds for the denial. (d) If the proposal was submitted by an association of producers of the agricultural commodity or by any person that may be affected by the issuance of an order and the investigation and consideration lead the Administrator to conclude that an order will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act, the Administrator will promptly notify the proponent(s) of such conclusion, and the proponent(s) will be required to post a bond or other collateral in accordance with § 1200.204. (e) If the Administrator concludes that an order will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act, the Administrator shall publish the proposed order in the Federal Register and give due notice and opportunity for public comment on the proposed order. § 1200.203 Initial referendum. For the purpose of ascertaining whether the persons to be covered by an order favor the order going into effect, the Administrator may conduct an initial referendum among persons to be subject to an assessment under the order who, during a representative period determined by the Administrator, engaged in the production or handling of the agricultural commodity or the importation of the agricultural commodity. § 1200.204 expenses. Reimbursement of Secretary’s The Administrator may require any person or organization proposing an order to post a bond or other collateral to cover the cost of the referendum as defined in § 1200.201. § 1200.205 Termination of proceedings. If at any time during development of a new program the Administrator concludes, based on public comments, PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 referendum votes, or other available information, that an order will not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act, the Administrator shall terminate the proceedings and collect reimbursements from the bond or other collateral posted pursuant to § 1200.204 for any expenses incurred in development of the proposed program. § 1200.206 Execution of the order. (a) Issuance of the order. The Administrator shall, if the Administrator finds that it will tend to effectuate the purposes of the Act, issue the final order. (b) Effective date of order. No order shall become effective in less than 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register, unless the Administrator, upon good cause found and published with the order, fixes an earlier effective date. (c) Notice of issuance. After the Administrator issues the order, AMS will publish notice of the order’s issuance in the Federal Register. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2020–08410 Filed 4–24–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1210 [Document Number AMS–SC–19–0109] Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Realignment Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: This proposal invites comments on realigning the representation on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board) prescribed in the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) by reducing the number of production districts and reducing the number importers on the Board, accordingly. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program. DATES: Comments must be received by May 27, 2020. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposed rule. All comments must be submitted through the Federal e-rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov and should reference the document number and the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27APP1.SGM 27APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 81 / Monday, April 27, 2020 / Proposed Rules date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will be included in the rulemaking record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting comments will be made public on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stacy Jones King, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 1406– S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250– 0244; telephone: (202) 731–2117; facsimile: (202) 205–2800; or electronic mail: Stacy.JonesKing@usda.gov. This proposal affecting 7 CFR part 1210 is authorized under the Watermelon Research and Promotion Act (Act) (7 U.S.C. 4901–4916). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. This action falls within a category of regulatory actions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. Additionally, because this 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). lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS Executive Order 13175 This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not have significant Tribal implications. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 Executive Order 12988 This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. The Act provides that it shall not affect or preempt any other State or Federal law authorizing promotion or research relating to an agricultural commodity. Under section 1650 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 4909), a person may file a written petition with USDA if they believe that the Plan, any provision of the Plan, or any obligation imposed in connection with the Plan, is not in accordance with the law. In any petition, the person may request a modification of the Plan or an exemption from the Plan. The petitioner will have the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. Afterwards, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will issue a decision. If the petitioner disagrees with the ALJ’s ruling, the petitioner has 30 days to appeal to the Judicial Officer, who will issue a ruling on behalf of USDA. If the petitioner disagrees with USDA’s ruling, the petitioner may file, within 20 days, an appeal in the U.S. District Court for the district in which the petitioner resides or conducts business. Background This proposal invites comments on realigning the Board’s representation and procedures under the Plan. The Board administers the Plan with oversight by USDA. The Plan is a nationally coordinated program of research, development, advertising, and promotion designed to strengthen the watermelon’s position in the marketplace and to establish, maintain, and expand markets for watermelons. The program is financed by assessments on producers growing 10 acres or more of watermelons, handlers of watermelons, and importers of 150,000 pounds of watermelons or more per year. The Plan specifies that handlers are responsible for collecting and submitting both the producer and handler assessments to the Board, reporting their handling of watermelons, and maintaining records necessary