Onions Grown in South Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate, 39047-39049 [2020-12879]

Download as PDF 39047 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 126 Tuesday, June 30, 2020 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 959 [Doc. No. AMS–SC–20–0019; SC20–959–1 FR] Onions Grown in South Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This rule implements a recommendation from the South Texas Onion Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2019–20 and subsequent fiscal periods. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. DATES: Effective July 30, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Abigail Campos, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324– 3375, Fax: (863) 291–8614, or Email: Abigail.Campos@usda.gov or Christian.Nissen@usda.gov. Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Telephone: (202) 720– 2491, Fax: (202) 720–8938, or Email: Richard.Lower@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This action, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, amends regulations issued to carry out a marketing order as defined in 7 CFR 900.2(j). This rule is issued under Marketing Order No. 959, as amended (7 CFR part 959), regulating the handling of onions grown in south Texas. Part khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Jun 29, 2020 Jkt 250001 959, (referred to as ‘‘the Order’’) is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601–674), hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Act.’’ The Committee locally administers the Order and is comprised of producers and handlers operating within the area of production. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Orders 13563 and 13175. 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). This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the Order now in effect, south Texas onion handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the Order are derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate will be applicable to all assessable onions for the 2019–20 fiscal year, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated. The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA’s ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling. This rule decreases the assessment rate from $0.065, the rate that was PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 established for the 2017–18 and subsequent fiscal periods, to $0.05 per 50-pound equivalent of onions handled for the 2019–20 and subsequent fiscal years. The Order provides authority for the Committee, with the approval of USDA, to formulate an annual budget of expenses and collect assessments from handlers to administer the program. The members are familiar with the Committee’s needs and with the costs of goods and services in their local area and are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have an opportunity to participate and provide input. For the 2017–18 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee recommended and USDA approved an assessment rate that would continue in effect from fiscal period to fiscal period unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other information available to USDA. On November 19, 2019, the Committee unanimously recommended 2019–20 expenditures of $174,807 and an assessment rate of $0.05 per 50pound equivalent of onions. In comparison, last year’s budgeted expenditures were $169,807. The assessment rate of $0.05 is $0.015 lower than the rate currently in effect. The Committee recommended decreasing the assessment rate to help reduce the Committee’s reserve fund and reduce the assessment burden on handlers. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2019–20 year include $69,992 for management and administration, $50,000 for compliance, and $20,000 for research. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2018–19 were $69,992, $50,000, and $20,000, respectively. The Committee derived the recommended assessment rate by considering anticipated expenses, expected shipments of 3,960,000 50pound bags, and the amount of funds available in the authorized reserve. Income derived from handler assessments calculated at $198,000 (3.96 million multiplied by $0.05), along with interest income and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve, should be adequate to cover budgeted expenses E:\FR\FM\30JNR1.SGM 30JNR1 39048 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 126 / Tuesday, June 30, 2020 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES of $174,807. Funds in the reserve (currently $201,844) will be kept within the maximum permitted by the Order (approximately two fiscal period’s expenses as stated in § 959.43) at the end of the 2019–20 fiscal period. The assessment rate established in this rule will continue in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other available information. Although this assessment rate will be in effect for an indefinite period, the Committee will continue to meet prior to or during each fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and times of Committee meetings are available from the Committee or USDA. Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Committee recommendations and other available information to determine whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking will be undertaken as necessary. The Committee’s 2019–20 budget and those for subsequent fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, approved by USDA. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601–612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf. There are approximately 60 producers of onions in the production area and approximately 30 handlers subject to regulation under the Order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts less than $1,000,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $30,000,000 (13 CFR 121.201). According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Jun 29, 2020 Jkt 250001 the weighted producer price for South Texas onions during the 2018–19 season was around $9.09 per 50-pound equivalent. The Committee reports total onion shipments were approximately 4.2 million 50-pound equivalents. Using the weighted average price and shipment information, the total 2018–19 crop value is estimated at $38.2 million. Dividing the crop value by the estimated number of producers (60) yields an estimated average receipt per producer of $636,700, so the majority of producers would have annual receipts of less than $1,000,000. The average handler price for south Texas onions during the 2018–19 season was approximately $11.00 per 50-pound equivalent. Using the price average and shipment information, the total 2018–19 handler crop value is estimated at $46.2 million. Dividing this figure by the number of handlers (30) yields an estimated average annual handler receipts of $1.54 million, which is below the SBA threshold for small agricultural service firms. Thus, the majority of onion producers and handlers may be classified as small entities. This final rule decreases the assessment rate collected from handlers for the 2019–20 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.065 to $0.05 per 50pound equivalent of Texas onions. The Committee unanimously recommended 2019–20 expenditures of $174,807 and an assessment rate of $0.05 per 50pound equivalent. The assessment rate of $0.05 is $0.015 lower than the 2017– 18 rate. The quantity of assessable onions for the 2019–20 fiscal period is estimated at 3.96 million 50-pound equivalents. Thus, the $0.05 rate should provide $198,000 in assessment income (3.96 million multiplied by $0.05). Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve, should be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2019–20 year include $69,992 for management and administration, $50,000 for compliance, and $20,000 for research. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2018–19 were $69,992, $50,000, and $20,000, respectively. The Committee recommended decreasing the assessment rate to reduce the assessment burden on handlers and utilize funds from the authorized reserve to help cover Committee expenses. Prior to arriving at this budget and assessment rate, the Committee considered information from various sources, such as the Committee’s Budget PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 and Personnel Committee. Alternative expenditure levels were discussed by this group, based upon the relative value of various activities to the South Texas onion industry. Based on the estimated shipments, the recommended assessment rate of $0.05 would provide $198,000 in assessment income. The Committee determined that assessment revenue, along with interest income and funds from authorized reserves would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses for the 2019–20 fiscal period. A review of historical information and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates that the average producer price for the 2019–20 season should be approximately $10.15 per 50-pound equivalent of Texas onions. Therefore, the estimated assessment revenue for the 2019–20 fiscal period as a percentage of total producer revenue would be about 0.49 percent. This action decreases the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. Assessments are applied uniformly on all handlers, and some of the costs may be passed on to producers. However, decreasing the assessment rate reduces the burden on handlers and may also reduce the burden on producers. The Committee’s meeting was widely publicized throughout the South Texas onion industry. All interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the November 19, 2019, meeting was a public meeting, and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Order’s information collection requirements have been previously approved by the OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581–0178 Vegetable and Specialty Crops. No changes in those requirements would be necessary as a result of this action. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval. This rule imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large South Texas onion handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. As noted in the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this final rule. AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the internet and other E:\FR\FM\30JNR1.SGM 30JNR1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 126 / Tuesday, June 30, 2020 / Rules and Regulations information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on March 19, 2020 (85 FR 15743). Copies of the proposed rule were also mailed or sent via email to all South Texas onion handlers. The proposal was made available through the internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 30-day comment period ending April 20, 2020, was provided for interested persons to respond to the proposal. Four comments were received. One was in support, one considered both maintaining the current assessment rate and lowering the assessment rate, and two comments did not address the merits of the proposal. One comment received in support of the regulation stated the assessment rate should be decreased given the state of the national economy. The comment received that addressed both maintaining and reducing the assessment rate expressed that the proposed action would not be a significant benefit to producers. The commenter also recognized the indirect burden of assessments on producers and stated that maybe the assessment rate should be lowered. The Committee recommended the decrease in the assessment rate to help reduce the assessment burden on handlers. This change reduces the assessment burden on the industry handlers by around $60,000, a reduction in total assessments of nearly 23 percent. The decreased assessment rate still covers the budgeted expenses for the Committee and reduces the assessment burden for handlers. It may also reduce the burden on producers. Accordingly, no changes will be made to the rule as proposed, based on the comments received. A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/ rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. After consideration of all relevant material presented, including the information and recommendation submitted by the Committee and other available information, it is hereby found that this rule will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Jun 29, 2020 Jkt 250001 List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 959 Marketing agreements, Onions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 959 is amended as follows: PART 959—ONIONS GROWN IN SOUTH TEXAS 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 959 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. 2. Section 959.237 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 959.237 Assessment rate. On and after August 1, 2019, an assessment rate of $0.05 per 50-pound equivalent is established for South Texas onions. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2020–12879 Filed 6–29–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC–2019–0202] RIN 3150–AK39 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, Renewed Amendment No. 16 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Direct final rule. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its spent fuel storage regulations by revising the TN Americas LLC, Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System (Standardized NUHOMS® System) listing within the ‘‘List of approved spent fuel storage casks’’ to include Renewed Amendment No. 16 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1004. This amendment used a qualitative risk-informed approach (graded approach criteria) to streamline the format and content of the certificate of compliance. Renewed Amendment No. 16 does not include any design or fabrication changes to the Standardized NUHOMS® System. DATES: This direct final rule is effective September 14, 2020, unless significant SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 39049 adverse comments are received by July 30, 2020. If this direct final rule is withdrawn as a result of such comments, timely notice of the withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. Comments received on this direct final rule will also be considered to be comments on a companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2019–0202. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov. If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301–415–1677. • Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff. For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see ‘‘Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Norma Garcı´a Santos, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301–415–6999; email: Norma.GarciaSantos@nrc.gov or Torre Taylor, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301–415– 7900; email: Torre.Taylor@nrc.gov. Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments II. Rulemaking Procedure III. Background IV. Discussion of Changes V. Voluntary Consensus Standards VI. Agreement State Compatibility VII. Plain Writing VIII. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact IX. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement X. Regulatory Flexibility Certification E:\FR\FM\30JNR1.SGM 30JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 126 (Tuesday, June 30, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 39047-39049]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-12879]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 

