Agricultural Marketing Service 2008 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Collection
Document Number: E8-30696
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection ``Application for Plant Variety Protection Certification and Objective Description of Variety.'' Two new forms are introduced to this collection.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Final Decision on Proposed Amendments to Tentative Marketing Agreements and to Orders and Termination of Proceeding
Document Number: E8-30697
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-24
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
We are denying proposals that would have increased Class I and Class II prices and modified the formulas used to determine Class I and II prices in all Federal milk marketing orders. This document terminates the proceeding on the five proposed amendments.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Recommended Decision and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions to Proposed Amendments to Marketing Agreement 84 and Order No. 905
Document Number: E8-30670
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-12-24
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This is a recommended decision regarding proposed amendments to Marketing Agreement No. 84 and Order No. 905 (order), which regulate the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos (citrus) grown in Florida. Four amendments were proposed by the Citrus Administrative Committee (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. These proposed amendments would modify committee representation by cooperative entities, allow substitute alternates to temporarily represent absent members at committee meetings, authorize the committee to conduct meetings by telephone or other means of communication, and authorize the committee to conduct research and promotion programs, including paid advertising, for fresh Florida citrus. The proposals are intended to improve the operation and administration of the order. This recommended decision invites written exceptions on the proposed amendments.
United States Standards for Grades of Carrots With Short Trimmed Tops
Document Number: E8-30312
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-22
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 to the United States Standards for Grades of Carrots with Short Trimmed Tops. AMS has been reviewing the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grade standards for usefulness in fostering commerce. As a result, AMS has identified the United States Standards for Grades of Carrots with Short Trimmed Tops for possible revisions. AMS is proposing to revise the color requirement to allow carrots with short trimmed tops of any color characteristic of the variety to be graded using the standards. In addition, the similar varietal characteristic requirement would be amended to allow mixed colors and/or types of carrots when designated as a mixed or specialty pack. Also, AMS is considering removing the ``Unclassified'' category from the standards. AMS is seeking comments regarding this change as well as any other possible revisions that may be necessary to better serve the industry.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Section 610 Review
Document Number: E8-30311
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This action summarizes the results under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), of an Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) review of Marketing Order No. 966, regulating the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida (order). AMS has determined that the order should be continued.
Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Section 610 Review
Document Number: E8-30310
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This action summarizes the results under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), of an Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) review of Marketing Order No. 927, regulating the handling of pears grown in Oregon and Washington. AMS has determined that the marketing order should be continued.
Walnuts Grown in California; Section 610 Review
Document Number: E8-30309
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This action summarizes the results under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), of an Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) review of Marketing Order No. 984, regulating the handling of walnuts grown in California (order). AMS has determined that the order should be continued.
United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Blueberries
Document Number: E8-30281
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prior to undertaking research and other work associated with revising an official grade standard, is soliciting comments on the petition to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Blueberries. AMS received a petition from blueberry producers asking USDA to consider revising the current U.S. grade standard.
United States Standards for Grades of Topped Carrots
Document Number: E8-30279
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-22
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 to the United States Standards for Grades of Topped Carrots. AMS has been reviewing the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grade standards for usefulness in fostering commerce. As a result, AMS has identified the United States Standards for Grades of Topped Carrots for possible revisions. AMS is proposing to revise the color requirement to allow topped carrots of any color characteristic of the variety to be graded using the standards. In addition, the similar varietal characteristic requirement would be amended to allow mixed colors and/or types of carrots when designated as a mixed or specialty pack. Also, AMS is considering removing the ``Unclassified'' category from the standards. AMS is seeking comments regarding these changes as well as any other possible revisions that may be necessary to better serve the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Bunched Carrots
Document Number: E8-30276
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-22
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 to the United States Standards for Grades of Bunched Carrots. AMS has been reviewing the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grade standards for usefulness in fostering commerce. As a result, AMS has identified the United States Standards for Grades of Bunched Carrots for possible revisions. AMS is proposing to revise the color requirement to allow bunched carrots of any color characteristic of the variety to be graded using the standards. In addition, the similar varietal characteristic requirement would be amended to allow mixed colors and/or types of carrots when designated as a mixed or specialty pack. Also, AMS is considering removing the ``Unclassified'' category from the standards. AMS is seeking comments regarding this change as well as any other possible revisions that may be necessary to better serve the industry.