to verify their reporting(s). Importers are responsible for payment of assessments to the Board on watermelons imported into the United States through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs). This proposal invites comments on realignment of the Board by reducing the number of production districts under the Plan for producer and handler representation on the Board, and proportionally reducing the number of importer seats on the Board from twelve PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 23249 to nine. The Board administers the Plan with oversight by USDA. These changes were recommended by the Board after a review of the production volume and assessments paid in each production district as well as the assessments paid by importers. The Plan requires that such a review be conducted at least every 5 years. These changes would help facilitate program operations and the Board voted to forward this recommendation to the Secretary at their October 26, 2019 meeting. Section 1210.320(a) of the Plan specifies that the Board shall be comprised of producers, handlers, importers, and one public representative appointed by the Secretary. Pursuant to § 1210.320(b), the Plan originally divided the United States into seven districts of comparable production volumes of watermelons, and each district was allocated two producer members and two handler members. Section 1210.320(d) specifies that importer representation on the Board shall be proportionate to the percentage of assessments paid by importers to the Board, except that at least one representative of importers shall serve on the Board. The current Board is comprised of 41 members—14 producers (two from each district), 14 handlers (two from each district), 12 importers, and one public member. Review of U.S. Districts Section 1210.320(c) requires the Board, at least every five years, to review the districts to determine whether realignment is necessary. In conducting the review, the Board must consider: (1) The most recent three years of USDA production reports or Board assessment reports if USDA production reports are unavailable; (2) shifts and trends in quantities of watermelon produced, and (3) other relevant factors. As a result of the review, the Board may recommend to USDA that the districts be realigned. Pursuant to § 1210.501 of the Plan, the seven current districts are as follows: District 1—The State of Florida; District 2—The States of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia; District 3—The State of Georgia; District 4—The States of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC; District 5—The State of California; District 6—The State of Texas; E:\FR\FM\27APP1.SGM 27APP1 23250 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 81 / Monday, April 27, 2020 / Proposed Rules District 7—The States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The districts listed above were recommended by the Board in 2016 and established through rulemaking by USDA in 2017 (82 FR 44966). In 2019, the Board’s Executive Committee conducted a review of the U.S. watermelon production districts to determine whether realignment was necessary. The committee held teleconferences on August 14 and September 11, 2019, and reviewed production data for 2016, 2017 and 2018 from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Vegetables Annual Summary for 2018 and Market News Reports. Due to changes in the geographical coverage of USDA’s data collection on watermelon production, Board assessment data was used for the states for which USDA data was not available. To protect personally identifiable information (PII) of watermelon producers and handlers, the average of 2016–2018 assessment data was converted to a percentage of production. The combined data is shown in Table 1 below. TABLE 1—STATE PRODUCTION BASED three new districts. The proposed ON USDA AND BOARD ASSESSMENT districts would be as follows: DATA 2016–2018 District 1—The State of Florida (no % of 3-year average of U.S. production State Alabama .......................... Arizona ............................ Arkansas ......................... California ......................... Colorado ......................... Delaware ......................... Florida ............................. Georgia ........................... Hawaii ............................. Illinois .............................. Indiana ............................ Kentucky ......................... Louisiana ........................ Maryland ......................... Michigan ......................... Mississippi ...................... Missouri .......................... Nebraska ........................ New Mexico .................... New York ........................ North Carolina ................ Ohio ................................ Oklahoma ....................... Oregon ............................ South Carolina ................ Texas .............................. Virginia ............................ Washington ..................... 0.2 2.9 0.8 13.8 0.4 2.8 17.9 18.0 0.1 1.8 10.6 0.2 0.1 1.9 2.3 0.2 4.3 0.2 0.6 0.6 4.0 0.1 0.2 1.0 1.8 11.8 0.3 1.1 Upon review, the Board recommended at their October 26, 2019 meeting to reduce the number of U.S. production districts from seven to five, thus eliminating two districts, retaining two districts as drawn, and creating change); District 2—The State of Georgia (formerly District 3). District 3—The States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. District 4—The States of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC. District 5—The States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. As shown in Table 2, each district would represent, on average, 20 percent of the total U.S. production, with a range of approximately 18 to 24.5 percent. USDA has reviewed NASS, Market News, and Board assessment data, and as shown in Table 2, determined that the production estimates are consistent with the Board’s recommendation. TABLE 2—PROPOSED PERCENT OF U.S. PRODUCTION BY DISTRICT 1 Board data (%) District 1 2 3 4 5 ................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... Section 1210.501 of the Plan would be revised accordingly. Review of Imports Section 1210.320(e) of the Plan requires USDA to evaluate the average annual percentage of assessments paid by importers during the three-year period preceding the date of the evaluation and adjust, to the extent practicable, the number of importer representatives on the Board. USDA analysis (%) 17.8 18.0 19.0 20.6 24.5 18.2 18.0 19.2 20.7 23.9 Difference (%) +0.4 None. +0.2 +0.1 ¥0.6 Table 4 below shows domestic and import assessment data for watermelons for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. The data is from the Board’s financial audits for 2016, 2017 2 and 2018. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS TABLE 4—U.S. AND IMPORT ASSESSMENT DATA FOR 2016–2018 Year Domestic (U.S.) assessments Import assessments 2016 .......................................................................................... 2017 .......................................................................................... 2018 .......................................................................................... $2,319,704 .............................. 2,347,522 ................................ 2,311,116 ................................ $1,172,834 .............................. 1,049,875 ................................ 1,041,244 ................................ 1 Table values were rounded to the nearest percent. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 2 National Watermelon Promotion Board, Financial Statements and Supplementary PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Total $3,492,538 3,397,397 3,352,360 Information, Years Ending March 31, 2016, 2017, and 2018, BDO USA, LLP. E:\FR\FM\27APP1.SGM 27APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 81 / Monday, April 27, 2020 / Proposed Rules 23251 TABLE 4—U.S. AND IMPORT ASSESSMENT DATA FOR 2016–2018—Continued Year Domestic (U.S.) assessments Import assessments 3-Year Average ......................................................................... 2,326,114 ................................ 1,087,984 ................................ 3,414,098 Percent of Total ................................................................. 68 percent ............................... 32 percent ............................... ........................ lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS Based on this data, the three-year average annual import assessments for watermelons for 2016–2018 was $1,087,984, approximately 32 percent of the Board’s assessment income. To make the number of importers on the Board proportionate to the assessments paid as well as to the percentages of U.S. watermelon produced by the reduced number of production districts, the number of importers should decrease from twelve to nine members. In order to clearly summarize the change in board membership for producers, handlers, and importers, § 1210.502 of the Plan would be revised to reflect the new composition of the Board. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601– 612), AMS is required to examine the economic impact of the proposed rule on the small entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered the economic impact of this action on such entities. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of no more than $1,000,000 and small agricultural service firms (handlers and importers) as those having annual receipts of no more than $30 million. According to the Board, there are 505 producers, 140 handlers, and 252 importers who were required to pay assessments under the Plan in 2018. NASS data for the 2018 crop year estimated about 350.5 hundredweight (cwt.) of watermelons were produced per acre in the United States, and the 2018 grower price was $16.90 per cwt.3 Thus, the value of watermelon production per acre in 2018 averaged about $5,923 (350.5 cwt. × $16.90). At that average price, a producer would have to farm over 169 acres to receive 3 Vegetables, 2018 Summary, March 2019, USDA, p. 10.; https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/ usda-esmis/files/02870v86p/gm80j322z/5138jn50j/ vegean19.pdf. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 an annual income from watermelons of $1,000,000 ($1,000,000 divided by $5,923 per acre equals approximately 169 acres). Using 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture data, a maximum of 119 farms had watermelon acreage greater than or equal to 250 acres, and 13,401 out of a total of 13,520 farms producing watermelons reported less than 250 acres of watermelon on their farms.4 Therefore, assuming watermelon producers operate no more than one farm, a majority (99 percent) of all U.S. watermelon farms would be classified as small businesses. Also based on the Board’s data, using a price of $0.169 per pound and the number of pounds handled annually, none of the watermelon handlers have receipts over the $30 million threshold.5 6 Therefore, all watermelon handlers would be considered small businesses. A handler would have to ship over 177 million pounds of watermelons to be considered large (177,514,793 × $0.169 f.o.b. equals approximately $30,000,000). Based on 2018 Customs data, over 99 percent of watermelon importers shipped less than $30 million worth of watermelons that year. Based on the foregoing, the majority of watermelon producers, handlers and importers that would be affected by this proposed rule would be classified as small entities. Regarding the value of the commodity, based on 2018 NASS data, the value of the U.S. watermelon crop was about $656.6 million.7 According to Customs data, the value of 2018 imports was about $312.4 million. This proposal invites comments on revising §§ 1210.321, 1210.423, 1210.501 and 1210.502 of the Plan to reduce the number of U.S. production districts from seven to five, thus eliminating two districts, retaining two 4 2017 Census of Agriculture, April 11, 2019, USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, p. 39; https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/ AgCensus/2017/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_ US/usv1.pdf. 5 Vegetables, 2018 Summary, March 2019, USDA, https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usdaesmis/files/02870v86p/gm80j322z/5138jn50j/ vegean19.pdf. 6 National Watermelon Promotion Board assessment records, 2016–2018. 7 Vegetables, 2018 Summary, March 2019, USDA, p. 10. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Total districts as drawn, and creating three new districts. Accordingly, § 1210.320 requires the number of importer members to also decrease proportionately from 12 to 9 members, for a total of 30 Board members. The Plan currently divides the United States into seven districts of comparable production volumes of watermelons, and each district is allocated two producer members and two handler members. Further, importer representation on the Board must be, to the extent practicable, proportionate to the percentage of assessments paid by importers, except there must be at least one importer on the Board. At least every five years, the Board is required to evaluate, based on the preceding three-year period, the average production in each production district and the average annual percentage of assessments paid by importers. The Board conducted this review in 2019 and recommended reducing the number of districts from seven to five. Authority for these changes is provided in § 1210.320 of the Plan. Regarding the economic impact of the proposed rule on affected entities, neither the reduction in the number of production districts nor the reduction in Board membership imposes any additional costs on industry members. The recommended changes are necessary to improve the Board’s ability to ensure both a quorum at Board meetings and a sufficient number of potential nominees. Further, the accompanying reduction of importer seats from twelve to nine provides for the equitable representation of producers, handlers and importers on the Board. Regarding alternatives, the Board considered two scenarios in realigning the districts. Scenario 1 would divide the U.S. into four production districts, and Scenario 2 would divide the U.S. into five production districts. In accordance with the Plan, both scenarios preserve the composition of 2 producers and 2 handlers per district. Ultimately the Board recommended Scenario 2, retaining the State of Florida as District 1, changing the district designation for Georgia from District 3 to District 2, and creating new Districts 3, 4, and 5 as follows: E:\FR\FM\27APP1.SGM 27APP1 23252 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 81 / Monday, April 27, 2020 / Proposed Rules lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS (a) District 3 would be comprised of the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas; (b) District 4 would be comprised of the States of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC; and (c) District 5 would be comprised of the States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. In accordance with § 1210.320, the Board recommended the alignment scenario described in this proposed rule because it: (1) Would provide for a proportional geographical representation on the Board for producers and handlers; (2) would not create any producer or handler vacancies on the Board; and (3) would increase the pool of candidates to be considered for appointment to the Board by the Secretary. Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Plan’s information collection and recordkeeping requirements have been approved previously under OMB number 0581– 0093. This proposed rule would not result in a change to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved and would impose no additional reporting requirements or recordkeeping burden on domestic producers, handlers, or importers of watermelon. As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. Finally, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule. AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. Regarding outreach efforts, the Board’s Executive Committee held teleconferences on August 14 and September 11, 2019 to review the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 production data to assess whether changes to the number of districts and district boundaries were warranted. All Board and committee meetings, including meetings held via teleconference, are open to the public and interested persons are invited to participate and express their views. AMS has performed this initial RFA analysis regarding the impact of these changes to the Plan on small entities and invites comments concerning potential effects of this action. USDA has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with and would effectuate the purposes of the Act. A 30-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposal. All written comments received in response to this proposed rule by the date specified will be considered prior to finalizing this action. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1210 Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Consumer information, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Watermelon promotion. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1210 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 1210—WATERMELON RESEARCH AND PROMOTION PLAN 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1210 continues to read as follows: individual voters in attendance. In lieu of written ballots, a State spokesperson may be elected by voice vote or a show of hands. The role of the State spokesperson is to coordinate State voting and to cast all State votes. * * * * * ■ 4. Section 1210.501 is revised to read as follows: § 1210.501 Realignment of districts. In accordance with § 1210.320(c) of the Plan, the districts shall be as follows: (a) District 1—The State of Florida. (b) District 2—The State of Georgia. (c) District 3—The States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. (d) District 4—The States of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC. (e) District 5—The States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. ■ 5. Section 1210.502 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 1210.502 Authority: 7 U.S.C. 4901–4916 and 7 U.S.C. 7401. The Board consists of 10 producers, 10 handlers, nine importers, and one public member appointed by the Secretary. Subpart C—Rules and Regulations 2. Amend § 1210.321 by revising the section heading and paragraph (f)(1) to read as follows: ■ § 1210.321 * * * * (f) * * * (1) No State in a multi-State district shall have more than three producer and handler representatives concurrently on the Board. * * * * * ■ 3. Amend § 1210.403 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows: Voting procedures. * * * * * (c) In multi-State districts, the convention chairperson will direct the eligible producer voters and handler voters from each State to caucus separately for the purpose of electing a State spokesperson for each group. Election of each State spokesperson shall be by simple majority of all PO 00000 Frm 00010 Bruce Summers, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2020–08395 Filed 4–24–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P Realignment of districts. * § 1210.403 Board members. Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0339; Product Identifier 2020–NM–046–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27APP1.SGM 27APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 81 (Monday, April 27, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23248-23252]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-08395]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 1210

