Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Program; Section 610 Review
This action announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) review of the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Program (Program), which is conducted under the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (Order), under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
Regulations Under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930; Section 610 Review
This notice announces that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) plans to review the Regulations (Other than Rules of Practice) under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930, as amended, under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
Notice of Request for a New 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 a new information collection survey of customers, related to the delivery of services by AMS under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930, as amended (PACA). This voluntary survey would give customers of the PACA program an opportunity to provide feedback to AMS on the quality of the service they receive via the PACA Customer Service Line. It would also give them an opportunity to indicate what new PACA services, if any, that they would like to receive.
Potatoes; Grade Standards
This rule revises the United States Standards for Grades of Potatoes. These standards are issued under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. The rule provides en route or at destination tolerances for the U.S. No. 1 and U.S. No. 2 grades, revises current tolerances in all grades, deletes the U.S. Extra No. 1 grade and ``Unclassified'' section, and defines damage and serious damage by the following defects which will be added to Table III of the External Defects section: Cuts, Clipped Ends, Elephant Hide, Flattened or Depressed Areas/Pressure Bruises, Grub Damage, Nematode (Root Knot), Rodent or Bird Damage, Russeting, Silver Scurf, Sunken Discolored Areas, and Surface Cracks. The following defects and scoring guidelines that are currently listed in Table III of the External Defects section are also revised to reflect current inspection instructions: Air Cracks, Bruises, External Discoloration, Flea Beetle Injury, Greening, Growth Cracks, Rhizoctonia, Pitted Scab, Russet Scab, Surface Scab, and Wireworm or Grass Damage. Also, changes to the current scoring guide for sprouts are being made. In the Internal Defects section, Internal Black Spot is revised by implementing a color chip to assist in the scoring of this defect. Also, Table IV in this section is redesignated as Table I. Additionally, a revised large size is added as well as the inclusion of Chef and Creamer sizes. Most of the changes were the result of the detailed work performed by the Joint U.S./Canadian Potato Council that was charged with harmonizing the U.S. and Canadian Potato Grade Standards. This rule updates and revises the standards to more accurately reflect today's marketing practices.
Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Amendment to Primary Peanut-Producing States and Adjustment of Membership
This rule would add a producer member and alternate from the State of Mississippi to the National Peanut Board (Board). The change was proposed by the Board, which administers the nationally coordinated program, in accordance to the provisions of the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) which is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). This change is made because Mississippi is now considered a major peanut-producing state based on the Board's review of the geographical distribution of the production of peanuts. The Order requires a review of the geographical distribution of the production of peanuts at least every five years. The addition of a member from Mississippi will provide for additional representation from another primary peanut- producing state.
Pistachios Grown in California; Changes in Handling Requirements
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule changing the handling requirements authorized under the California pistachio marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California and is administered locally by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (committee). This rule continues in effect the action that suspended the minimum quality requirements, including maximum defects and minimum sizes, for California pistachios. This reduces handler costs and provides handlers more flexibility in meeting customer needs.
Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Tomatoes Grown in Florida; and Walnuts Grown in California; Section 610 Reviews
This document announces that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) plans to review Marketing Order 927 (Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington), Marketing Order 966 (Tomatoes Grown in Florida), and Marketing Order 984 (Walnuts Grown in California) under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Section 610 Review
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. 905, regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida (order). AMS has determined that the order should be continued.
Vidalia Onions Grown in Georgia; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Vidalia Onion Committee (Committee) for the 2008 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.10 to $0.13 per 40-pound container of Vidalia onions handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of Vidalia onions grown in Georgia. Assessments upon Vidalia onion handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Changes in Handling Requirements for Fresh Nectarines and Peaches
This rule changes the handling requirements applicable to well matured fruit covered under the nectarine and peach marketing orders (orders). The 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 updates the variety-specific size requirements to reflect changes in commercially significant varieties. This will enable handlers to continue to ship fresh nectarines and peaches in a manner that meets consumer needs, increases returns to producers and handlers, and reflects current industry practices.
Milk in the Appalachian, Florida and Southeast Marketing Areas; Interim Order Amending the Orders
This order adjusts the Class I pricing surface of the Appalachian, Southeast and Florida Federal milk marketing orders on an interim basis. In addition, this order amends on an interim basis certain features of the diversion limit, touch-base standards and transportation credit provisions for the Appalachian and Southeast Federal milk marketing orders. More than the required producers approved the issuance of the interim order as amended.