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


Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 126 / Tuesday, June 30, 2020 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 39047]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 959

[Doc. No. AMS-SC-20-0019; SC20-959-1 FR]


Onions Grown in South Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This rule implements a recommendation from the South Texas 
Onion Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established 
for the 2019-20 and subsequent fiscal periods. The assessment rate will 
remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or 
terminated.

DATES: Effective July 30, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Abigail Campos, Marketing Specialist, 
or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field 
Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops 
Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 291-8614, or 
Email: [email protected] or [email protected].
    Small businesses may request information on complying with this 
regulation by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement 
Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW, Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, 
Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This action, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, 
amends regulations issued to carry out a marketing order as defined in 
7 CFR 900.2(j). This rule is issued under Marketing Order No. 959, as 
amended (7 CFR part 959), regulating the handling of onions grown in 
south Texas. Part 959, (referred to as ``the Order'') is effective 
under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 
U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the ``Act.'' The Committee 
locally administers the Order and is comprised of producers and 
handlers operating within the area of production.
    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in 
conformance with Executive Orders 13563 and 13175. 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).
    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. Under the Order now in effect, south Texas onion 
handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the Order are 
derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate 
will be applicable to all assessable onions for the 2019-20 fiscal 
year, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated.
    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted 
before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the 
Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition 
stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation 
imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and 
request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such 
handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. 
After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides 
that the district court of the United States in any district in which 
the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of 
business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, 
provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of 
the entry of the ruling.
    This rule decreases the assessment rate from $0.065, the rate that 
was established for the 2017-18 and subsequent fiscal periods, to $0.05 
per 50-pound equivalent of onions handled for the 2019-20 and 
subsequent fiscal years.
    The Order provides authority for the Committee, with the approval 
of USDA, to formulate an annual budget of expenses and collect 
assessments from handlers to administer the program. The members are 
familiar with the Committee's needs and with the costs of goods and 
services in their local area and are thus in a position to formulate an 
appropriate budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is 
formulated and discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly 
affected persons have an opportunity to participate and provide input.
    For the 2017-18 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee 
recommended and USDA approved an assessment rate that would continue in 
effect from fiscal period to fiscal period unless modified, suspended, 
or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by 
the Committee or other information available to USDA.
    On November 19, 2019, the Committee unanimously recommended 2019-20 
expenditures of $174,807 and an assessment rate of $0.05 per 50-pound 
equivalent of onions. In comparison, last year's budgeted expenditures 
were $169,807. The assessment rate of $0.05 is $0.015 lower than the 
rate currently in effect. The Committee recommended decreasing the 
assessment rate to help reduce the Committee's reserve fund and reduce 
the assessment burden on handlers.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2019-20 
year include $69,992 for management and administration, $50,000 for 
compliance, and $20,000 for research. Budgeted expenses for these items 
in 2018-19 were $69,992, $50,000, and $20,000, respectively.
    The Committee derived the recommended assessment rate by 
considering anticipated expenses, expected shipments of 3,960,000 50-
pound bags, and the amount of funds available in the authorized 
reserve. Income derived from handler assessments calculated at $198,000 
(3.96 million multiplied by $0.05), along with interest income and 
funds from the Committee's authorized reserve, should be adequate to 
cover budgeted expenses

