Vidalia Onions Grown in Georgia; Change in Late Payment and Interest Requirements on Past Due Assessments
This rule changes the delinquent assessment requirements in effect under the marketing order for Vidalia onions grown in Georgia (order). The order regulates the handling of Vidalia onions grown in Georgia and is administered locally by the Vidalia Onion Committee (Committee). This rule establishes a late payment charge of 10 percent on unpaid assessments that are 10 days past due and increases the interest rate applied to delinquent assessments from 1 percent to 1.5 percent per month. This action should improve handler compliance with the assessment and reporting provisions of the order and help reduce the Committee's collection expenditures.
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California; Section 610 Review
This action summarizes the results under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), of an Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) review of Marketing Order No. 925 regulating the handling of grapes grown in a designated area of southeastern California (order). Based upon its review, AMS has concluded that there is a continued need for the order.
Specified Commodities Imported Into the United States, Exempt From Import Regulations; Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501), this document announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (``AMS'') intention to request an extension for the forms currently used by importers of commodities that are exempt from section 8e import regulations.
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.
Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Reapportionment
This rule reduces the number of National Mango Board (Board) members from 20 to 18 to reflect the elimination of two non-voting wholesaler/retailer positions. In accordance with the Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order), which is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Act), a review of the composition of the Board must be conducted every five years. The Board reviewed the production volumes and geographical distribution of domestic and imported mangos, and submitted this information to the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a recommendation that no changes be made to the number of importer, first handler, or producer seats on the Board. However, the Board recommended elimination of two non-voting wholesaler/retailer positions that have not been filled since 2007.
Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and Its Production and Processing; Requirements Recommended for Adoption by State Regulatory Agencies
This document amends the recommended manufacturing milk requirements (Recommended Requirements) by raising the maximum allowable somatic cell count in producer herd goat milk from 1,000,000 cells per milliliter to 1,500,000 cells per milliliter. This action was initiated at the request of the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials (NADRO) and was developed in cooperation with NADRO, dairy trade associations, and producer groups. This will ensure that goat milk can continue to be shipped and recognizes that goats have a need for different regulatory limits for somatic cells than cows.
Olives Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that decreases the assessment rate established for the California Olive Committee (Committee) for 2011 and subsequent fiscal years from $44.72 to $16.61 per 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.
Onions Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, OR; Modification of Handling Regulations
This rule invites comments on revisions to the handling regulation for onions handled under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon onion marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of onions grown in designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon, and is administered locally by the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee (Committee). This rule would revise the marketing order's handling regulation to allow special purpose shipments of onions for experimentation. The revision would allow the Idaho-Eastern Oregon onion industry to identify and develop new market niches and is expected to benefit producers, handlers, and consumers of onions. This proposal also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request a revision of the currently approved information collection requirements under the order.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, CA; Proposed Amendments to Marketing Order
Five amendments to Marketing Agreement and Order No.987 which regulates the handling of domestic dates produced or packed in Riverside County, California, were proposed by the California Date Administrative Committee (CDAC or committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. These proposed amendments are intended to improve administration of and compliance with the order and reflect current industry practices. In addition to the committee's proposals, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to further amend the order by providing for a continuance referendum every six years, and by establishing term limits of up to six consecutive years for committee members. These proposals would allow producers to indicate continued support for the order and provide all interested industry members the opportunity to serve on the committee.
National Organic Program; Notice of Draft Guidance for Accredited Certifying Agents and Certified Operations
The National Organic Program (NOP) is announcing the availability of four draft guidance documents intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified operations. The draft guidance documents are entitled as follows: ``The Use of Kelp in Organic Livestock Feed (NOP 5027)''; ``Responding to Results from Pesticide Residue Testing (NOP 5028)''; ``Seeds, Annual Seedlings, and Planting Stock in Organic Crop Production (NOP 5029)''; and ``Evaluating Allowed Ingredients and Sources of Vitamins and Minerals For Organic Livestock Feed, Feed Supplements, and Feed Additives (NOP 5030)''. These draft guidance documents are intended to inform the public of NOP's current thinking on these topics. A notice of availability of final guidance on these topics will be issued upon their final approval. Once finalized, these guidance documents will be available from the NOP through ``The Program Handbook: Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents (ACAs) and Certified Operations.
Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Proposed Amendments to Marketing Order
Four amendments to Marketing Agreement and Order No. 983, which regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, were proposed by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The proposed amendments would provide authority to establish aflatoxin and quality regulations for pistachios shipped to export markets, including authority to establish different regulations for different markets. The order currently provides authority for aflatoxin and quality regulations only for pistachios shipped to domestic markets. These proposed amendments are intended to provide authority to ensure uniform and consistent aflatoxin and quality regulations in the domestic and various export markets.
