United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on its proposal to create new United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions. USDA has received additional industry comments from several discussion drafts. The grade standards would provide a common language for trade, a means of measuring value in the marketing of frozen onions, and provide guidance in the effective utilization of frozen onions.
Cotton Research and Promotion Program: Request for Comments To Be Used in a Review of 1990 Amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act
As provided for by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act Amendments of 1990, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing its intention to conduct a review to ascertain whether a referendum is needed to determine whether producers and importers favor continuation of amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. This notice invites all interested parties to submit written comments to the Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA will consider these comments in determining whether a referendum is warranted. USDA should announce review results sometime during the latter part of 2011.
Peanut Standards Board
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a Peanut Standards Board (Board) for the purpose of advising the Secretary on quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. The initial Board was appointed by the Secretary and announced on December 5, 2002. USDA seeks nominations for individuals to be considered for selection as Board members for terms of office ending June 30, 2014. Selected nominees would replace three producer and two industry representatives who currently serve on the Board and have terms of office that end June 30, 2011. Also, one individual would fill a currently vacant industry position. The Board consists of 18 members representing producers and the industry.
National Organic Program, Sunset Review (2013)
The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) requires sunset (expiration) of the exempted or prohibited use of substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) under the National Organic Program (NOP). The exemptions and prohibitions granted on the National List under the OFPA are required to be reviewed every 5 years by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The Secretary of Agriculture has authority under the OFPA to renew such exemptions and prohibitions. If the substances are not reviewed by the NOSB and renewed by the Secretary within 5 years of their inclusion on the National List, then their authorized use or prohibition expires. As required by the OFPA, the allowed use of 11 synthetic and nonsynthetic substances in organic production and handling will expire on November 3, 2013. A prohibition on one nonsynthetic substance in organic production will expire on November 3, 2013. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) begins the public comment process on whether the identified existing exemptions or prohibition should be continued. This ANPR also establishes that the sunset review and renewal process must be concluded by November 3, 2013. Finally, this ANPR discusses how the NOP will manage the sunset review and renewal process.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the 2011 Farmers' Market Promotion Program (FMPP)
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of approximately $10 million in competitive grant funds for fiscal year (FY) 2011 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 (CSA) programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer infrastructure. AMS hereby requests proposals from eligible entities within the following categories: agricultural cooperatives, producer networks, producer associations, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public benefit corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers market authorities, and Tribal governments. The minimum award per grant is $5,000 and the maximum award per grant is $100,000. No matching funds are required.