Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Redistricting
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that reapportioned the producer and handler membership on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board). The final rule continues in effect the realignment of all seven districts under the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) based on three-year United States production records for watermelons and the assessments paid in each district. The change was proposed by the Board, which administers the nationally coordinated program, in accordance to the provisions of the Plan which require a review of the districts' alignment at least every five years.
United States Standards for Grades of Mixed Commodities
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is establishing voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Mixed Commodities. The standards will provide industry with a common language and uniform basis for trading, thus promoting the orderly and efficient marketing for fresh fruits and vegetables that are mixed in a package.
United States Standards for Grades of Winter Pears
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) prior to undertaking research and other work associated with revising official grade standards, is soliciting comments on the possible revisions of the United States Standards for Grades of Winter Pears. AMS has been reviewing the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grade standards for usefulness in serving the industry. As a result AMS is considering revisions to the winter pear standard to include removing the section 51.1309, Condition after storage or transit. This section has caused confusion within the industry in the past due to different procedures incurred when reporting inspection findings in comparison to other grade standards. Additionally, AMS is seeking comments regarding any other revisions to the standards that may be necessary to better serve the industry.