[Document Number AMS-SC-19-0109]


Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Realignment

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This proposal invites comments on realigning the 
representation on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board) 
prescribed in the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) by 
reducing the number of production districts and reducing the number 
importers on the Board, accordingly. This action would contribute to 
effective administration of the program.

DATES: Comments must be received by May 27, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
concerning this proposed rule. All comments must be submitted through 
the Federal e-rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov and 
should reference the document number and the

[[Page 23249]]

date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All 
comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will be included 
in the rulemaking record and will be made available to the public. 
Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities 
submitting comments will be made public on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stacy Jones King, Agricultural 
Marketing Specialist, Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops 
Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 1406-S, Stop 
0244, Washington, DC 20250-0244; telephone: (202) 731-2117; facsimile: 
(202) 205-2800; or electronic mail: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposal affecting 7 CFR part 1210 is 
authorized under the Watermelon Research and Promotion Act (Act) (7 
U.S.C. 4901-4916).

Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. 
This action falls within a category of regulatory actions that the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 
12866 review. Additionally, because this 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).

Executive Order 13175

    This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements 
of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not 
have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not 
have significant Tribal implications.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. The Act 
provides that it shall not affect or preempt any other State or Federal 
law authorizing promotion or research relating to an agricultural 
commodity.
    Under section 1650 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 4909), a person may file a 
written petition with USDA if they believe that the Plan, any provision 
of the Plan, or any obligation imposed in connection with the Plan, is 
not in accordance with the law. In any petition, the person may request 
a modification of the Plan or an exemption from the Plan. The 
petitioner will have the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. 
Afterwards, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will issue a decision. If 
the petitioner disagrees with the ALJ's ruling, the petitioner has 30 
days to appeal to the Judicial Officer, who will issue a ruling on 
behalf of USDA. If the petitioner disagrees with USDA's ruling, the 
petitioner may file, within 20 days, an appeal in the U.S. District 
Court for the district in which the petitioner resides or conducts 
business.

Background

    This proposal invites comments on realigning the Board's 
representation and procedures under the Plan. The Board administers the 
Plan with oversight by USDA. The Plan is a nationally coordinated 
program of research, development, advertising, and promotion designed 
to strengthen the watermelon's position in the marketplace and to 
establish, maintain, and expand markets for watermelons. The program is 
financed by assessments on producers growing 10 acres or more of 
watermelons, handlers of watermelons, and importers of 150,000 pounds 
of watermelons or more per year. The Plan specifies that handlers are 
responsible for collecting and submitting both the producer and handler 
assessments to the Board, reporting their handling of watermelons, and 
maintaining records necessary to verify their reporting(s). Importers 
are responsible for payment of assessments to the Board on watermelons 
imported into the United States through U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (Customs).
    This proposal invites comments on realignment of the Board by 
reducing the number of production districts under the Plan for producer 
and handler representation on the Board, and proportionally reducing 
the number of importer seats on the Board from twelve to nine. The 
Board administers the Plan with oversight by USDA. These changes were 
recommended by the Board after a review of the production volume and 
assessments paid in each production district as well as the assessments 
paid by importers. The Plan requires that such a review be conducted at 
least every 5 years. These changes would help facilitate program 
operations and the Board voted to forward this recommendation to the 
Secretary at their October 26, 2019 meeting.
    Section 1210.320(a) of the Plan specifies that the Board shall be 
comprised of producers, handlers, importers, and one public 
representative appointed by the Secretary. Pursuant to Sec.  
1210.320(b), the Plan originally divided the United States into seven 
districts of comparable production volumes of watermelons, and each 
district was allocated two producer members and two handler members. 
Section 1210.320(d) specifies that importer representation on the Board 
shall be proportionate to the percentage of assessments paid by 
importers to the Board, except that at least one representative of 
importers shall serve on the Board.
    The current Board is comprised of 41 members--14 producers (two 
from each district), 14 handlers (two from each district), 12 
importers, and one public member.

