Vegetable Import Regulations; Modification of Potato Import Regulations
This rule invites comments on proposed modifications to the import regulations for Irish potatoes. This rule is implemented in accordance with section 608(e) (hereinafter referred to as ``section 8e'') of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, which requires imported potatoes to meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements as those established under Federal marketing order regulations. This rule would: Reduce the number of marketing order areas determined as being in the most direct competition with imported potatoes from five to three; exempt U.S. No. 1 grade potatoes imported in certain small containers from size requirements; and remove certain language from Marketing Orders No. 948 and 953 that reference the regulation of imported Irish potatoes. In addition, this rule would make minor administrative changes to the potato, onion, and tomato import regulations to update informational references. The proposed modifications to the import regulations are expected to benefit potato importers and consumers.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program-Farm Bill (SCBGP-FB)
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of approximately $49,000,000 in grant funds, less USDA administrative costs, to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. SCBGP-FB funds are authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the Farm Bill). State departments of agriculture are encouraged to develop their grant applications promptly. The Farm Bill requires USDA to obligate the grant funds under this program by the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2009, which necessitates a short application period. 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, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to apply.
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision 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 and revision to the currently approved information collection Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, OR and Imported Irish Potatoes; Relaxation of Size Requirements
This proposed rule would relax the size requirements for potatoes handled under the marketing order for Idaho-Eastern Oregon potatoes and for long type potatoes imported into the United States. This rule would revise the size requirements to allow: Creamer size (\3/4\ inch to 1\5/8\ inches diameter) for all varieties of potatoes to be handled if the potatoes otherwise meet U.S. No. 1 grade; and round type potatoes to be handled without regard to size so long as the size is specified on the container in connection with the grade. The proposed changes are intended to improve the handling and marketing of Idaho-Eastern Oregon potatoes and increase returns to producers. The proposed changes would also allow the importation of Creamer size long type potatoes under regulations as authorized by section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937.
National Dairy Promotion and Research Program; Proposed Rule and Opportunity To File Comments, Including Written Exceptions, on Proposed Amendments to the Order
This document invites written comments on proposed amendments to the Dairy Promotion and Research Order. This proposed action is pursuant to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill). The 2002 Farm Bill mandates that the Dairy Promotion and Research Order be amended to implement an assessment on imported dairy products to fund promotion and research. The 2008 Farm Bill specifies a mandatory assessment rate of 7.5 cents per hundredweight of milk, or equivalent thereof, on dairy products imported into the United States. This proposed rule, in accordance with the 2008 Farm Bill, amends the term ``United States'' in the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 4501-4514, as amended) to mean all States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Producers in these areas will be assessed 15 cents per hundredweight for all milk produced and marketed.
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
The USDA intends to reestablish the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Committee). The purpose of the Committee is to examine the full spectrum of issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry and provide suggestions and ideas to the Secretary of Agriculture on how USDA can tailor its programs to better meet the fruit and vegetable industry's needs. USDA also seeks nominations of individuals to be considered for selection as Committee members.
United States Standards for Grades of Table Grapes (European or Vinifera Type)
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is withdrawing the document soliciting comments on its proposal to amend the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Table Grapes (European or Vinifera Type). After reviewing and considering the comments received, the agency has decided not to proceed with this action.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin; Recommended Decision on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Agreement and Order No. 930
This recommended decision invites written exceptions to proposed amendments to Marketing Agreement and Order No. 930 (order), which regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Seven amendments were proposed by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board), which is responsible for local administration of the order. These proposed amendments would: Authorize changing the primary reserve capacity associated with the volume control provisions of the order; authorize establishment of a minimum inventory level at which all remaining product held in reserves would be released to handlers for use as free tonnage; establish an age limitation on product placed into reserves; revise the nomination and election process for handler members on the Board; revise Board membership affiliation requirements; and update order language to more accurately reflect grower and handler participation in the nomination and election process in districts with only one Board representative. In addition, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed to make any such changes as may be necessary to the order to conform to any amendment that may result from the hearing.
Pistachios Grown in California; Recommended Decision and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions to Proposed Amendment of Marketing Order No. 983
This is a recommended decision regarding proposed amendments to Marketing Agreement and Order No. 983 (order), which regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California. The amendments were proposed by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The proposed amendments would: Expand the production area covered under the order to include Arizona and New Mexico in addition to California; authorize the Committee to reimburse handlers for a portion of their inspection and certification costs in certain situations; authorize the Committee to recommend research projects; modify existing order authorities concerning aflatoxin and quality regulations; modify the authority for interhandler transfers of order obligations; redesignate several sections of the order; remove previously suspended order provisions, and make other related changes. The amendments are intended to improve the operation and functioning of the marketing order program. This recommended decision invites written exceptions on the proposed amendments. This rule also announces AMS's intention to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a new information collection.