Agricultural Marketing Service 2012 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Determination of Equivalent Price Series
Document Number: 2012-8911
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-04-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
It has been determined by the Deputy Administrator of Dairy Programs that the dairy products price series in the Dairy Products Sales report released by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is equivalent to the price series previously released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in the Dairy Products Prices report. The dairy product price series is used in the price discovery mechanism for raw milk component values, and the component values are then used in determining Federal milk market order (FMMO) minimum classified milk prices. AMS previously used the NASS prices in the determination of raw milk component values; however, the responsibility for the collection of dairy product sales data was transferred from NASS to AMS effective April, 1, 2012 (77 FR 8717), at which time NASS discontinued the publication of its Dairy Products Prices report. The data collected by AMS through this new system will be used for future component value computations and the subsequent calculation of FMMO minimum classified milk prices. The establishment of an equivalent dairy products price series is essential to the continuing operation of the FMMO program.
Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Assessment Increase
Document Number: 2012-8825
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-04-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule amends the Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) to increase the assessment rate on first handlers and importers of mangos from one-half cent per pound to three- quarters of a cent per pound. The increase is permitted under the Order, which is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Act). The National Mango Board (Board), which administers the Order, recommended this action to ensure that the Board's research and promotion programs continue to be adequately funded.
Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2012-8822
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-04-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee) for the 2011-12 and subsequent production years from $0.0007 to $0.0005 per pound of assessed weight pistachios. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to provide sufficient revenue to meet its expenses while maintaining a financial reserve within the limit authorized under the order.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2012-8820
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-04-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the Prune Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2011-12 and subsequent crop years from $0.27 to $0.22 per ton of salable dried prunes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order for dried prunes produced in California. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to lower its assessment rate because of a substantial decrease in wage and salary expenses. The current excess funds carried forward along with the estimated interest income, combined with the funds generated from the decreased assessment rate and decreased crop is expected to provide adequate income to cover anticipated 2011-12 expenses.
User Fees for 2012 Crop Cotton Classification Services to Growers
Document Number: 2012-8677
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-04-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to maintain user fees for cotton producers for 2012 crop cotton classification services under the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act at the same level as in 2011. These fees are also authorized under the Cotton Standards Act of 1923. The 2011 crop user fee was $2.20 per bale, and AMS proposes to continue the fee for the 2012 cotton crop at that same level. This proposed fee and the existing reserve are sufficient to cover the costs of providing classification services for the 2012 crop, including costs for administration and supervision.
Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Assessment Rate Decrease for Fresh Pears
Document Number: 2012-8676
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-04-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the Fresh Pear Committee (Committee) for the 2011-2012 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.501 to $0.471 per standard box or equivalent of fresh winter pears handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of fresh pears grown in Oregon and Washington. The Committee recommended the assessment rate decrease because the fresh winter pear promotion budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal period was reduced.
Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Assessment Rate Decrease for Processed Pears
Document Number: 2012-8638
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-04-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the Processed Pear Committee (Committee) for the 2011- 2012 and subsequent fiscal periods from $8.41 to $7.73 per ton of summer/fall processed pears handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of processed pears grown in Oregon and Washington. The Committee recommended the assessment rate decrease because the summer/fall processed pear promotion budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal period was reduced.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2012-8532
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-04-10
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) for the 2011-12 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0275 to $0.037 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 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 would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 1 (Scotch) Spearmint Oil for the 2011-2012 Marketing Year
Document Number: 2012-8531
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-04-10
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule revises the quantity of Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2011-2012 marketing year. This rule increases the Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity from 733,913 pounds to 876,596 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 36 percent to 43 percent. The marketing order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West and is administered locally by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee). The Committee unanimously recommended this rule for the purpose of avoiding extreme fluctuations in supplies and prices and to help maintain stability in the Far West spearmint oil market.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
Document Number: 2012-8394
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-04-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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). Written public comments are invited in advance of the meeting, and the meeting will include scheduled time for oral comments from the public.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the 2012 Farmers' Market Promotion Program (FMPP)
Document Number: 2012-8395
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-04-06
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of approximately $10 million in competitive grant funds for fiscal year (FY) 2012 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 infrastructures. 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. Based on the available funding, AMS will award the most competitive applications that demonstrate measurable, outcome- based strategies that help increase farmers' or agricultural producers' revenue through direct producer to consumer marketing opportunities. The minimum award per grant is $5,000 and the maximum award per grant is $100,000. No matching funds are required.