Review of U.S. Districts

    Section 1210.320(c) requires the Board, at least every five years, 
to review the districts to determine whether realignment is necessary. 
In conducting the review, the Board must consider: (1) The most recent 
three years of USDA production reports or Board assessment reports if 
USDA production reports are unavailable; (2) shifts and trends in 
quantities of watermelon produced, and (3) other relevant factors. As a 
result of the review, the Board may recommend to USDA that the 
districts be realigned.
    Pursuant to Sec.  1210.501 of the Plan, the seven current districts 
are as follows:
    District 1--The State of Florida;
    District 2--The States of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia;
    District 3--The State of Georgia;
    District 4--The States of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, 
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, 
New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and 
Washington, DC;
    District 5--The State of California;
    District 6--The State of Texas;

[[Page 23250]]

    District 7--The States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, 
Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, 
Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North 
Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
    The districts listed above were recommended by the Board in 2016 
and established through rulemaking by USDA in 2017 (82 FR 44966).
    In 2019, the Board's Executive Committee conducted a review of the 
U.S. watermelon production districts to determine whether realignment 
was necessary. The committee held teleconferences on August 14 and 
September 11, 2019, and reviewed production data for 2016, 2017 and 
2018 from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service's (NASS) 
Vegetables Annual Summary for 2018 and Market News Reports. Due to 
changes in the geographical coverage of USDA's data collection on 
watermelon production, Board assessment data was used for the states 
for which USDA data was not available. To protect personally 
identifiable information (PII) of watermelon producers and handlers, 
the average of 2016-2018 assessment data was converted to a percentage 
of production. The combined data is shown in Table 1 below.

 Table 1--State Production Based on USDA and Board Assessment Data 2016-
                                  2018
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          % of 3-year
                        State                           average of U.S.
                                                           production
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..............................................                0.2
Arizona..............................................                2.9
Arkansas.............................................                0.8
California...........................................               13.8
Colorado.............................................                0.4
Delaware.............................................                2.8
Florida..............................................               17.9
Georgia..............................................               18.0
Hawaii...............................................                0.1
Illinois.............................................                1.8
Indiana..............................................               10.6
Kentucky.............................................                0.2
Louisiana............................................                0.1
Maryland.............................................                1.9
Michigan.............................................                2.3
Mississippi..........................................                0.2
Missouri.............................................                4.3
Nebraska.............................................                0.2
New Mexico...........................................                0.6
New York.............................................                0.6
North Carolina.......................................                4.0
Ohio.................................................                0.1
Oklahoma.............................................                0.2
Oregon...............................................                1.0
South Carolina.......................................                1.8
Texas................................................               11.8
Virginia.............................................                0.3
Washington...........................................                1.1
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upon review, the Board recommended at their October 26, 2019 
meeting to reduce the number of U.S. production districts from seven to 
five, thus eliminating two districts, retaining two districts as drawn, 
and creating three new districts. The proposed districts would be as 
follows:
    District 1--The State of Florida (no change);
    District 2--The State of Georgia (formerly District 3).
    District 3--The States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and 
Texas.
    District 4--The States of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, 
Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New 
Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, 
West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC.
    District 5--The States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, 
Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, 
Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, 
Washington, and Wyoming.
    As shown in Table 2, each district would represent, on average, 20 
percent of the total U.S. production, with a range of approximately 18 
to 24.5 percent. USDA has reviewed NASS, Market News, and Board 
assessment data, and as shown in Table 2, determined that the 
production estimates are consistent with the Board's recommendation.

                          Table 2--Proposed Percent of U.S. Production by District \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               USDA analysis
                  District                    Board data (%)        (%)                 Difference (%)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1...........................................            17.8            18.2  +0.4
2...........................................            18.0            18.0  None.
3...........................................            19.0            19.2  +0.2
4...........................................            20.6            20.7  +0.1
5...........................................            24.5            23.9  -0.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 1210.501 of the Plan would be revised accordingly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Table values were rounded to the nearest percent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Review of Imports

    Section 1210.320(e) of the Plan requires USDA to evaluate the 
average annual percentage of assessments paid by importers during the 
three-year period preceding the date of the evaluation and adjust, to 
the extent practicable, the number of importer representatives on the 
Board.
    Table 4 below shows domestic and import assessment data for 
watermelons for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. The data is from the 
Board's financial audits for 2016, 2017 \2\ and 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ National Watermelon Promotion Board, Financial Statements 
and Supplementary Information, Years Ending March 31, 2016, 2017, 
and 2018, BDO USA, LLP.