Notice of Request for a New Information Collection
Document Number: E8-29829
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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 information collection for Regulations Governing Inspection, Certification and Standards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, and Other Products specifically related to audit based programs. Once approved, AMS will request that OMB merge this information collection into the currently approved OMB 0581- 0125, Regulations Governing Inspection, Certification, and Standards for Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and other Products.
Lamb Promotion and Research Program: Procedures To Request Conduct of a Referendum
Document Number: E8-29694
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule amends the regulations issued under the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) pursuant to administrative changes to Web addresses and office locations within the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.
Notice of Opportunity To Participate in the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Program Referendum
Document Number: E8-29693
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing that a referendum will be conducted under the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) to determine whether those persons voting favor the continuance of the Order.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Partial Exemption to the Minimum Grade Requirements
Document Number: E8-29658
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule provides a partial exemption to the minimum grade requirements under the marketing order for tomatoes grown in Florida (order). The order regulates the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida and is administered locally by the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee). Absent an exemption, Florida tomatoes covered by the order must meet at least a U.S. No. 2 grade before they can be shipped and sold outside the regulated area. This rule exempts Vintage Ripes\TM\ tomatoes (Vintage Ripes\TM\) from the shape requirements associated with the U.S. No. 2 grade. This change increases the volume of Vintage Ripes\TM\ that will meet the order requirements, and will help increase shipments and availability of these tomatoes.
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
Document Number: E8-29657
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The purpose of this notice is to notify all interested parties that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will hold a Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Committee) meeting that is open to the public. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the Committee to examine the full spectrum of issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry and to provide suggestions and ideas to the Secretary of Agriculture on how USDA can tailor its programs to meet the fruit and vegetable industry's needs. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Relaxation of Handling and Import Regulations
Document Number: E8-29600
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-15
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule relaxing the size requirement prescribed 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 continues in effect the action that relaxed the minimum size required for all fresh market red, yellow fleshed, and white types of potatoes from 1 inch (25.4 mm) to \3/4\ inch (19.1 mm) in diameter, if the potatoes otherwise meet the requirements of U.S. No. 1 grade. This rule also continues in effect the action that relaxed the minimum size requirement from July 1 through September 30 of each year for imported red-skinned, round type potatoes under the import regulations as required by section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. The Committee recommended this change in response to the recently revised U.S. Standards for Grades of Potatoes which added a definition for Creamer potatoes. This change is intended to provide potato handlers with greater marketing flexibility, growers with increased returns, consumers with a greater supply of small potatoes, and to bring the section 8e potato import regulation into conformity with the marketing order.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Change to Fiscal Period
Document Number: E8-29599
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-15
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule changes the fiscal period prescribed under the tart cherry marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin and is administered locally by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board). The fiscal period is changed from July 1 through June 30 to October 1 through September 30. This will improve the administration and the fiscal operation of the Board.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E8-29598
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-15
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 decreased the assessment rate established for the Prune Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2008-09 and subsequent crop years from $0.60 to $0.30 per ton of salable dried prunes. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which 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 crop year began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, CA; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E8-29597
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-15
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 decreased the assessment rate established for the California Date Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2008-09 and subsequent crop years from $0.75 to $0.60 per hundredweight of dates handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of dates grown or packed in Riverside County, California. Assessments upon date handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The crop year began October 1 and ends September 30. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Kiwifruit Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E8-29573
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2008-09 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.045 to $0.035 per 9-kilo volume-fill container or equivalent of kiwifruit. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of kiwifruit grown in California. Assessments upon kiwifruit handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins on August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP)
Document Number: E8-29044
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of approximately $1.3 million in competitive grant funds for fiscal year 2009, subject to final appropriation action by Congress, which would enable States to explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the U.S. marketing system. Eligible applicants include State departments of agriculture, State agricultural experiment stations, and other appropriate State Agencies. Applicants are encouraged to involve industry groups, academia, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in developing proposals and conducting projects. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements have been previously approved by OMB under 0581-0240, Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Modification of Late Payment and Interest Charge Regulation
Document Number: E8-29045
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule modifies the late payment and interest charge regulation prescribed 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 revises the date interest is charged on late assessment payments from 30 to 60 days from the billing date shown on the handler's assessment statement received from the Committee. This rule will contribute to the efficient operation of the marketing order by reducing billing for nominal late payment interest charges on handlers who pay within 60 days of the billing date, while continuing those interest charges necessary to encourage payment, thereby ensuring that adequate funds are available to cover the Committee's authorized expenses.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Final Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2008-2009 Crop Year for Tart Cherries
Document Number: E8-28769
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-12-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites comments on the establishment of final free and restricted percentages for the 2008-2009 crop year tart cherries covered under the Federal marketing order regulating tart cherries grown in seven States (order). The percentages are 73 percent free and 27 percent restricted and will establish the proportion of cherries from the 2008 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets. The percentages are intended to stabilize supplies and prices, and strengthen market conditions. The percentages were recommended by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board), the body that locally administers the marketing order. The order regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Open Teleconference Meeting
Document Number: E8-28767
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-12-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming teleconference meeting of the Plant Variety Protection Board. Notice of this meeting is required under section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. This document is intended to notify the general public of their opportunity to attend the meeting.
