Agricultural Marketing Service December 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.