Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program
This notice invites the following eligible States: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming, to submit an Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), and to enter into a Cooperative Agreement with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for the Allocation of Organic Certification Cost-Share Funds. The AMS has allocated $1.0 million for this organic certification cost-share program in Fiscal Year 2007. Funds will be available under this program to 15 designated States to assist organic crop and livestock producers certified under the National Organic Program (NOP). Eligible States interested in obtaining cost-share funds for their organic producers will have to submit an Application for Federal Assistance, and will have to enter into a cooperative agreement with AMS for the allocation for such funds.
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 an revision to a currently approved information collection enabling certified organic handlers exemption from paying market promotion assessments under 26 Federal marketing order programs.
Peanut Standards Board
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a Peanut Standards Board (Board) for the purpose of advising the Secretary on quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. The initial Board was appointed by the Secretary and announced on December 5, 2002. USDA seeks nominations for individuals to be considered for selection to the Board to fill two vacant Board positions for the remainder of a term of office ending June 30, 2010. The Board consists of 18 members representing producers and industry representatives.
Notice of Request for an Extension 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 (OMB) for an extension of a currently approved information collection for organic exemption requests under national research and promotion programs. Upon OMB approval, this burden will be merged into the information collection currently approved under OMB No. 0581-0093 for National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2007-2008 and subsequent fiscal periods from $1.00 to $1.50 per ton for Washington apricots. The Committee is responsible for local administration of the marketing order regulating the handling of apricots grown in designated counties in Washington. Assessments upon handlers of apricots are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period for the marketing order began April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Change in Regulatory Period
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule revising the regulatory period for minimum grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements applicable to onions grown in South Texas under Marketing Order No. 959 (order). Prior to implementation of the interim final rule, the regulatory period for South Texas onions was March 1 through June 4 of each year. Changes in available varieties, growing seasons, and marketing opportunities over the years have resulted in a prolonged onion shipping season that now extends beyond June 4 into mid-July. This rule continues in effect the action that extended the regulatory period through July 15. The South Texas Onion Committee (Committee), which locally administers the order, unanimously recommended the change.
Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Revision of Handling Requirements for Fresh Nectarines and Peaches
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule eliminating 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 continues in effect seasonal adjustments to the handling requirements applicable to well matured fruit and the removal of 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 reduces handler costs while enabling handlers to continue to meet the demands of their buyers.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Walnut Marketing Board (Board) for the 2007-08 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0101 to $0.0122 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 would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
United States Standards for Grades of Pineapples
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is soliciting comments on its proposal to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Pineapples. The proposal would replace Tables I and II in the tolerances section with numerical tolerances and numerical application of tolerances. Decay tolerances would also be revised. The proposed revisions would make the United States Standards for Grades of Pineapples more uniform with other existing grade standards and would better serve the industry.
Notice of Request for Extension 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 and revision of a currently approved information collection used to compile and generate the livestock and meat market reports for the Livestock and Grain Market News Branch of the Livestock and Seed Program.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Secretary's Decision and Referendum Order on Proposed Amendments to Marketing Agreement No. 143 and Order No. 959
This decision proposes amending the marketing agreement and order (order) for onions grown in South Texas, and provides growers with the opportunity to vote in a referendum to determine if they favor the changes. The amendments are based on those proposed by the South Texas Onion Committee (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The amendments include: Adding authority to the order to establish supplemental assessment rates on specified containers of onions; authorizing interest and late payment charges on assessments not paid within a prescribed time period; and authorizing the committee to engage in marketing promotion and paid advertising activities. Two additional amendments were proposed by the Department of Agriculture (USDA): Requiring that a continuance referendum be conducted every six years to determine grower support for the order; and, limiting the number of consecutive terms of office a member can serve on the committee. The proposed amendments are intended to improve the operation and functioning of the South Texas onion marketing order program.
Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rates
This rule decreases the assessment rates established for the Nectarine Administrative Committee and the Peach Commodity Committee (committees) for the 2007-08 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.21 to $0.06 per 25-pound container or container equivalent of nectarines and peaches handled. The committees locally administer the marketing orders that regulate the handling of nectarines and peaches grown in California. Assessments upon nectarine and peach handlers are used by the committees to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the programs. The fiscal period runs from March 1 through the last day of February. The assessment rates will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Sweet Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2007-2008 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.50 to $0.40 per ton for Washington sweet cherries. The Committee is responsible for local administration of the marketing order regulating the handling of sweet cherries grown in designated counties in Washington. Assessments upon handlers of sweet cherries are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period for the marketing order begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate remains in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Livestock Mandatory Reporting; Reestablishment and Revision of the Reporting Regulation for Swine, Cattle, Lamb, and Boxed Beef
On April 2, 2001, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) implemented the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) program as required by the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 (1999 Act). The statutory authority for the program lapsed on September 30, 2005. In October 2006, legislation was enacted to reauthorize the 1999 Act until September 30, 2010, and to amend the swine reporting requirements of the 1999 Act (Pub. L. 109-296) (Reauthorization Act). This rulemaking is necessary to re-establish the regulatory authority for the program's continued operation and incorporate the swine reporting changes contained within the Reauthorization Act as well as make other changes to enhance the program's overall effectiveness and efficiency based on AMS' experience in the administration of the program over the last 6 years.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Change in Requirements for Interhandler Transfers of Raisins
This rule revises the requirements for interhandler transfers of raisins under the administrative rules and regulations of the California raisin marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California and is administered locally by the Raisin Administrative California (Committee). This rule requires handlers who transfer raisins to other handlers within the State of California to certify to the Committee that only acquired, free-tonnage raisins that meet all applicable order requirements are being transferred to receiving handlers. This action should help maintain the integrity of the order by ensuring that handlers only transfer acquired, free-tonnage raisins that meet applicable order requirements.
Multi-Year Revision of Fees for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Terminal Market Inspection Services
This rule would revise the regulations governing the inspection and certification for fresh fruits, vegetables and other products by increasing certain fees charged for the inspection of these products at destination markets for the next two fiscal years (FY-2007 and FY-2008) by approximately 15 percent each fiscal year. This rule would increase fees 30 days after publication in FY-2007 and again in March 2008. These revisions are necessary in order to recover, as nearly as practicable, the costs of performing inspection services at destination markets under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA of 1946). The fees charged to persons required to have inspection on imported commodities in accordance with the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and for imported peanuts under section 1308 of the Farm Security and Rural Investigation Act of 2002.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown In California; Use of Estimated Trade Demand To Compute Volume Regulation Percentages
This rule invites comments on using an estimated trade demand figure to compute volume regulation percentages for 2007-08 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 administered locally by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee). This rule would provide parameters for implementing volume regulation for 2007-08 crop NS raisins, if supplies are short, for the purposes of maintaining a portion of the industry's export markets and stabilizing the domestic market.