United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived From Such Livestock
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking comments on a proposed voluntary standard for a naturally raised marketing claim. A number of livestock producers make claims associated with production practices in order to distinguish their products in the marketplace. There are a growing number of entities that wish to capture value added opportunities via alternative production methods to meet the demands of consumers seeking meat and meat products from naturally raised livestock. The livestock and meat supply chain along with consumers could benefit from a uniform standard for the marketing of this type of product. The standard for a naturally raised marketing claim, if adopted, will be part of the voluntary U.S. Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims. If this voluntary standard is established, livestock producers participating in this program would have their naturally raised claim verified through the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Verification of any claim would 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). Meat and meat products sold from approved programs can carry a claim verified by USDA.
Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking comments regarding the establishment of an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for sorghum, which includes, but is not limited to, grain sorghum, sorghum forage, sorghum hay, sorghum haylage, sorghum billets, and sorghum silage. For the purpose of clarity, the term sorghum will mean all the above mentioned types of sorghum unless specifically identified otherwise. The proposed Order would be implemented under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Act). The proposed Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) would establish a national Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Board (Board) comprised initially of 13 sorghum producers. Producers and importers would pay assessments based on the value of the sorghum they produce or import. A referendum would be conducted 3 years after assessments begin to determine if sorghum producers and importers favor the program.
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 approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection for Tobacco Report.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) for the 2007-08 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.035 to $0.0325 per 25-pound carton of tomatoes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida. Assessments upon 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 will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Open Meeting
This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Plant Variety Protection Board.
Multiyear Increase in Fees and Charges for Egg, Poultry, and Rabbit Grading and Audit Services
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to increase the fees and charges for Federal voluntary egg, poultry, and rabbit grading, certification, and audit services for the next two fiscal years, FY 2008 and FY 2009. The fees and charges need to be increased by 2.76% to 7.74% to cover the increase in salaries of Federal employees, salary increases of State employees cooperatively utilized in administering the programs, and other increased Agency costs. The AMS is required to collect fees from users of these services to cover the costs of services rendered.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Prune Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2007-08 and subsequent crop years from $0.40 to $0.60 per ton of salable dried prunes. The Committee locally administers the marketing order that regulates the handling of dried prunes in California. Assessments upon dried prune handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The higher assessment rate is needed to offset an anticipated decrease in dried prune production this year. The crop year began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
United States Standards for Grades of Florida Avocados
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is withdrawing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting comments on possible revisions to the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Florida Avocados. After reviewing and considering the comments received, the agency has decided not to proceed further with this action.
Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reopening the comment period for 30 days for the interim final rule for the Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting program that was published in the Federal Register on July 3, 2007. This reopening of the comment period will provide interested parties with an additional opportunity to submit comments on all aspects of the program, including but not limited to the product specifications and whether there should be a minimum transaction volume for reported transactions. AMS will review and consider the submitted comments as it promulgates a final rule.
Amendments to Rules of Practice Regulations Under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) To Increase Reparation Complaint Filing and Handling Fees
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to amend the Rules of Practice under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) (7 CFR part 47) to increase informal complaint filing fees and formal complaint handling fees. The proposal would increase from $60 to $100 the fee for filing an informal complaint; and would increase from $300 to $500 the fee for handling a formal complaint.
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 of the currently approved information collection for OMB 0581-0229 ``Form TM-28, USDA Farmers Market Application.'' Copies of this one-time yearly application form to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers Market at 12th Street & Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, may be obtained by calling the AMS Marketing Services Branch contact listed.