[[Page 39048]]

of $174,807. Funds in the reserve (currently $201,844) will be kept 
within the maximum permitted by the Order (approximately two fiscal 
period's expenses as stated in Sec.  959.43) at the end of the 2019-20 
fiscal period.
    The assessment rate established in this rule will continue in 
effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA 
upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other 
available information.
    Although this assessment rate will be in effect for an indefinite 
period, the Committee will continue to meet prior to or during each 
fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider 
recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and 
times of Committee meetings are available from the Committee or USDA. 
Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may 
express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Committee 
recommendations and other available information to determine whether 
modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking will 
be undertaken as necessary. The Committee's 2019-20 budget and those 
for subsequent fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, 
approved by USDA.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 
has considered the economic impact of this rule on small entities. 
Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility 
analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in 
that they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf.
    There are approximately 60 producers of onions in the production 
area and approximately 30 handlers subject to regulation under the 
Order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts less than 
$1,000,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those 
whose annual receipts are less than $30,000,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), 
the weighted producer price for South Texas onions during the 2018-19 
season was around $9.09 per 50-pound equivalent. The Committee reports 
total onion shipments were approximately 4.2 million 50-pound 
equivalents. Using the weighted average price and shipment information, 
the total 2018-19 crop value is estimated at $38.2 million. Dividing 
the crop value by the estimated number of producers (60) yields an 
estimated average receipt per producer of $636,700, so the majority of 
producers would have annual receipts of less than $1,000,000.
    The average handler price for south Texas onions during the 2018-19 
season was approximately $11.00 per 50-pound equivalent. Using the 
price average and shipment information, the total 2018-19 handler crop 
value is estimated at $46.2 million. Dividing this figure by the number 
of handlers (30) yields an estimated average annual handler receipts of 
$1.54 million, which is below the SBA threshold for small agricultural 
service firms. Thus, the majority of onion producers and handlers may 
be classified as small entities.
    This final rule decreases the assessment rate collected from 
handlers for the 2019-20 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.065 to 
$0.05 per 50-pound equivalent of Texas onions. The Committee 
unanimously recommended 2019-20 expenditures of $174,807 and an 
assessment rate of $0.05 per 50-pound equivalent. The assessment rate 
of $0.05 is $0.015 lower than the 2017-18 rate. The quantity of 
assessable onions for the 2019-20 fiscal period is estimated at 3.96 
million 50-pound equivalents. Thus, the $0.05 rate should provide 
$198,000 in assessment income (3.96 million multiplied by $0.05). 
Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and 
funds from the Committee's authorized reserve, should be adequate to 
cover budgeted expenses.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2019-20 
year include $69,992 for management and administration, $50,000 for 
compliance, and $20,000 for research. Budgeted expenses for these items 
in 2018-19 were $69,992, $50,000, and $20,000, respectively.
    The Committee recommended decreasing the assessment rate to reduce 
the assessment burden on handlers and utilize funds from the authorized 
reserve to help cover Committee expenses.
    Prior to arriving at this budget and assessment rate, the Committee 
considered information from various sources, such as the Committee's 
Budget and Personnel Committee. Alternative expenditure levels were 
discussed by this group, based upon the relative value of various 
activities to the South Texas onion industry. Based on the estimated 
shipments, the recommended assessment rate of $0.05 would provide 
$198,000 in assessment income. The Committee determined that assessment 
revenue, along with interest income and funds from authorized reserves 
would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses for the 2019-20 fiscal 
period.
    A review of historical information and preliminary information 
pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates that the average 
producer price for the 2019-20 season should be approximately $10.15 
per 50-pound equivalent of Texas onions. Therefore, the estimated 
assessment revenue for the 2019-20 fiscal period as a percentage of 
total producer revenue would be about 0.49 percent.
    This action decreases the assessment obligation imposed on 
handlers. Assessments are applied uniformly on all handlers, and some 
of the costs may be passed on to producers. However, decreasing the 
assessment rate reduces the burden on handlers and may also reduce the 
burden on producers.
    The Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the South 
Texas onion industry. All interested persons were invited to attend the 
meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like 
all Committee meetings, the November 19, 2019, meeting was a public 
meeting, and all entities, both large and small, were able to express 
views on this issue.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), the Order's information collection requirements have been 
previously approved by the OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581-0178 Vegetable 
and Specialty Crops. No changes in those requirements would be 
necessary as a result of this action. Should any changes become 
necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.
    This rule imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large South Texas onion handlers. As 
with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are 
periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sector agencies. As noted in the 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis, USDA has not identified any 
relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this 
final rule.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the internet and other

