Egg Research and Promotion Order; Referendum Procedures
This proposed rule would establish procedures which the USDA will use in conducting a referendum to determine whether egg producers favor increasing the assessment they pay to the American Egg Board (AEB) from a rate of 10 cents per 30-dozen case of commercial eggs to 15 cents per case. An amendment to increase the assessment rate in the Egg Research and Promotion Order will be implemented if it is approved by two-thirds of the egg producers voting in the referendum or by a majority of producers voting if they produced two-thirds of the eggs produced by all voters. These procedures would also be used for subsequent referenda. A proposed rule to increase the assessment rate is published separately in this issue of the Federal Register. AEB, which administers the Order, recommended this action to sustain and expand its national promotion, research, and consumer information program.
Fresh Prunes Grown in Designated Counties in Washington and in Umatilla County, OR; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Washington-Oregon Fresh Prune Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2009-10 and subsequent fiscal periods from $1.00 to $2.00 per ton for fresh prunes. The Committee is responsible for local administration of the marketing order regulating the handling of fresh prunes grown in designated counties in Washington and in Umatilla County, Oregon. Assessments upon handlers of fresh prunes are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period for the marketing order began April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rates
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that decreased the assessment rates established for the Nectarine Administrative Committee and the Peach Commodity Committee (Committees) for the 2009-10 and subsequent fiscal periods. The Nectarine Administrative Committee (NAC) program decreased its assessment rate from $0.06 to $0.0175 per 25- pound container or container equivalent of nectarines handled. The Peach Commodity Committee (PCC) program decreased its assessment rate from $0.06 to $0.0025 per 25-pound container or container equivalent of peaches handled. The Committees locally administer the marketing orders for nectarines and peaches grown in California (order). The interim final rule was necessary to align the Committees' expected revenue with decreases in its proposed budget for the 2009-10 fiscal period, which began March 1, 2009.
Amendment to Egg Research and Promotion Order and Regulations To Increase the Rate of Assessment
This proposed rule would amend the Egg Research and Promotion Order to increase the assessment rate on egg producers paying assessments to the American Egg Board (AEB) from 10 cents to 15 cents per 30-dozen case of commercial eggs, provided the increase is approved by egg producers voting in a referendum. This proposal would also make a conforming amendment to the regulations. AEB, which administers the Order, recommended this action to sustain and expand its national promotion, research, and consumer information program.
Leafy Green Vegetables Handled in the United States; Extension of Time for First Session of Hearing on Proposed Marketing Agreement No. 970
This notice announces that the scheduled hearing date for the Monterey, California session of a public hearing to consider a proposed marketing agreement for the handling of leafy green vegetables in the United States may be extended by one day, if deemed necessary by the presiding administrative law judge.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Change in Regulatory Period
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that revised the regulatory period during which minimum grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements are in effect for onions grown in South Texas under Marketing Order No. 959 (order). The interim final rule shortened the regulatory period from March 1 through July 15 to March 1 through June 4. The relaxation in the interim final rule was necessary to enable producers and handlers to compete more effectively in the marketplace.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines and Tangelos Grown in Florida and Imported Grapefruit; Relaxation of Size Requirements for Grapefruit
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that relaxed the minimum size requirement for white seedless grapefruit prescribed under the marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida (order) and the grapefruit import regulation. The interim final rule relaxed the minimum size requirement for domestic and import shipments from 3 \9/16\ inches (size 48) to 3 \5/16\ inches (size 56). This change is expected to maximize fresh white seedless grapefruit shipments and provide greater flexibility to handlers and importers.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, CA; Changes to Nomination Procedures and a Reporting Date
This rule invites comments on revisions to the nomination procedures and a change to a reporting date under the California date marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of domestic dates produced or packed in Riverside County, California, and is administered locally by the California Date Administrative Committee (CDAC or committee). This rule would change the method of polling for nominees to the committee and the date on which CDAC Form 6 is due. These changes are expected to assist in the administration of the order by updating and streamlining committee program operations.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Prune Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2009-10 and subsequent crop years from $0.30 to $0.16 per ton of salable dried prunes. The Committee locally administers the marketing order that 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 begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Kiwifruit Grown in California; Change in Reporting Requirements
This rule changes the reporting requirements currently prescribed under the marketing order that regulates the handling of kiwifruit grown in California. The order is administered locally by the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (Committee). This rule requires handlers who ship 100,000 or more trays per season to file weekly shipment and price information with the Committee. Shipments of organic kiwifruit are exempt from this requirement. The Committee will use this information to prepare its marketing policy statements and annual reports and to provide timely information to the industry to assist them in making marketing decisions throughout the season.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Order Amending Marketing Order No. 905
This final rule amends the marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. The amendments were proposed by the Citrus Administrative Committee (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The amendments will 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 amendments are intended to improve the operation and administration of the order and provide the industry with additional tools for the marketing of fresh citrus.
Request for New 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 for an information collection for the AMS Survey of Marketing Order Online System (MOLS) Users, the automated FV-6 form used by importers and receivers for exempt imported fruits, vegetables and specialty crops.
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).
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon and Imported Irish Potatoes; Relaxation of Size Requirements
This rule relaxes 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 revises 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 changes are intended to improve the handling and marketing of Idaho-Eastern Oregon potatoes and increase returns to producers. The 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.
Vegetables, Import Regulations; Partial Exemption to the Minimum Grade Requirements for Fresh Tomatoes
This rule provides a partial exemption to the minimum grade requirements under the tomato import regulation. The Florida Tomato Committee (Committee), which locally administers the marketing order for tomatoes grown in Florida (order), recommended the change for Florida tomatoes. The order's administrative rules and regulations were recently revised to exempt Vintage RipesTM tomatoes (Vintage RipesTM) from the shape requirements associated with the U.S. No. 2 grade. A corresponding change to the import regulation is required under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. This rule provides the same partial exemption for Vintage RipesTM under the import regulation so it conforms to the regulations under the order.
Pistachios Grown in California; Changes to Handling Regulations
This rule invites comments on changes to the handling regulations prescribed under Marketing Agreement and Order No. 983 (order), which regulates the handling of pistachios. The changes were recommended by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The changes would bring the current handling regulations into conformance with proposed amendments to the order by including certain regulatory language currently contained in the order's provisions in the order's administrative rules and regulations, lifting the suspension of certain language, removing obsolete language, and revising references to renumbered order provisions.
Leafy Green Vegetables Handled in the United States; Hearing on Proposed Marketing Agreement No. 970
Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to consider a proposed marketing agreement under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 to cover the handling of leafy green vegetables and products in the United States. The proposal was submitted by a cross- section of producer and handler representatives from the fresh produce industry, collectively referred to as the ``proponent group.'' The proposed agreement would authorize the development and implementation of production and handling regulations (metrics). Such metrics would reflect Good Agricultural Practices, Good Handling Practices, and Good Manufacturing Practices. The proposal would be voluntary in that only handlers who sign the marketing agreement would be subject to the requirements of the marketing agreement. Signatory handlers could only handle leafy green vegetables or product from the production area or imported that meets the requirements of the program. The program would be financed by assessments on first handlers of leafy green vegetables for the fresh market and would be administered by a twenty-three member committee, the majority of whom would be growers and handlers nominated by the industry and appointed by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).