Agricultural Marketing Service November 2006 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling of Fish and Shellfish
Document Number: E6-19962
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reopening the comment period for 90 days for the interim final rule for mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for fish and shellfish covered commodities that was published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2004 (69 FR 59708). The interim final rule for fish and shellfish became effective on April 4, 2005. The interim final rule imposes requirements on certain retailers and their suppliers to notify their customers of the country of origin and the method of production (wild and/or farm-raised) of specified fish and shellfish products. The interim final rule also specifies recordkeeping responsibilities for affected retailers and their suppliers. AMS requests general comment on the costs and benefits of the interim final rule as well as the specific questions that are listed in this document. All affected persons are hereby given notice of the opportunity to submit written data and views concerning the economic impacts of the interim final rule. AMS will review the submitted comments and information as it promulgates a final rule for mandatory COOL for fish and shellfish. Comments received on issues that are outside the scope of the costs and benefits of the interim final rule will not be considered.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Notice of Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Tentative Marketing Agreements and Orders
Document Number: 06-9341
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2006-11-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
A national public hearing is being held to consider and take evidence on a proposal seeking to amend the Class I and Class II milk price formulas applicable to all Federal milk marketing orders. Evidence also will be taken at the hearing to determine whether emergency marketing conditions exist that would warrant omission of a recommended decision under the rules of practice and procedure (7 CFR 900.12(d)).
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Tentative Final Decision on Proposed Amendments and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions to Tentative Marketing Agreements and Orders
Document Number: 06-9340
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2006-11-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This tentative final decision proposes to adopt, on an interim final and emergency basis, changes to the manufacturing allowances contained in the Class III and Class IV product price formulas applicable to all Federal milk marketing orders. This decision is subject to producer approval.
Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports, (2004 Amendments); Withdrawal of a Proposed Rule
Document Number: E6-19559
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2006-11-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This action withdraws a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2005, (70 FR 2034), to amend the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations by adjusting the total rate of assessment per kilogram for imported cotton for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. Based on a stakeholder comment, the Agricultural Marketing Service believes that the proposed rule may not achieve its intended objectives of effectiveness and efficiency.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Suspension of Continuing Assessment Rate
Document Number: E6-19464
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule which suspended the continuing assessment rate established for the Area No. 3 Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2006-2007 and subsequent fiscal periods. The Committee, which locally administers the marketing order regulating the handling of potatoes grown in Northern Colorado, made this recommendation for the purpose of lowering the monetary reserve to a level consistent with program requirements. The fiscal period begins July 1 and ends June 30. The assessment rate will remain suspended until an appropriate rate is reinstated.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E6-19463
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Prune Marketing Committee (committee) under Marketing Order No. 993 for the 2006-07 and subsequent crop years from $0.65 to $0.40 per ton of salable dried prunes. The committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of dried prunes produced in California. Assessments upon dried prune handlers are used by the committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The crop year begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E6-19460
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) for the 2006-2007 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years from $0.0021 to $0.0066 per pound to fund the Board's administrative expenses and its new research and promotion program. Authorization to assess tart cherry handlers enables the Board to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The Board locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The fiscal year began July 1, 2006, and ends June 30, 2007. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Notice of Intent To Hold Public Information Session Prior to Hearing
Document Number: E6-19316
Type: Notice
Date: 2006-11-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This notice announces a public information session to be held addressing proposals received to amend the Federal order Class III and Class IV product price formulas. The purpose of the pre-hearing information session is for interested parties to learn about the intent of proposals that have been submitted to amend Class III and Class IV product price formulas and how the proposals would accomplish that intent. The session is intended to clarify the intent and effect of proposed amendments. The session will enable proponents to better prepare testimony and evidence in support of, or in opposition to, proposals that may be included in the Hearing Notice announcing the Class III/IV hearing.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 06-9253
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2006-11-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) for the 2006-07 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.025 to $0.035 per 25-pound container or equivalent of tomatoes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida. Assessments upon Florida tomato handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Pistachios Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 06-9252