United States Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is withdrawing a notice soliciting comments on its proposed revision to the United States Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins. Based on the petitioner's request to withdraw their petition, the agency has decided not to proceed with this action.
Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting
The Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 amended section 273(d) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (the Act), requiring the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to establish an electronic reporting system for certain manufacturers of dairy products to report sales information for a mandatory dairy product reporting program. The amendment further stated that the Secretary shall publish the information obtained for the preceding week not later than 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday of each week. This proposed rule offers procedures for the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to implement the amendment to section 273(d) the Act and announces the intention of AMS to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of associated information collection requirements. This proposed rule requests comments concerning changes proposed in this rule.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States; Suspension of Marketing Order Provisions
This rule suspends the marketing order for Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states (order), and the rules and regulations implemented thereunder, through March 1, 2014. The order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states and is administered locally by the Southeastern Potato Committee (Committee). The Committee believes advances in farming technology and production quality have reduced the need for the order. When considering the costs associated with continuing the order, the Committee unanimously recommended that the order be suspended.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil for the 2010-2011 Marketing Year
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that revised the quantity of Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2010-2011 marketing year. The interim rule increased the Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 980,220 pounds to 1,118,639 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 43 percent to 50 percent. This change is expected to balance the supply of Native spearmint oil produced in the Far West with market needs and to promote market stability.
Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing the 2011 amendments to the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations by increasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purpose of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. An amendment is required to adjust the supplemental assessment and ensure that assessments collected on imported raw cotton and the cotton content of imported cotton-containing products and assessments collected on domestically produced cotton are the same. In addition, AMS proposes to update textile trade conversion factors used to determine the raw fiber equivalents of imported cotton-containing products and to expand the number of Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) statistical reporting numbers from the current 706 to 2,371 to assess all imported cotton and cotton-containing products.
Nectarines and Fresh Peaches Grown in California; Termination of Marketing Order 916 and the Peach Provisions of Marketing Order 917
This rule invites comments on the proposed termination of the Federal marketing orders regulating the handling of nectarines and fresh peaches grown in California (orders) and the rules and regulations issued thereunder. This action is based upon a decision by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) following referenda conducted among industry growers. As provided under the orders, USDA considers order termination if fewer than two-thirds of growers participating in regularly scheduled continuance referenda, by number and production volume, support continuance. In 2011 referenda, growers failed to support continuance of the orders and their programs in sufficient numbers and USDA now proposes to terminate the orders.
Federal Seed Act Regulations
AMS is revising the Federal Seed Act (FSA) regulations. The rule amends the list of prohibited noxious-weed seeds to reflect the recent addition of four species, deletion of two species, and changes in the nomenclature of four species listed in the Federal Noxious Weed Act (FNWA). The rule updates the seed labeling regulations, noxious- weed seed tolerances, seed testing regulations, and seed certification regulations. The rule also revises the nomenclature of kinds regulated under the FSA and corrects several minor errors. The list of noxious- weed seeds is amended to help prevent the spread of these highly destructive weeds. The labeling regulations and noxious-weed seed tolerances are amended to prevent potential conflicts with State regulations, reflect currently used terms, and reflect current industry practices. The seed testing and seed certification regulations are amended to incorporate the latest in seed testing and seed certification knowledge and to prevent potential conflicts with State regulations.
United States Standards for Grades of Potatoes
This rule revises the United States Standards for Grades of Potatoes. These standards are issued under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the similar varietal characteristic requirement to allow mixed colors and/ or types of potatoes when designated as a mixed or specialty pack. Additionally, AMS is adding restrictive tolerances for permanent defects in the en route/at destination tolerances, removing the unneeded definition for injury, and clarifying the scoring guide for sprouts. AMS is also adding table numbers to the definitions of ``Damage,'' ``Serious Damage,'' and ``External Defects,'' amending table headings, replacing omitted language in the definition for bruises and amending language in the tolerance section to ensure soft rot tolerances are applied correctly. The purpose of this revision is to update and revise the standards to more accurately represent today's marketing practices and to clarify existing language.
Procedures by Which the Agricultural Marketing Service Develops, Revises, Suspends, or Terminates Voluntary Official Grade Standards: United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Okra
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Okra. The standards for frozen okra would be changed from a ``variable score point'' system to an ``individual attribute'' grading system; the ``dual grade nomenclature'' would be replaced with single letter grade designation and editorial changes would be included. These changes would bring the standards for frozen okra in line with the present quality levels being marketed today and would provide guidance in the effective utilization of frozen okra.
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.