Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Assessment Increase
This rule amends the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) to increase the assessment rate on producers, handlers, and importers of watermelons from four cents to six cents per hundredweight. Domestic producers and handlers will pay three cents per hundredweight each and importers will pay six cents per hundredweight. The increase is provided for under the Plan which is authorized by the Watermelon Research and Promotion Act (Act). The National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board), which administers the Plan, recommended this action to sustain and expand their promotional, research, and communications programs.
Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Amendment to Term of Office Provision
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that modifies the term of office provision of the Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) so that the term of office and term limit for the two wholesaler and/or retailer positions of the National Mango Board (Board) be the same as that of other members. Specifically, the amendment modifies the term of office from one year to three years, and modifies the term limit for these positions from a maximum of three consecutive one-year terms to a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms in order to conform to the requirements of the commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Act).
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California and Imported Table Grapes; Change in Regulatory Periods
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on proposed changes to the regulatory period when minimum grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements apply to southeastern California grapes under Marketing Order No. 925 (order) and to imported grapes under the table grape import regulation is reopened. The original proposed rule regarding this matter was published in the Federal Register on May 25, 2005 (70 FR 30001), and cited statistical information through the 2004 shipping season. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is now considering updated statistical information for the 2005 through 2007 shipping seasons. AMS hereby invites comments on the updated statistical information contained herein, as it pertains to the proposed rule to change the regulatory period.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Final Free and Reserve Percentages for 2006-07 Crop Natural (sun-dried) Seedless Raisins
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that established 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.
United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Grass (Forage) Fed Claim for Ruminant Livestock and the Meat Products Derived From Such Livestock
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is establishing a voluntary standard for a grass (forage) fed livestock marketing claim. This standard incorporates revisions made as a result of comments received from an earlier proposed standard. A number of livestock producers make claims associated with production practices in order to distinguish their products in the marketplace. With the establishment of this voluntary standard, livestock producers may request that a grass (forage) fed claim be verified by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Verification of this claim will be accomplished through an audit of the production process in accordance with procedures that are contained in Part 62 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR part 62), and the meat sold from these approved programs can carry a claim verified by USDA.
National Organic Program, Sunset Review
This rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) regulations to reflect recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) from November 17, 2005 through October 19, 2006. The amendments addressed in this final rule pertain to the continued exemption (use) and prohibition of 168 substances in organic production and handling. Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this final rule renews 165 exemptions and prohibitions on the National List (along with any restrictive annotations) and removes 3 exemptions from the National List.
Fresh Prunes Grown in Designated Counties in Washington and in Umatilla County, OR; Decreased Assessment Rate
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule which decreased the assessment rate established for the Washington-Oregon Fresh Prune Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2007-2008 and subsequent fiscal periods from $1.75 to $1.00 per ton of prunes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of fresh prunes grown in designated counties in Washington and in Umatilla County, Oregon. Assessments upon fresh prune handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a forthcoming meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases 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 began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Handling Regulations for Leafy Greens Under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking in response to industry interest in the establishment of a marketing program to address the handling of fresh and fresh-cut leafy green vegetables. The program would allow packers, processors, shippers, and marketers (collectively referred to as handlers) to maintain the quality of their products by reducing the risk of pathogenic contamination during the production and handling of leafy greens. Authorities and regulations under the program would not supplant those of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for ensuring that foods are safe, wholesome, and sanitary. Comments are being sought from the public, particularly from growers, handlers, buyers, and sellers of leafy green commodities, regarding whether to issue such regulations under an AMS marketing program and if so, the possible substance and implementation of the program.
2007 Crop Cotton Classification Services and User Fees to Growers
The Smith-Doxey Amendment of 1937 (7 U.S.C. 473a) to the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act of 1927 (7 U.S.C. 471-476) provided authority for the USDA to perform cotton classification and market news services to producers at no cost. Prior to that time, authorization for classing services was provided through the Cotton Standards Act of 1923 (7 U.S.C. 51-65) and for statistical purposes through the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act of 1927. Costs for classing services under the Smith-Doxey Amendment were supplied through appropriated funds until 1981 at which time the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (Pub. L. 97-35) authorized the USDA to begin collecting user fees for their services and the classing fee structure was implemented through the Smith-Doxey Amendment. The statutory authority for the delivery of classing services and collection of applicable fees under the Smith- Doxey Amendment will lapse on September 30, 2007. This rulemaking is necessary to re-establish the regulatory authority for the program's continued operation and incorporate the current fee structure for the 2007 crop year, which was published in the June 1, 2007, Federal Register (72 FR 30457), under the authority of the Cotton Standards Act of 1923.
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 intention of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection in support of the Regulations Governing Inspection and Certification of Processed Fruits and Vegetables and Related Products.