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 amending the Rules of Practice under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) to increase from $60 to $100 the fee for filing an informal complaint; and to increase from $300 to $500 the fee for handling a formal complaint.
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 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 a currently approved information collection in support of the shell egg surveillance portion of the Regulation for the Inspection of Eggs7 CFR part 57.
Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crops-Import Regulations; Proposed Revision to Reporting Requirements
This rule would revise the reporting requirements for imports of commodities regulated under Sec. 608(e) (hereinafter referred to as ``8e'') of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. These changes would require that the inspection certificates generated for each lot of such commodities include the Entry Number from the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) documentation that accompanies that lot. The proposed changes would also require that importers of raisins, dates, and dried prunes report products exempt from 8e import regulations on AMS Form FV-6``Importers' Exempt Commodity Form,'' which is the same form that is currently used by importers of all other commodities exempt from 8e import regulations. This proposal also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request revisions to a currently-approved information collection for specified exempt import commodities. These changes are intended to streamline the tracking of imported products and provide uniformity in electronic reporting systems used by the industries and the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
User Fees for 2008 Crop Cotton Classification Services to Growers
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will raise the user fees for cotton producers for 2008 crop cotton classification services under the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act. These user fees also are authorized under the Cotton Standards Act of 1923. The 2007 user fee for this classification service was $1.85 per bale. This rule will raise the fee for the 2008 crop to $2.00 per bale. This fee and the existing reserve are sufficient to cover the costs of providing classification services, including costs for administration and supervision.
Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Program: Submission of Information; Withdrawal of Proposed Rule
This action withdraws a proposed rule published in the March 13, 2003 [68 FR 11996], issue of the Federal Register, which intended to add a section to the regulations implementing the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (Order) that would require remitters of pork checkoff assessments, upon request by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), to submit to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) the names, addresses, and any other information deemed necessary to identify persons from whom they collected assessments. This information would have been used to establish the total number of pork producers and importers in the United States, from which AMS would determine the number of respondents necessary to meet a threshold requirement of 15 percent to conduct a referendum, as contained in the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act. Based upon further review and consideration, AMS has determined that the most accurate representation of total number of pork producers and importers would result from utilizing the most recent data published by USDA's National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) in its February 2008 ``Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations'' report to determine the total number of farm operations with hogs and pigs and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) to determine the total number of importers who imported hogs, pigs, pork, or pork products.
Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Program: Request for Referendum
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) intends to 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, as authorized by the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1985. 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 will 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. Eligible producers and importers will be able to participate during a specified period announced by USDA. If the Request for Referendum indicates 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. AMS also is withdrawing in this issue of the Federal Register, the proposed rule concerning submission of information that was published on March 13, 2003 [68 FR 11996].
National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Program
This final rule amends the Fluid Milk Promotion Order (Order) by reducing the burden of late-payment charges applied to processors who mistakenly underreport the amount of assessments owed to the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board (Board), provided that the processor has not made more than two reporting errors in the prior 12 months.
Establishment of Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order and Suspension of Assessments Under the Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Order
This final rule establishes the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Packers Order). The Packers Order is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). Under the Packers Order, first handlers and importers will pay an assessment of $0.01 per pound on honey and honey products. First handlers and importers of less than 250,000 pounds of honey and honey products annually will be exempt from the assessment. The assessments will be remitted to the Honey Packers and Importers Board (Board) to conduct a generic program of promotion, research, consumer education, and industry information to maintain and expand markets for honey and honey products. A referendum was conducted among honey first handlers and importers between April 2 and April 16, 2008. Seventy-eight percent of those covered under the Packers Orderrepresenting ninety-two percent of the volume of those voting in the referendumfavored implementation of the program. This rule also suspends the requirement of the existing Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Order (Current Order) and regulations authorized under the Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act (Honey Act) that honey producers and importers pay to the National Honey Board (Current Board) an assessment in the amount of $0.01 per pound on honey and honey products. The provisions of the Current Order and regulations issued thereunder will be terminated at a later date.
United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Okra
Notice is hereby given that the comment period for the proposed notice to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Okra is being reopened and extended.
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 final rule will 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.
Increase in Fees and Charges for Egg, Poultry, and Rabbit Grading; Correction
This document contains corrections to the final regulations that were published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 (72 FR 11773) related to the fees and charges for Federal voluntary egg, poultry, and rabbit grading found in sections 7 CFR 56.54(a)(2), 7 CFR 70.76(a)(2) and 7 CFR 70.77(a)(5). The final regulations that are the subject of these corrections were to increase the minimum fees for rabbit grading and for non-resident egg and poultry grading services that had been effective since September 25, 2005. Although the increases were included in the supplementary information, they were inadvertently omitted in the regulatory language.
Avocados Grown in South Florida and Imported Avocados; Revision of the Maturity Requirements
This rule revises the maturity requirements currently prescribed for avocados grown in South Florida and for avocados imported into the United States that are shipped to the fresh market. The Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee) which locally administers the marketing order for avocados grown in South Florida recommended the change for Florida avocados. A corresponding change in the import regulation is also required under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. This rule requires that avocados which fail the maturity requirements and are reworked and presented for reinspection must meet the maturity requirements which correspond to the date of the original inspection. This rule will help ensure only mature avocados are shipped to the fresh market.
Olives Grown in California; 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 California Olive Committee (committee) for the 2008 and subsequent fiscal years from $47.84 to $15.60 per assessable ton of olives handled. The committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of olives grown in California. Assessments upon olive handlers are used by the committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal year began January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Milk in the Appalachian and Southeast Marketing Areas; Correction
This document contains corrections to the regulations that were published in the March 17, 2008 Federal Register (73 FR 14153). The regulations inadvertently omitted language in Sec. 1005.13 paragraphs (d)(3) and (d)(4), and Sec. 1007.13 paragraphs (d)(3) and (d)(4) that provide for a zero diversion limit standard on loads of milk requesting transportation credits. This document corrects the final regulations by revising these sections.
Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order
This rule establishes 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 means all the above mentioned types of sorghum unless specifically identified otherwise. The Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) is implemented under the authority of the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Act). The Order will establish a national Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Board (Board) comprised initially of 13 sorghum producers. Producers and importers will pay assessments based on the value of the sorghum they produce or import. A referendum will be conducted 3 years after assessments begin to determine if sorghum producers and importers favor the program.
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 used to compile and generate grain and molasses market news reports.
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 used to compile and generate the Federally Inspected Estimated Daily Slaughter Report for the Livestock and Grain Market News Branch.
United States Standards for Grades of Pineapples
A notice was published in the Federal Register (73 FR 7245- 7246) dated February 7, 2008, revising the United States Standards for Grades of Pineapples, issued under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) effective March 10, 2008. However, in section 51.1489, Application of Tolerances, the words ``packages'' and ``containers'' were incorrectly listed. The correct words should have been ``samples'' and ``sample.'' This document corrects the standards by revising this section.