National Dairy Promotion and Research Program; Final Rule on Amendments to the Dairy Promotion and Research Order
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
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
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
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
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)
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.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Relaxation of Handling and Import Regulations
This rule relaxes 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 decreases 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 will also decrease 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.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Reinstatement of the Continuing Assessment Rate
This rule reinstates the continuing assessment rate established for the Area No. 3 Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2008-2009 and subsequent fiscal periods at $0.02 per hundredweight of potatoes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order regulating the handling of potatoes grown in northern Colorado. The continuing assessment rate was suspended for the 2006-2007 and subsequent fiscal periods to bring the monetary reserve within the program limit of two fiscal periods' operating expenses. Assessments upon potato handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period began on July 1 and ends June 30. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program-Farm Bill; Notice of Request for Approval of a New Information Collection
This rule provides regulations to administer the Specialty Crop Block Grant ProgramFarm Bill (SCBGP-FB) to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. This rule is intended to establish eligibility and application requirements and grant administration procedures for the SCBGP-FB consistent with the Food, Conversation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) amendments to the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004. This program is separate from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) found in 7 CFR part 1290.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Delay of Effective Date
An interim final rule published July 31, 2008 amending the manufacturing cost allowances and the butterfat yield factor used in Class III and Class IV product-price formulas applicable in all Federal milk marketing orders had an effective date of September 1, 2008. The effective date of the Interim Rule will now be October 1, 2008. The rule's effective date is delayed because a complaint to enjoin the implementation of the revised manufacturing allowances and butterfat yield factor was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Delaying implementation allows sufficient time for a preliminary injunction hearing.