Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin; Continuance Referendum
This document directs that a continuance referendum be conducted among eligible growers and processors of tart cherries in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of tart cherries grown in the production area.
United States Standards for Grades of Beet Greens
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 Beet Greens. 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 Beet Greens for possible revisions. 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.
Raisins Produced from Grapes Grown in California; Final Free and Reserve Percentages for 2007-08 Crop Natural (sun-dried) Seedless Raisins
This rule establishes final volume regulation percentages for 2007-08 crop Natural (sun-dried) Seedless (NS) raisins covered under the Federal marketing order for California raisins (order). The order regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California and is locally administered by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee). The volume regulation percentages are 85 percent free and 15 percent reserve. The percentages are intended to help stabilize raisin supplies and prices, and strengthen market conditions.
Hazelnuts Grown in Oregon and Washington; Establishment of Interim Final and Final Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2007-2008 Marketing Year
This rule establishes interim final and final free and restricted percentages for domestic inshell hazelnuts for the 2007-2008 marketing year under the Federal marketing order for hazelnuts grown in Oregon and Washington. The interim final free and restricted percentages are 8.1863 and 91.8137 percent, respectively, and the final free and restricted percentages are 9.2671 and 90.7329 percent, respectively. The percentages allocate the quantity of domestically produced hazelnuts which may be marketed in the domestic inshell market (free) and the quantity of domestically produced hazelnuts that must be disposed of in outlets approved by the Board (restricted). Volume regulation is intended to stabilize the supply of domestic inshell hazelnuts to meet the limited domestic demand for such hazelnuts with the goal of providing producers with reasonable returns. This rule was recommended unanimously by the Hazelnut Marketing Board (Board), the agency responsible for local administration of the marketing order.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2008-2009 Marketing Year
This rule would establish the quantity of spearmint oil produced in the Far West, by class that handlers may purchase from, or handle for, producers during the 2008-2009 marketing year, which begins on June 1, 2008. This rule invites comments on the establishment of salable quantities and allotment percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil of 993,067 pounds and 50 percent, respectively, and for Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil of 1,184,748 pounds and 53 percent, respectively. The Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee), the agency responsible for local administration of the marketing order for spearmint oil produced in the Far West, recommended these limitations for the purpose of avoiding extreme fluctuations in supplies and prices to help maintain stability in the spearmint oil market.
United States Standards for Grades of Cantaloups
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is revising the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Cantaloups. Specifically, AMS is revising the ``Application of Tolerances'' section in the cantaloup standards. Additionally, AMS is removing the ``Unclassified'' category from the standards. These changes will bring the standards for cantaloups in line with current marketing practices, thereby improving the usefulness of the standards in serving the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Pineapples
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is revising the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Pineapples. Specifically, AMS is replacing Tables I and II in the tolerances section with numerical tolerances and numerical application of tolerances. Decay tolerances will also be revised. This change will bring the standards for pineapples in line with current marketing practices, thereby, improving the usefulness of the standards in serving the industry.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Farmers' Market Promotion Program (FMPP)
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces funding of approximately $1 million in competitive grant funds for fiscal year (FY) 2008 to increase domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Examples of direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities include new farmers' markets, roadside stands, community supported agriculture programs, and other direct producer-to-consumer infrastructures. AMS hereby requests proposals from eligible entities from the following categories: (1) Agricultural cooperatives, (2) local governments, (3) nonprofit corporations, (4) public benefit corporations, (5) economic development corporations, (6) regional farmers' market authorities, and (7) tribal governments. The maximum award per grant is $75,000. No matching funds are required. AMS strongly recommends that each applicant visit the AMS Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/FMPP to review a copy of the FMPP Guidelines and application package preparation information to assist in preparing the proposal narrative and application package. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 0581-0235.
Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment
This proposed rule would adjust representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act), 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 would 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.
Olives Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases 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.
Notice of Request for New Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is requesting approval from the Office of Management of Budget of a new information collectionApplication for Export Certificationunder the Dairy program.
Avocados Grown in South Florida; Order Amending Marketing Order No. 915
This final rule amends Marketing Order No. 915 (order), which regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida. The amendments are based on those proposed by the Florida Avocado Administrative Committee (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The amendments will: Add authority for the committee to borrow funds; revise voting requirements for changing the assessment rate; allow for District 1 nominations to be conducted by mail; and, add authority for the committee to accept voluntary contributions. All of the proposals were favored by avocado growers in a mail referendum, held July 23 through August 6, 2007. The amendments are intended to improve the operation and functioning of the marketing order program.
United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims, Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived From Such Livestock
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reopening and extending the comment period for the proposed voluntary standard for a naturally raised marketing claim that was published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2007 (72 FR 67266).
Cotton Research and Promotion Program: Determination of Whether To Conduct a Referendum Regarding the 1990 Amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act
This notice announces the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) determination not to conduct a continuance referendum regarding the 1991 amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (Order) provided for in the Cotton Research and Promotion Act (Act) amendments of 1990. This determination is based on the results of a sign-up period conducted September 3 through November 30, 2007, during which eligible cotton producers and importers were provided an opportunity to request a continuance referendum.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Modification of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 2
This rule modifies the minimum size requirements under the Colorado potato marketing order, Area No. 2. The marketing order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Colorado, and is administered locally by the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 2 (Committee). The minimum size requirements for Area No. 2 potatoes specify that potatoes handled under the marketing order must be at least 2 inches in diameter or 4 ounces in weight, with exceptions allowing the handling of round potatoes of any weight, and Russet Burbank, Russet Norkotah, and Silverton Russet potato varieties with a minimum of 1\7/8\ inches in diameter or 4 ounces in weight. This rule removes the exception that Russet Burbank, Russet Norkotah, and Silverton Russet potato varieties may be 1\7/8\ inches in diameter, thus requiring these varieties to also meet the minimum requirements of 2 inches in diameter or 4 ounces in weight. This change is intended to facilitate the handling and marketing of Colorado Area No. 2 potatoes.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Hearing on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Agreement 84 and Order No. 905
Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to receive evidence on 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 are 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 additional alternates to represent absent members of the committee to better meet quorum requirements; add authority to conduct committee meetings by telephone or other means of communication; and add authority for marketing promotions, including paid advertising, and production research for fresh Florida citrus. 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. These proposed amendments are intended to improve the operation and administration of the order.
National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Program: Invitation To Submit Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Fluid Milk Promotion Order
This document invites comments on a proposed amendment to the Fluid Milk Promotion Order (Order). The proposed amendment, requested by the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board (Board), which administers the Order, would reduce the burden of late-payment charges applied to processors who underreport the amount of assessments which they owe to the Board, provided that the processor has not made more than two reporting errors in the prior 12 months. This amendment would reduce the burden of late-payment charges on processors who underpay assessments due to unintentional errors or miscalculations. The Board believes the late-payment charge is a necessary provision of the Order to encourage payment by all processors subject to the assessment and helps ensure the receipt of assessments owed to the Board. However, the Board also believes that there are instances when unintentional errors and miscalculations occur, and in such cases, the late-payment charge could be viewed as excessive. All other provisions of the Order would remain unchanged.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, CA; 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 Date Administrative Committee (committee) for the 2007-08 and subsequent crop years from $0.95 to $0.75 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.
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
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.