Results of Soybean Request for Referendum
The results of the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) Request for Referendum indicate that too few soybean producers wanted a referendum on the Soybean Promotion and Research Order (Order) for one to be conducted. The Request for Referendum was conducted from May 4, 2009, through May 29, 2009, at the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency county offices. To trigger a referendum, 58,918 soybean producers needed to complete a Request for Referendum. The number of soybean producers requesting a referendum was 759.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Withdrawal of a Proposed Rule
This document withdraws a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2008, on use of an estimated trade demand figure to compute volume regulation percentages for 2008-09 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 administered locally by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee). The proposal provided parameters for implementing volume regulation for 2008-09 NS raisins, if supplies were short, for the purpose of maintaining the industry's export markets and stabilizing the domestic market. Since the 2008-09 NS crop was larger than anticipated, this action is no longer warranted. Therefore, the proposed rule is being withdrawn.
Notice of Request for Extension 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 an extension of a currently approved information collection for Data Collection, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Applicable to Cranberries Not Subject to the Cranberry Marketing Order, 7 CFR Part 926.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, CA; Changes to Nomination Procedures and a Reporting Date
This rule revises the nomination procedures and changes 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 changes the method of polling for nominees to the Committee and the date on which CDAC Form 6 is due. These changes will assist in the administration of the order by updating and streamlining Committee program operations.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the South Texas Onion Committee (Committee) for the 2009-10 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.03 to $0.025 per 50-pound equivalent of onions handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of onions grown in South Texas. The interim final rule was necessary to reduce the Committee's reserve fund to a desirable level.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Modification of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 2
This proposed rule invites comments on a modification of the minimum size requirement 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 for Area No. 2 (Committee). This proposed rule would change the minimum size requirement from 1\7/8\ inches in diameter to 2 inches in diameter or 4 ounces minimum weight for all long varieties of potatoes. This change would return the minimum size requirement to the standard that had been in place prior to the 2008-2009 season, when adverse weather conditions damaged the crop and resulted in the Committee recommending a temporary relaxation in the minimum size requirement.
United States Standards for Condition of Food Containers
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the regulations governing the United States (U.S.) Standards for Condition of Food Containers. AMS regularly reviews standards to determine if they meet current industry practices. Based on our most recent review, we believe that the U.S. Standards for Condition of Food Containers needs to be revised. The revisions are necessary in order to provide standards that reflect current industry practices. Revisions to the U.S. Standards for Condition of Food Containers include simplifying Tables I, I-A, II, II-A, III, III-A, and III-B for sampling plans for normal, tightened, and reduced condition of container inspection to reflect the type of sampling plan used (single or double). It also includes updating the Acceptable Quality Levels (AQLs), Tables IV Metal Containers, VGlass Containers, VIRigid and Semirigid Containers, VIIFlexible Containers (Plastic, Cello, Paper, Textile, etc.), and XDefects of Label, Marking, or Code (currently Table VIII) to incorporate new defects and updating current defects to include defects that would correspond to new packaging technologies such as aseptic packaging, metal cans with easy open lids, and plastic rings that hold several containers together. This revision also proposes adding new defect tables entitled Table VIIIUnitizing (Plastic or other type of casing/unitizing) and Table IXInterior Can Defects. Finally, removing the Operating Characteristic (OC) curves for on-line sampling and inspection. Other minor non-substantive changes are also proposed.
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 an extension for and revision of a currently approved information collection for Almonds Grown in California, M.O. No. 981.
Kiwifruit Grown in California; Recommended Decision and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions to Proposed Amendments to Marketing Order No. 920
This is a recommended decision regarding proposed amendments to Marketing Order No. 920 (order), which regulates the handling of kiwifruit grown in California. Four amendments were proposed by the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. These proposed amendments would redefine the districts into which the production area is divided and reallocate committee membership positions among the districts, revise the committee nomination and selection procedures, authorize the committee to conduct research and promotion programs, and revise committee meeting and voting procedures. The proposals are intended to improve the operation and administration of the order. This recommended decision invites written exceptions on the proposed amendments.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) for the 2009-10 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0375 to $0.0275 per 25-pound carton of tomatoes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida. Assessments upon Florida tomato handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins 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; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the California Date Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2009-10 and subsequent crop years from $0.60 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 begins October 1 and ends September 30. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate and Changes to Regulations Governing Reporting and Recordkeeping
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the California Walnut Board (Board) for the 2009-10 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0131 to $0.0177 per kernelweight pound of assessable walnuts. This rule also changes reporting and recordkeeping regulations in conformance with amendments made on March 3, 2008, to the marketing order that regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California. The Board locally administers the marketing order. 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.
Pistachios Grown in California; Order Amending Marketing Order No. 983
This final rule amends the marketing agreement and order for pistachios (order). The amendments were proposed by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The amendments will: 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.
Pistachios Grown in California; Changes to Handling Regulations
This rule changes the handling regulations prescribed under Marketing Agreement and Order No. 983 (order), which regulate the handling of pistachios grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The changes were recommended by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The changes bring the handling regulations into conformance with amendments to the order by including certain regulatory language previously 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.