                             Table 4--U.S. and Import Assessment Data for 2016-2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Domestic (U.S.)
                  Year                            assessments             Import assessments           Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016....................................  $2,319,704................  $1,172,834................      $3,492,538
2017....................................  2,347,522.................  1,049,875.................       3,397,397
2018....................................  2,311,116.................  1,041,244.................       3,352,360

[[Page 23251]]

 
3-Year Average..........................  2,326,114.................  1,087,984.................       3,414,098
                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percent of Total....................  68 percent................  32 percent................  ..............
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on this data, the three-year average annual import 
assessments for watermelons for 2016-2018 was $1,087,984, approximately 
32 percent of the Board's assessment income. To make the number of 
importers on the Board proportionate to the assessments paid as well as 
to the percentages of U.S. watermelon produced by the reduced number of 
production districts, the number of importers should decrease from 
twelve to nine members.
    In order to clearly summarize the change in board membership for 
producers, handlers, and importers, Sec.  1210.502 of the Plan would be 
revised to reflect the new composition of the Board.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 
601-612), AMS is required to examine the economic impact of the 
proposed rule on the small entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered 
the economic impact of this action on such entities.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be 
disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, 
in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual 
receipts of no more than $1,000,000 and small agricultural service 
firms (handlers and importers) as those having annual receipts of no 
more than $30 million.
    According to the Board, there are 505 producers, 140 handlers, and 
252 importers who were required to pay assessments under the Plan in 
2018. NASS data for the 2018 crop year estimated about 350.5 
hundredweight (cwt.) of watermelons were produced per acre in the 
United States, and the 2018 grower price was $16.90 per cwt.\3\ Thus, 
the value of watermelon production per acre in 2018 averaged about 
$5,923 (350.5 cwt. x $16.90). At that average price, a producer would 
have to farm over 169 acres to receive an annual income from 
watermelons of $1,000,000 ($1,000,000 divided by $5,923 per acre equals 
approximately 169 acres). Using 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture data, a 
maximum of 119 farms had watermelon acreage greater than or equal to 
250 acres, and 13,401 out of a total of 13,520 farms producing 
watermelons reported less than 250 acres of watermelon on their 
farms.\4\ Therefore, assuming watermelon producers operate no more than 
one farm, a majority (99 percent) of all U.S. watermelon farms would be 
classified as small businesses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Vegetables, 2018 Summary, March 2019, USDA, p. 10.; https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/02870v86p/gm80j322z/5138jn50j/vegean19.pdf.
    \4\ 2017 Census of Agriculture, April 11, 2019, USDA, National 
Agricultural Statistics Service, p. 39; https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/AgCensus/2017/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/usv1.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also based on the Board's data, using a price of $0.169 per pound 
and the number of pounds handled annually, none of the watermelon 
handlers have receipts over the $30 million threshold.5 6 
Therefore, all watermelon handlers would be considered small 
businesses. A handler would have to ship over 177 million pounds of 
watermelons to be considered large (177,514,793 x $0.169 f.o.b. equals 
approximately $30,000,000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Vegetables, 2018 Summary, March 2019, USDA, https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/02870v86p/gm80j322z/5138jn50j/vegean19.pdf.
    \6\ National Watermelon Promotion Board assessment records, 
2016-2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on 2018 Customs data, over 99 percent of watermelon importers 
shipped less than $30 million worth of watermelons that year. Based on 
the foregoing, the majority of watermelon producers, handlers and 
importers that would be affected by this proposed rule would be 
classified as small entities.
    Regarding the value of the commodity, based on 2018 NASS data, the 
value of the U.S. watermelon crop was about $656.6 million.\7\ 
According to Customs data, the value of 2018 imports was about $312.4 
million.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Vegetables, 2018 Summary, March 2019, USDA, p. 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This proposal invites comments on revising Sec. Sec.  1210.321, 
1210.423, 1210.501 and 1210.502 of the Plan to reduce the number of 
U.S. production districts from seven to five, thus eliminating two 
districts, retaining two districts as drawn, and creating three new 
districts. Accordingly, Sec.  1210.320 requires the number of importer 
members to also decrease proportionately from 12 to 9 members, for a 
total of 30 Board members.
    The Plan currently divides the United States into seven districts 
of comparable production volumes of watermelons, and each district is 
allocated two producer members and two handler members. Further, 
importer representation on the Board must be, to the extent 
practicable, proportionate to the percentage of assessments paid by 
importers, except there must be at least one importer on the Board.
    At least every five years, the Board is required to evaluate, based 
on the preceding three-year period, the average production in each 
production district and the average annual percentage of assessments 
paid by importers. The Board conducted this review in 2019 and 
recommended reducing the number of districts from seven to five. 
Authority for these changes is provided in Sec.  1210.320 of the Plan.
    Regarding the economic impact of the proposed rule on affected 
entities, neither the reduction in the number of production districts 
nor the reduction in Board membership imposes any additional costs on 
industry members. The recommended changes are necessary to improve the 
Board's ability to ensure both a quorum at Board meetings and a 
sufficient number of potential nominees. Further, the accompanying 
reduction of importer seats from twelve to nine provides for the 
equitable representation of producers, handlers and importers on the 
Board.
    Regarding alternatives, the Board considered two scenarios in 
realigning the districts. Scenario 1 would divide the U.S. into four 
production districts, and Scenario 2 would divide the U.S. into five 
production districts. In accordance with the Plan, both scenarios 
preserve the composition of 2 producers and 2 handlers per district. 
Ultimately the Board recommended Scenario 2, retaining the State of 
Florida as District 1, changing the district designation for Georgia 
from District 3 to District 2, and creating new Districts 3, 4, and 5 
as follows:

[[Page 23252]]

    (a) District 3 would be comprised of the States of Alabama, 
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South 
Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas;
    (b) District 4 would be comprised of the States of Connecticut, 
Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, 
Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and 
Washington, DC; and
    (c) District 5 would be comprised of the States of Alaska, Arizona, 
California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, 
Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South 
Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
    In accordance with Sec.  1210.320, the Board recommended the 
alignment scenario described in this proposed rule because it: (1) 
Would provide for a proportional geographical representation on the 
Board for producers and handlers; (2) would not create any producer or 
handler vacancies on the Board; and (3) would increase the pool of 
candidates to be considered for appointment to the Board by the 
Secretary.

Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), the Plan's information collection and recordkeeping 
requirements have been approved previously under OMB number 0581-0093. 
This proposed rule would not result in a change to the information 
collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved and would 
impose no additional reporting requirements or recordkeeping burden on 
domestic producers, handlers, or importers of watermelon.
    As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are 
periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sector agencies. Finally, USDA has 
not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or 
conflict with this proposed rule.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services, and for other purposes.
    Regarding outreach efforts, the Board's Executive Committee held 
teleconferences on August 14 and September 11, 2019 to review the 
production data to assess whether changes to the number of districts 
and district boundaries were warranted. All Board and committee 
meetings, including meetings held via teleconference, are open to the 
public and interested persons are invited to participate and express 
their views.
    AMS has performed this initial RFA analysis regarding the impact of 
these changes to the Plan on small entities and invites comments 
concerning potential effects of this action.
    USDA has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with and 
would effectuate the purposes of the Act.
    A 30-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to 
respond to this proposal. All written comments received in response to 
this proposed rule by the date specified will be considered prior to 
finalizing this action.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1210

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Consumer 
information, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Watermelon promotion.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1210 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 1210--WATERMELON RESEARCH AND PROMOTION PLAN

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1210 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 4901-4916 and 7 U.S.C. 7401.

Subpart C--Rules and Regulations

0
2. Amend Sec.  1210.321 by revising the section heading and paragraph 
(f)(1) to read as follows:


Sec.  1210.321  Realignment of districts.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (1) No State in a multi-State district shall have more than three 
producer and handler representatives concurrently on the Board.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  1210.403 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  1210.403  Voting procedures.

* * * * *
    (c) In multi-State districts, the convention chairperson will 
direct the eligible producer voters and handler voters from each State 
to caucus separately for the purpose of electing a State spokesperson 
for each group. Election of each State spokesperson shall be by simple 
majority of all individual voters in attendance. In lieu of written 
ballots, a State spokesperson may be elected by voice vote or a show of 
hands. The role of the State spokesperson is to coordinate State voting 
and to cast all State votes.
* * * * *
0
4. Section 1210.501 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1210.501  Realignment of districts.

    In accordance with Sec.  1210.320(c) of the Plan, the districts 
shall be as follows:
    (a) District 1--The State of Florida.
    (b) District 2--The State of Georgia.
    (c) District 3--The States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and 
Texas.
    (d) District 4--The States of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, 
Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New 
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, 
Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC.
    (e) District 5--The States of Alaska, Arizona, California, 
Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, 
Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, 
Washington, and Wyoming.
0
5. Section 1210.502 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1210.502  Board members.

    The Board consists of 10 producers, 10 handlers, nine importers, 
and one public member appointed by the Secretary.

Bruce Summers,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2020-08395 Filed 4-24-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P