Sweet Onions Grown in the Walla Walla Valley of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon; Continuance Referendum
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of sweet onions in the Walla Walla Valley of southeast Washington and northeast Oregon, to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of sweet onions produced in the production area.
User Fees for 2007 Crop Cotton Classification Services to Growers
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to maintain user fees for cotton producers for 2007 crop cotton classification services under the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act at the same level as in 2006. This is in accordance with the formula provided in the Uniform Cotton Classing Fees Act of 1987. The 2006 user fee for this classification service was $1.85 per bale. This proposal would maintain the fee for the 2007 crop at $1.85 per bale. The proposed fee and the existing reserve are sufficient to cover the costs of providing classification services, including costs for administration and supervision.
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California; Change in Reporting Requirements
This rule invites comments on a revision to the reporting requirements established under the California desert grape marketing order, which regulates the handling of grapes grown in a designated area of Southeastern California. The marketing order is administered locally by the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee (CDGAC or committee). This rule would require handlers to provide an annual report to the committee which lists the acreages devoted to grapes for fresh shipment, the owners and locations of the acreages, and varieties produced thereon that the handler will be handling during the upcoming season. This change would allow the committee to collect information on the acreage and varieties of desert grapes regulated under the marketing order, thus improving data collection and the efficient operation of the program.
Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Revision of Handling Requirements for Fresh Nectarines and Peaches
This rule eliminates grade, size, maturity, pack, container and inspection requirements for all California nectarines and peaches except those packed in containers labeled ``California Well Matured'' or ``CA WELL MAT''. This rule also makes seasonal adjustments to the handling requirements applicable to well matured fruit. Finally, this rule removes certain handler reporting requirements that are deemed no longer necessary. The marketing orders regulate the handling of nectarines and peaches grown in California and are administered locally by the Nectarine Administrative and Peach Commodity Committees (committees). This rule should reduce handler costs while enabling handlers to continue to meet the demands of their buyers.
Request for an Extension of and Revision to a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection in support of the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (U.S.C. Chapter 518), the Rural Development, Food and Drug Administrative, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 2002 (Appropriations Act), and the Tobacco Inspection Act and Regulations Governing the Tobacco Standards.
Olives Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the California Olive Committee (committee) for the 2007 and subsequent fiscal years from $11.03 to $47.84 per assessable ton of olives handled. The committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of olives grown in California. Assessments upon olive handlers are used by the committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal year began January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil for the 2006-2007 Marketing Year
This rule revises the quantity of Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle for, producers during the 2006-2007 marketing year. This rule increases the Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity from 878,205 pounds to 2,984,817 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 45 percent to 153 percent. In addition, this rule increases the Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 1,161,260 pounds to 1,205,208 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 53 percent to 55 percent. The marketing order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West and is administered locally by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee). The Committee recommended this rule for the purpose of avoiding extreme fluctuations in supplies and prices and to help maintain stability in the Far West spearmint oil market.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of approximately $6,895,000 in block grant funds to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. State departments of agriculture interested in obtaining grant program funds are invited to submit applications to USDA. State departments of agriculture, meaning agencies, commissions, or departments of a State government responsible for agriculture within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, are eligible to apply. State departments of agriculture are encouraged to involve industry groups, academia, and community-based organizations in the development of applications and the administration of projects.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Modification of Administrative Rules Governing Committee Representation
This rule modifies the administrative rules governing committee representation under the Washington potato marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Washington, and is administered locally by the State of Washington Potato Committee (Committee). This rule reestablishes districts within the production area, reestablishes the Committee with fewer members, and reapportions members among districts. These changes will result in more efficient administration of the program while providing for more effective representation of the Washington fresh potato industry on the Committee.
Nominations for Member of the National Organic Standards Board
The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, as amended, requires the establishment of a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The NOSB is a 15-member board that is responsible for developing and recommending to the Secretary a proposed National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The NOSB also advises the Secretary on all other aspects of the National Organic Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is requesting nominations to fill one Environmentalist position on the NOSB. The Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a person to serve a 5-year term of office that will commence on January 24, 2008, and run until January 24, 2013. USDA encourages eligible minorities, women, and persons with disabilities to apply for membership on the NOSB.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Final Free and Reserve Percentages for 2006-07 Crop Natural (sun-dried) Seedless Raisins
This rule establishes final volume regulation percentages for 2006-07 crop Natural (sun-dried) Seedless (NS) raisins covered under the Federal marketing order for California raisins (order). The order regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California and is locally administered by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee). The volume regulation percentages are 90 percent free and 10 percent reserve. The percentages are intended to help stabilize raisin supplies and prices, and strengthen market conditions.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Exemption of Onions for Export
This rule exempts onions being shipped to export markets from regulations prescribed under the South Texas onion marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of onions grown in South Texas, and is administered locally by the South Texas Onion Committee (Committee). This rule provides a special purpose shipment exemption for onions being shipped to export markets. Under this change, onion shipments for export will be exempt from the grade, size, quality, and inspection requirements of the marketing order. This rule will provide handlers additional flexibility in marketing onions of different grades and quality in various markets outside of the U.S. This change is expected to help the South Texas onion industry develop additional markets for its onions, while increasing returns to producers and providing an increased supply of onions to help satisfy a rapidly developing export market.
Potato Research and Promotion Plan; Amendment of Administrative Committee Structure
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule amending the structure of the Administrative Committee (Committee) of the National Potato Promotion Board (Board) as prescribed in the Potato Research and Promotion Plan. This rule continues in effect the action that increased the number of Vice-Chairperson positions on the Committee from six to seven. The change is intended to more closely correlate the Committee's representation with potato production in the Northwest districta five state region which accounts for more than half of all U.S. potato production.
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection for report forms under the Federal milk marketing order program.
Notice of Request for an Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection Cotton Classification and Market News Service.
Avocados Grown in South Florida; Suspension of Weekly Handler Reporting Requirements
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule changing the reporting requirements currently prescribed under the marketing order for avocados grown in South Florida (order). The order regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida and is administered locally by the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee). This rule continues in effect the action that indefinitely suspended the weekly handler reporting requirements specified under the order. The information from the weekly reports is no longer being used by the industry or the Committee staff and the germane information is available from other sources. This action reduces the reporting burden on handlers, while aligning information collection requirements with the needs of the industry.
Data Collection, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Applicable to Cranberries Not Subject to the Cranberry Marketing Order; Suspension of Provisions Under 7 CFR Part 926
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule suspending Part 926 in the Code of Federal Regulations, which requires persons engaged in the handling or importation of fresh cranberries or cranberry products, but not subject to the reporting requirements of the Federal cranberry marketing order (7 CFR part 929), to report sales, acquisition, and inventory information to the Cranberry Marketing Committee (Committee), and to maintain adequate records of such activities. The establishment of these requirements is authorized under section 8(d) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (Act). The Committee, which administers marketing order 929, regulating the handling of cranberries grown in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island in the State of New York, has been delegated by USDA to collect such information authorized under Part 926. Based on information provided by the Committee, USDA has determined that the collection of information under Part 926 is of marginal benefit to the industry and should continue to be suspended.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Suspension of Container Regulations
This rule suspends the container regulations prescribed under the Washington apricot marketing order by extending the temporary 2006 season suspension indefinitely. 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 indefinite suspension of the container regulations will continue to provide the apricot industry with increased marketing flexibility by allowing handlers to pack and ship apricots in any size, shape, or type of container. After evaluating the impact the temporary 2006 season container regulation suspension has had on the industry, the Committee determined that container regulations no longer contribute to the orderly marketing of the fresh apricot crop.