United States Standards for Grades of Cultivated Ginseng
Document Number: 2012-8135
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-04-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), is revising the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Cultivated Ginseng. AMS received a request from the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin (GBW), to amend the standards to reflect current market values. To ensure the integrity of the standards, the revisions will be based on quality and percentage defects. The new grades will replace the current ones and promote the orderly and efficient marketing of ginseng in an evolving global economy. Other changes will include a revised General Section, new tolerances, reclassified sizes, removed table ``values'' and amended definitions. These revisions are needed to determine and complement the new grades.
Revision of Cotton Classification Procedures for Determining Cotton Leaf Grade
Document Number: 2012-8125
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-04-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the procedures for determining the official leaf grade for Upland and Pima cotton. The leaf grade is a part of the official classification which denotes cotton fiber quality used in cotton marketing and manufacturing of cotton products. Previously, the leaf grade was determined by visual examination and comparison to the Universal Cotton Standards for Leaf Grade that serves as the official cotton standards by qualified cotton classers. Amended procedures replace the classer's leaf determination with the instrument leaf measurement made by the High Volume Instrument (HVI) system, which has been used in official cotton classification for Upland Cotton since 1991.
Livestock Mandatory Reporting Program; Establishment of the Reporting Regulation for Wholesale Pork
Document Number: 2012-6992
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
On April 2, 2001, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) implemented the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) program as required by the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 (1999 Act). In October 2006, the LMR program was reauthorized by Congress through September 2010. On September 28, 2010, the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 (2010 Reauthorization Act) reauthorized LMR for an additional 5 years and added a provision for mandatory reporting of wholesale pork cuts. The 2010 Reauthorization Act directed the Secretary to engage in negotiated rulemaking to make required regulatory changes for mandatory wholesale pork reporting and establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop these changes. This proposed rule reflects the work of the USDA Wholesale Pork Reporting Negotiated Rulemaking Committee (Committee).
Tart Cherries Grown in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin; Secretary's Decision and Referendum Order on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Order No. 930
Document Number: 2012-5197
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This decision proposes amendments to Marketing Order No. 930 (order), which regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin and provides growers and processors with the opportunity to vote in a referendum to determine if they favor the changes. These amendments were proposed by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB), which is responsible for local administration of the order. These amendments would revise: Section 930.10, the definition of ``Handle''; Section 930.50, ``Marketing Policy'' and Section 930.58, ``Grower Diversion Privilege.'' The amendments are intended to improve the operation and administration of the order.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2012-2013 Marketing Year
Document Number: 2012-5195
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule would establish the quantity of spearmint oil produced in the Far West, by class, that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2012-2013 marketing year, which begins on June 1, 2012. This rule invites comments on the establishment of salable quantities and allotment percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil of 782,413 pounds and 38 percent, respectively, and for Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil of 1,162,473 pounds and 50 percent, respectively. The Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee), the agency responsible for local administration of the marketing order for spearmint oil produced in the Far West, recommended these limitations for the purpose of avoiding extreme fluctuations in supplies and prices to help maintain stability in the spearmint oil market.
Notice of Request for Approval of a New Information Collection for Export/Health Certificate Forms
Document Number: 2012-5194
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-03-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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 export certificate request forms for dairy products. There are currently 17 different export certificate request forms for dairy products with more expected as negotiations continue with more countries.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Final Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2011-12 Crop Year for Tart Cherries
Document Number: 2012-5171
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule invites comments on the establishment of final free and restricted percentages for the 2011-12 crop year under the marketing order for tart cherries grown in the states of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin (order). The order is administered locally by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board). This action would establish the proportion of tart cherries from the 2011 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets at 88 percent free and 12 percent restricted. These percentages should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns.
Beef Promotion and Research; Amendment to the Order
Document Number: 2012-5145
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would expand the contracting authority as established under the Beef Promotion and Research (Order). The Beef Research and Information Act (Act) requires that the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) enter into contracts with established national non-profit industry-governed organizations including the Federation of State Beef Councils to implement programs of promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information. The Act does not define ``national non-profit industry governed organization,'' however, the Order states that these organizations must be governed by a board of directors representing the cattle or beef industry on a national basis and that they were active and ongoing prior to enactment of the Act. This proposed rule would change the date requirement in the Order so that organizations otherwise qualified could be eligible to contract with the BPOC for the implementation and conduct of Beef Checkoff programs if they have been active and ongoing for at least two years.
Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting
Document Number: 2012-3566
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-02-15
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule adopts changes to Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) regulations as required by section 273(d) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (the Act) as amended by the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010. The amendment to the Act requires 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 states 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.
National Organic Program (NOP); Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)
Document Number: 2012-2938
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-02-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact six recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on May 22, 2008, November 19, 2008, and May 6, 2009. This final rule adds one substance, microcrystalline cheesewax, along with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic mushroom production; and adds three substances, acidified sodium chlorite, dried orange pulp, and Pacific kombu seaweed, with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic handling. This final rule also amends the annotation for one substance used in organic handling, unbleached lecithin, and removes bleached lecithin from the National List.
United States Standards for Grades of Okra
Document Number: 2012-3029
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-02-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), prior to undertaking research and other work associated with revising official grade standards, is soliciting comments on the possible revisions to the United States Standards for Grades of Okra. AMS has been reviewing the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grade standards for usefulness in serving the industry. As a result, AMS has identified the United States Standards for Grades of Okra for possible revisions. AMS would remove the ``Unclassified'' category from the standards. AMS is seeking comments regarding this change as well as any other possible revisions that may be necessary to better serve the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Cauliflower
Document Number: 2012-3027
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-02-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), is soliciting comments on the proposed revision to the United States Standards for Grades of Cauliflower. AMS is reviewing all fresh fruit and vegetable grade standards for usefulness in serving the industry. As a result, AMS has noted the current U.S. grade standards do not have provisions for grading purple, orange or green cauliflower. The proposed revision will amend the color requirement for curds to allow all colors of cauliflower to be certified to a U.S. grade. In addition, AMS proposes to permit mixed color packs, heads less than 4 inches in diameter, and to remove the unclassified section.
United States Standards for Grades of Eggplant
Document Number: 2012-3013
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-02-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), is soliciting comments on the proposed revision to the United States Standards for Grades of Eggplant. AMS is reviewing the fresh fruit and vegetable grade standards for usefulness in serving the industry. As a result, AMS has noted the current grade standards do not have provisions for mixed or specialty packs. Therefore, AMS is proposing to amend the similar varietal characteristic requirement in the U.S. Fancy and No. 1 grades to allow mixed colors and/or types of eggplant when designated as a mixed or specialty pack. In addition, AMS proposes to remove the unclassified section.
United States Standards for Grades of Grapefruit Juice
Document Number: 2012-2970
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-02-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on the proposed revision to the United States Standards for Grades of Grapefruit Juice. The proposal includes changes to the grade standards for grapefruit juice to remove the parameters for maximum ``free and suspended pulp'' to account for advances in industry processing technology.
National Organic Program; Proposed Amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)
Document Number: 2012-2628
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-02-06
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Revision of Cotton Futures Classification Procedures
Document Number: 2012-2382
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-02-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
United States Standards for Condition of Food Containers
Document Number: 2012-833
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-01-18
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the regulations governing the United States (U.S.) Standards for Condition of Food Containers. The proposed revisions would remove the Operating Characteristic (OC) curves for on-line sampling and inspection and make other minor non-substantive changes. These revisions are necessary in order to provide standards that reflect current industry practices.
National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2012)
Document Number: 2012-362
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-01-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2010, October 28, 2010, and April 29, 2011. These recommendations pertain to the 2012 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the NOSB recommendations, the proposed rule would continue, without change, the exemptions (use) and prohibitions for multiple listings on the National List for 5 years after their respective sunset dates. This proposed rule would amend the exemptions (use) or prohibition for 7 substances and remove the exemption for 3 substances on the National List.
National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2012) for Nutrient Vitamins and Minerals
Document Number: 2012-354
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-01-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would address a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2011. The recommendation pertains to the 2012 Sunset Review of the listing for nutrient vitamins and minerals on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). As recommended by the NOSB, the proposed rule would continue the exemption (use) for nutrient vitamins and minerals for 5 years after the October 21, 2012 sunset date. In addition, the proposed rule would amend the annotation to correct an inaccurate cross reference to U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations (FDA). The proposed amendment to the annotation would clarify what synthetic substances are allowed as nutrient vitamins and minerals in organic products labeled as ``organic'' or ``made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).''
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program-Farm Bill Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2011-33793
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-01-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this document 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 under the Specialty Crop Block Grant ProgramFarm Bill (SCBGP-FB).