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (committee) for the 2006-07 and subsequent production years from $0.0014 to $0.0007 per pound of assessed-weight pistachios. The committee, which locally administers the marketing order regulating the handling of pistachios grown in California (order), made this recommendation to help reduce the monetary reserve and ensure that it remains at a level consistent with order requirements. Assessments upon pistachio handlers are used by the committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The production year begins September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 06-9251
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Walnut Marketing Board (Board) for the 2006-07 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0096 to $0.0101 per kernelweight pound of assessable walnuts. The Board locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California. Assessments upon walnut handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The marketing year begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Temporary Relaxation of the Minimum Grade Requirement
Document Number: E6-19079
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that relaxed the minimum grade requirement prescribed under the Washington apricot marketing order for the 2006 shipping season. The marketing order regulates the handling of fresh apricots grown in designated counties in the State of Washington, and is administered locally by the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee). This rule continues in effect the action that relaxed the fresh apricot minimum grade requirement from Washington No. 1 grade to Washington No. 2 grade. Taking into consideration pre-harvest hail damage, this change was made for the purpose of increasing the supply of marketable fresh apricots while increasing the potential for higher producer returns.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Change in Certain Provisions/Procedures Under the Handling Regulations for Tart Cherries
Document Number: E6-19078
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, with a change, an interim final rule removing volume limitations on new product development, new market development and market expansion activities to facilitate such activities; allowing handlers to receive diversion credit for the voluntary destruction of finished, marketable products that have deteriorated in condition to provide handlers more flexibility; adding a procedure to keep Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) representation in line with current district production levels; and revising grower application and mapping procedures under the grower diversion program to make the process less burdensome. These changes are intended to improve the operation of the marketing order and to increase the demand for tart cherries and tart cherry products. The changes were unanimously recommended by the Board, the body that locally administers the marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Amendments to Regulations Under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) To Ensure Trust Protection for Produce Sellers When Using Electronic Invoicing or Other Billing Statements
Document Number: E6-18826
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2006-11-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to amend the regulations under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) to ensure that the status of sellers of perishable agricultural commodities as trust creditors is protected when electronic data interchange (EDI) or other forms of electronic commerce are used to invoice buyers. Specifically, the proposed amendments would require a buyer licensed under the PACA or his third party representative to accept the PACA trust notice submitted to it by a seller on a paper, electronic invoice, or other billing statement. In addition, the buyer must allow sufficient data space for the required trust language regardless of the billing medium. Finally, any failure, act or omission inconsistent with this responsibility is unlawful and a violation of the PACA. Comments are being sought from the public, but in particular, from buyers and sellers of fruit and vegetables and vendors/software developers of electronic billing systems.
Almonds Grown in California; Changes to Incoming Quality Control Requirements
Document Number: 06-9133
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule changes the incoming quality control requirements under the administrative rules and regulations of the California almond marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of almonds grown in California and is administered locally by the Almond Board of California (Board). These changes will help minimize the risk of aflatoxin in almonds by removing inedible kernels from human consumption. Inedible almonds are poor quality kernels or pieces of defective kernels that may be contaminated with aflatoxin. This action is intended to improve the overall quality of almonds placed into consumer channels.
Onions Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, OR; Change in Reporting Requirements
Document Number: 06-9112
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-07
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule changes the reporting requirements established under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon onion marketing order, which regulates the handling of onions grown in designated counties in Idaho and Oregon and is administered locally by the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee. This rule: Establishes a credit application procedure for assessments paid on onions that are subsequently regraded, resorted, or repacked within the production area or diverted to exempt special purpose outlets; changes the reporting requirements for fresh onions for peeling, chopping, or slicing, and for special purpose shipments; adds ``disposal'' as a special purpose shipment; and announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request emergency approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a new information collection. These changes are intended to enhance the efficient operation of the program and improve compliance with the other provisions.
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Document Number: E6-18563
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document contains corrections to the preamble of the final rule (Docket No. FV-06-1290-1 FR), published Monday, September 11, 2006 (71 FR 53303). These corrections clarify a response to comments concerning how the funds will be transferred to the States and the allocation of grant funds not distributed to a State.
Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Redistricting
Document Number: E6-18517
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-11-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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
Document Number: E6-18514
Type: Notice
Date: 2006-11-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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
Document Number: E6-18504
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2006-11-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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.