National Organic Program, Sunset Review (2011)
Sunset of the exempted or prohibited use of substances under the National Organic Program (NOP) is required by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). This ANPR announces the sunset of 12 exempted substances added to the National List on September 12, 2006. This ANPR establishes September 12, 2011, as the date by which the sunset review and renewal process must be concluded. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) also begins the public comment process on whether the identified existing exemptions should be continued. Finally, this ANPR discusses how the NOP will manage the sunset review and renewal process.
Sweet Onions Grown in the Walla Walla Valley of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2008 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.21 to $0.22 per 50-pound bag or equivalent of Walla Walla sweet onions handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of sweet onions grown in the Walla Walla Valley of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon. Assessments upon Walla Walla sweet onion handlers are used by the Committee to fund the reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
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 $8,440,500 in block grant funds, less USDA administrative costs, 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.
Multi Year Increase in Fees and Charges for Egg, Poultry, and Rabbit Grading and Audit Services
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is increasing 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 are being 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. AMS is required to collect fees from users of these services to cover the costs of services rendered.
Almonds Grown in California; Secretary's Decision and Referendum Order on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Order No. 981
This decision proposes amendments to Marketing Order No. 981 (order), which regulates the handling of almonds grown in California, 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 Almond Board of California (Board), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The amendments would authorize the establishment of different outgoing quality requirements for different markets and would authorize the establishment of bulk container marking and labeling requirements. The proposals are intended to provide additional flexibility in administering the quality control provisions of the order and provide the industry with additional tools for the marketing of almonds.
Walnuts Grown in California; Order Amending Marketing Order and Agreement No. 984
This rule amends the marketing order for walnuts grown in California. The amendments were proposed by the Walnut Marketing Board (Board), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The amendments will: Change the marketing year; include ``pack'' as a handler function; restructure the Board and revise nomination procedures; rename the Board and add authority to change Board composition; modify Board meeting and voting procedures; add authority for marketing promotion and paid advertising; add authority to accept voluntary financial contributions and to carry over excess assessment funds; broaden the scope of the quality control provisions and add the authority to recommend different regulations for different market destinations; add authority for the Board to appoint more than one inspection service; replace outdated order language with current industry terminology; and other related amendments. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed three additional amendments: To establish tenure limitations for Board members, to require that continuance referenda be conducted on a periodic basis to ascertain producer support for the order, and to make any necessary conforming changes. With the exception of the amendment to establish tenure limitations, all of the amendments were favored by walnut growers in a mail referendum, held August 1 through 17, 2007. The proposed amendments are intended to improve the operation and functioning of the marketing order program.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Final Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2007-2008 Crop Year for Tart Cherries
This rule establishes final free and restricted percentages for 2007-2008 crop year tart cherries covered under the Federal marketing order regulating tart cherries grown in seven states (order). The percentages are 57 percent free and 43 percent restricted and will establish the proportion of cherries from the 2007 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 order. The order regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Establishment of Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order and Termination of the Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Order
This rule proposes a new industry-funded research, promotion, consumer education, and information order for honey and honey products under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). The proposed Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Proposed Order) was submitted to the Department of Agriculture (Department) by the National Honey Packers and Dealers Association (Association). The Department is conducting an initial referendum to ascertain whether the persons to be covered by and assessed under the Proposed Order favor the Proposed Order prior to it going into effect. The Proposed Order would replace the existing Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Order (Current Order) for honey and honey products and the Current Order would be terminated. The Current Order is issued under the Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act (Honey Act). In addition, USDA is announcing that a referendum will be conducted among eligible honey first handlers and importers to determine whether they favor the implementation of the Proposed Order. The Proposed Order would be implemented if it is approved by a majority of the eligible first handlers and importers voting in a referendum and by a majority of the volume of those voting in the referendum. A separate final rule on referendum procedures is being published in this issue of the Federal Register.
Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Referendum Procedures
This rule establishes procedures which the Department of Agriculture (USDA or the Department) will use in conducting a referendum to determine whether the issuance of the proposed Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order) is favored by first handlers and importers of honey or honey products. The Order will be implemented if it is approved by a majority of the eligible first handlers and importers voting in the referendum, which also represents a majority of the volume of honey and honey products handled and imported during the representative period. These procedures will also be used for any subsequent referendum under the Order, if it is approved in the initial referendum. The proposed Order is being published separately in this issue of the Federal Register. This proposed program would be implemented under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996.