Soybean Promotion, Research, and Information Program: Amend Procedures To Request a Referendum
Document Number: E8-28674
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-12-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule would amend the regulations that provide for procedures to request a referendum under the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Program, commonly known as the soybean checkoff program. The number of soybean producers referred to the in the regulations would change from 663,880 to 589,182, based on information provided by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency (FSA). This change is necessary to establish the number of soybean producers who are eligible to participate in the 2009 Request for Referendum. Additionally, this rule would amend the regulations pursuant to administrative changes to Web site addresses and office locations made for the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Walnuts Grown in California; Changes to Regulations Governing Board Nominations
Document Number: E8-28673
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule revises the administrative rules and regulations governing nominations for the California Walnut Board (Board). The Board locally administers the marketing order that regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California (order). This rule removes references to independent handlers, revises specifications under which groups of growers may submit nominations for certain grower positions on the Board, and corrects numerical references to other sections of the order. This change is needed to bring the administrative rules and regulations into conformance with recently enacted amendments to the order concerning Board structure and nomination procedures.
Walnuts Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E8-28766
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-12-04
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the California Walnut Board (Board) for the 2008-09 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0158 to $0.0131 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 September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Cotton Research and Promotion Program: Designation of Cotton-Producing States; Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Cotton Research and Promotion Order
Document Number: E8-28569
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-12-01
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to receive evidence on proposed amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (Order). The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to amend the Order to implement section 14202 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-234), hereinafter referred to as the ``2008 Farm Bill'', that amended the Cotton Research and Promotion Act (7 U.S.C. 2101-2118), hereinafter referred to as the ``Cotton Act.'' The 2008 Farm Bill designated the States of Kansas, Virginia, and Florida in the definition of ``cotton-producing state'' effective beginning with the 2008 crop of cotton. In addition, AMS proposes to make any such changes as may be necessary to the order to conform to any amendment that may result from the hearing.
United States Standards for Grades of Beet Greens
Document Number: E8-28079
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-11-26
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is revising the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Beet Greens. Specifically, AMS is removing the ``Unclassified'' category from the standards.
United States Standards for Grades of Potatoes
Document Number: E8-27288
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-11-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a final rule in the Federal Register on March 21, 2008 (FR Doc. 08-1058), revising the United States Standards of Grades of Potatoes. As published, the final regulations contain errors in Sec. Sec. 51.1545, 51.1546, 51.1664, and 51.1565 that are misleading and are in need of clarification. This document corrects those errors.
Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2008 Amendments)
Document Number: E8-27397
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-11-19
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations by increasing the value assigned to imported cotton for calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. An amendment is required to adjust the assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products to be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. In addition, AMS is removing Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers that were absorbed into other HTS categories since the last assessment adjustment.
Kiwifruit Grown in California; Hearing on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Order No. 920
Document Number: E8-27392
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-11-19
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to receive evidence on proposed amendments to Marketing Order No. 920 (order), which regulates the handling of kiwifruit grown in California. The amendments are proposed by the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The proposed amendments would redefine the districts into which the production area is divided, and provide for reallocation of committee membership; revise the committee selection and nomination processes; add authority for the committee to recommend and conduct research and market development programs; and revise committee meeting and voting procedures. In addition, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to make any such changes as may be necessary to the order to conform to any amendment that may result from the hearing. The proposals are intended to provide additional flexibility in administration of the order and provide the industry with additional tools to aid in the marketing of kiwifruit.
Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Program: Request for Referendum
Document Number: E8-27016
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-11-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This Notice announces that the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will conduct a Request for Referendum among eligible pork producers and importers of hogs, pigs, pork, and pork products to determine if those persons want a referendum on the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (Order), commonly known as the Pork Checkoff Program. The Request for Referendum will be conducted on December 8, 2008 through January 2, 2009. Participation is voluntary. Only those persons who want a referendum on the Pork Checkoff Program will participate. The Request for Referendum is being conducted as a result of a settlement of a lawsuit entered into February 28, 2001, with USDA and the Michigan Pork Producers Association, Inc., et al. (Plaintiffs). Under the settlement agreement, USDA agreed to conduct a Request for Referendum among eligible pork producers and importers to determine whether producers and importers favor holding a referendum on the Pork Checkoff Program. If the results of the the Request for Referendum show that 15 percent of the total number of eligible producers and importers want a referendum on the Pork Checkoff Program, the referendum will be conducted within 1 year after the results of the Request for Referendum are announced. If results of the Request for Referendum indicate that a referendum is not supported, a referendum would not be conducted.
Avocados Grown in South Florida; Revisions to Grade and Container Requirements
Document Number: E8-26855
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-11-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule changes the grade and container 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 change establishes a minimum grade of a U.S. No. 2 for shipments within the production area, requiring these shipments to meet the same grade as currently prescribed for shipments leaving the production area. This rule also makes changes to the container and container marking requirements under the order. These changes provide a grade and a pack to meet consumer demand and improve the identification and traceability of avocado shipments.
Almonds Grown in California; Relaxation of Incoming Quality Control Requirements
Document Number: E8-26851
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-11-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule relaxing the incoming quality control requirements prescribed under 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). This rule continues in effect the action that changed the date by which almond handlers must satisfy their inedible disposition obligation from August 31 to September 30 of each year. This change provides handlers more flexibility in their operations in light of larger almond crops.
Notice of Amendment to 2008 National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program
Document Number: E8-26661
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-11-10
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
On September 22, 2008, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published in the Federal Register (73 FR 54555), a Notice of Funds Availability inviting all States of the United States of America, its territories, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, (collectively hereinafter called States) to submit an Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), and to enter into a cooperative agreement with AMS for the allocation of National Organic Certification Cost-Share Funds. This Notice informs that the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program (Program) is being amended to provide cost-share assistance through participating States, to organic producers and handlers receiving certification or continuation of certification by a USDA-accredited certifying agent commencing October 1, 2007, rather than the originally announced October 1, 2008. To effectuate this amendment to the Program, AMS will issue amended cooperative agreements to participating States. Funding will be available for fiscal year 2008 (October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008) in all States signing and returning an amended cooperative agreement. This action will make funds available to a greater number of eligible persons and achieve Congress' intent that use of National Organic Certification Cost-Share Funds begin with fiscal year 2008. AMS has allocated a total of $22.0 million for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program commencing in fiscal year 2008. Funds are available under this Program to interested States to assist organic producers and handlers certified under the National Organic Program (NOP), as appropriate.
Dairy Forward Pricing Program
Document Number: E8-25856
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-10-31
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule establishes a program for producers and cooperative associations of producers to voluntarily enter into forward price contracts with handlers for milk used for Class II, III, or IV purposes under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (AMAA). The program allows handlers regulated under the Federal milk marketing order program to pay producers and cooperative associations in accordance with the terms of a forward contract and not have to pay the minimum Federal order blend price for milk. This program is established in accordance with section 1502 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill).
National Organic Program (NOP)-Access to Pasture (Livestock)
Document Number: E8-25094
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-10-24
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would amend livestock and related provisions of the NOP. Comments have been received from consumers, producers, certifying agents, trade associations, retailers, organic associations, animal welfare organizations, consumer groups, and various industry groups seeking greater detail on the role of pasture in organic livestock production. Also since implementation of the NOP in 2002, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has made several recommendations regarding the role of pasture. As a result of comments, complaints, and noncompliances, we are proposing amendments to the livestock provisions of the NOP. This proposed rule provides greater detail for selected provisions of the existing livestock regulations, especially as they relate to pasture and ruminant animals. By specifying in greater detail that producers are to provide ruminants with pasture, recognize pasture as a crop, and incorporate pasture into their organic system plan, producers will have better records and tools for managing pasture and demonstrating compliance with the livestock regulations. Certifying agents will have better tools for measuring compliance with the livestock regulations. Consumers will have better assurances that the organic label is applied in ways that meet their expectations that ruminant livestock animals graze pastures during the growing season. This proposed rule would also clarify the replacement animal provision for dairy animals.