[[Page 39049]]

information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen 
access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.
    A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal 
Register on March 19, 2020 (85 FR 15743). Copies of the proposed rule 
were also mailed or sent via email to all South Texas onion handlers. 
The proposal was made available through the internet by USDA and the 
Office of the Federal Register. A 30-day comment period ending April 
20, 2020, was provided for interested persons to respond to the 
proposal.
    Four comments were received. One was in support, one considered 
both maintaining the current assessment rate and lowering the 
assessment rate, and two comments did not address the merits of the 
proposal.
    One comment received in support of the regulation stated the 
assessment rate should be decreased given the state of the national 
economy. The comment received that addressed both maintaining and 
reducing the assessment rate expressed that the proposed action would 
not be a significant benefit to producers. The commenter also 
recognized the indirect burden of assessments on producers and stated 
that maybe the assessment rate should be lowered. The Committee 
recommended the decrease in the assessment rate to help reduce the 
assessment burden on handlers. This change reduces the assessment 
burden on the industry handlers by around $60,000, a reduction in total 
assessments of nearly 23 percent. The decreased assessment rate still 
covers the budgeted expenses for the Committee and reduces the 
assessment burden for handlers. It may also reduce the burden on 
producers.
    Accordingly, no changes will be made to the rule as proposed, based 
on the comments received.
    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and 
specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions 
about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the 
previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section.
    After consideration of all relevant material presented, including 
the information and recommendation submitted by the Committee and other 
available information, it is hereby found that this rule will tend to 
effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 959

    Marketing agreements, Onions, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 959 is 
amended as follows:

PART 959--ONIONS GROWN IN SOUTH TEXAS

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 959 continues to read as 
follows:

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


0
2. Section 959.237 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  959.237  Assessment rate.

    On and after August 1, 2019, an assessment rate of $0.05 per 50-
pound equivalent is established for South Texas onions.

Bruce Summers,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-12879 Filed 6-29-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P