Tomatoes Grown In Florida; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E8-24919
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-10-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) for the 2008-09 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0325 to $0.0375 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 would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Modification of Late Payment and Interest Charge Regulation
Document Number: E8-24918
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-10-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule invites comments on a modification of the late payment and interest charge regulation prescribed 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 would revise the date interest is charged on late assessment payments from 30 to 60 days from the billing date shown on the handler's assessment statement received from the Committee. This rule would contribute to the efficient operation of the marketing order by reducing billing for nominal late payment interest charges on handlers who pay within 60 days of the billing date, while continuing those interest charges necessary to encourage payment, thereby ensuring that adequate funds are available to cover the Committee's authorized expenses.
Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment
Document Number: E8-24115
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-10-10
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule adjusts representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act (Act) of 1985, to reflect changes in cattle inventories and cattle and beef imports that have occurred since the most recent Board reapportionment rule became effective in February of 2005. These adjustments are required by the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) and will result in an increase in Board membership from 104 to 106, effective with the Department of Agriculture's (Department) appointments for terms beginning early in the year 2009.
National Organic Program (NOP), Sunset Review (2008)
Document Number: E8-24114
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-10-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) regulations to enact recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The amendments addressed in this final rule pertain to the continued exemption (use) and prohibition of 12 substances in organic production and handling. Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this final rule renews 11 exemptions and 1 prohibition on the National List (along with any restrictive annotations) and corrects the Tartaric acid listings by adding annotations originally recommended to the Secretary.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: E8-23392
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-10-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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 of a currently approved information collection for the Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading Services of Manufactured or Processed Dairy Products, and the Certification of Sanitary Design and Fabrication of Equipment Used in the Slaughter, Processing, and Packaging of Livestock and Poultry Products.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E8-23390
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-10-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the California Walnut Board (Board) for the 2008-09 marketing year from $0.0122 to $0.0158 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 2008-09 marketing year began on September 1, 2008, and ends on August 31, 2009. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
National Dairy Promotion and Research Program; Final Rule on Amendments to the Dairy Promotion and Research Order
Document Number: E8-22739
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-09-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule amends the Dairy Promotion and Research Order (Order). The amendment modifies the composition of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (Dairy Board) by changing the number of members in six of the 13 geographic regions. The Dairy Board, which administers the Order, requested the amendment in order to better reflect the geographic distribution of milk production in the contiguous 48 States.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
Document Number: E8-22149
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-09-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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).
Avocados Grown in South Florida; Revisions to Grade and Container Requirements
Document Number: E8-22147
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2008-09-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule invites comments on changes to the grade and container 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 change would establish a minimum grade of a U.S. No. 2 for shipments within the production area, requiring these shipments to meet the same grade as currently prescribed for shipments leaving the production area. This rule would also make changes to the container and container marking requirements under the order. These changes would provide a grade and pack to meet consumer demand and would improve the identification and traceability of avocado shipments.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: E8-22146
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-09-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2008-09 and subsequent fiscal periods from $1.50 to $2.00 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 begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate remains in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Notice of 2008 National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program
Document Number: E8-22047
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-09-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service, Agricultural Marketing Service
This Notice invites all States of the United States of America, its territories, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, (collectively hereinafter called States) 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 National Organic Certification Cost-Share Funds. The AMS has allocated $22.0 million for this organic certification cost-share program commencing in Fiscal Year 2008. Funds are available under this program to interested States to assist organic producers and handlers certified under the National Organic Program (NOP), as appropriate. States interested in obtaining cost-share funds must submit an Application for Federal Assistance and enter into a cooperative agreement with AMS for allocation of funds.
National Organic Program; Amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)
Document Number: E8-21785
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-09-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service, Agricultural Marketing Service
This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect one recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on May 22, 2008. Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, this final rule revises the annotation of one substance on the National List, Methionine, to extend its use in organic poultry production until October 1, 2010.