Agricultural Marketing Service 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

National Organic Program: Notice of Draft Guidance for Accredited Certifying Agents, Certified Operations and Applicants for Organic Certification
Document Number: 2014-30303
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The National Organic Program (NOP) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified operations. The draft guidance document is entitled as follows: Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations (NOP 5020). This draft guidance document is intended to inform the public of NOP's current thinking on this topic. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites organic producers, handlers, certifying agents, material evaluation programs, consumers and other interested parties to submit comments about these guidance provisions. A notice of availability of final guidance on this topic will be issued upon its final approval. Once finalized, this guidance document will be available from the NOP through, ``The Program Handbook: Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents (ACAs) and Certified Operations.'' This Handbook provides those who own, manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them in complying with the USDA organic regulations. The current addition of the Program Handbook is available online at: http:// www.ams.usda.gov/nop or in print upon request.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Request for Nominations
Document Number: 2014-30302
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) is seeking candidates for the Plant Variety Protection Board (PVP Board). The PVP Board consists of 14 members, each of whom is appointed for a 2-year period, with no member appointed for more than three 2-year periods. The term of the present Board will expire in May 2015. In order to provide the Secretary of Agriculture with a broad choice from a diverse group of applicants, the PVPO is asking for nominated members to serve on the Board for 2 years from the date of appointment. PVP Board members will serve without compensation, except for standard government reimbursable expenses.
Defining Bona Fide Cotton Spot Markets for the World Cotton Futures Contract
Document Number: 2014-29456
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to amend the regulatory language to designate which bona fide cotton spot markets will be used to determine actual commercial differences in value for various grades above or below the basis grade in the settlement of World cotton futures contracts on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Designating bona fide cotton spot markets for the World cotton futures contract in the regulatory language will allow for AMS to collect spot market price data and publish spot quotes for the settlement of these specific contracts.
Exemption of Organic Products From Assessment Under a Commodity Promotion Law
Document Number: 2014-29280
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposal would modify the organic assessment exemption regulations under 23 Federal marketing orders and 22 research and promotion programs. The current regulations would be amended to allow persons that produce, handle, market, or import certified organic products to be exempt from paying assessments associated with commodity promotion activities, including paid advertising, conducted under a commodity promotion program administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The exemption would cover all ``organic'' and ``100 percent organic'' products certified under the National Organic Program regardless of whether the person requesting the exemption also produces, handles, markets, or imports conventional or nonorganic products. Currently, only persons that exclusively produce and market products certified as 100 percent organic are eligible for an exemption from assessments under commodity promotion programs. The authority for this proposal is in section 10004 of the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2014-28991
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-11
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 an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP).
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2014-28834
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-09
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 California Date Administrative Committee (committee) for the 2014-15 and subsequent crop years from $0.40 to $0.20 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. The interim rule decreased the assessment rate due to a significant decrease in the committee's budgeted expenses. The interim rule was necessary to allow the committee to reduce the assessment rate for the 2014-15 crop year.
Avocados Grown in South Florida; Continuance Referendum
Document Number: 2014-28288
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-01
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of avocados grown in South Florida to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of avocados grown in the production area.
Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order; Assessment Rate Increase
Document Number: 2014-27253
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-11-18
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites comments on amending the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order (Order) to increase the assessment rate from $0.01 per pound to $0.015 per pound on honey and honey products, over a two- year period. The Order limits an increase in the assessment rate to no more than one-quarter cent per year. Thus, the rate would increase to $0.0125 per pound for the period January 1 through December 31, 2015, and to $0.015 per pound on and after January 1, 2016. The Order is administered by the Honey Packers and Importers Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the program, assessments are collected from first handlers (packers) and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for honey and honey products in the United States and abroad. Additional funds would allow the Board to expand its production research activities and promotional efforts. The Boards production research focuses on maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. Increasing demand for honey and honey products would benefit the honey industry as a whole. This action also makes three additional changes to: Clarify that the assessment rate applies not only to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule numbers but to any other numbers used to identify honey; change the length of time that books and records are to be held; and change the exemption requirements.
Process for Establishing Rates Charged for AMS Services
Document Number: 2014-26655
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-11-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Modification of Container Requirements
Document Number: 2014-26679
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-11-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that modified the container requirements prescribed under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato marketing order. The interim rule removed the requirement that fiberboard cartons used to pack 50-pound quantities of U.S. No. 2 grade potatoes be of one-piece construction. This change is in response to market demands and provides handlers flexibility in shipping U.S. No. 2 grade potatoes. In addition, this rule corrected a citation reference in the handling regulations.
Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments
Document Number: 2014-26677
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-11-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposal invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Processed Raspberry Council (Council) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for processed raspberries. This proposal would implement authority contained in the Order that allows the Council to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Three additional changes are proposed to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program.
Avocados Grown in South Florida and Imported Avocados; Clarification of the Avocado Grade Requirements
Document Number: 2014-26663
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-11-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule changes the minimum grade requirements currently prescribed under the Florida avocado marketing order (order) and makes a technical correction to the avocado import regulation. The order regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida, and is administered locally by the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee). For South Florida-grown avocados, this rule aligns the regulations with current industry practices. It removes language permitting the commingling of avocados with dissimilar characteristics in containers for shipment within the production area. All avocado shipments within the production area need to meet the provisions of a U.S. No. 2 grade, as provided in the United States Standards for Grades of Florida Avocados. For imported avocados, this rule also makes a technical correction to the avocado import regulation to clarify that the minimum grade requirements for imported avocados remains unchanged at a U.S. No. 2.
Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Section 610 Review
Document Number: 2014-26654
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-11-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document summarizes the results of an Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) review of the Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) under criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). Based upon its review, AMS concluded that there is a continued need for the Order.
Notice of Inquiry; Request for Comments on a New Beef Promotion, Research, and Information Order
Document Number: 2014-26552
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-10
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) requests public comments to inform its development of a beef promotion, research, and information order under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). This request for comments offers the opportunity for interested individuals and organizations to provide views concerning provisions that would be included in an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for beef and beef products. The proposed order would be in addition to the existing beef promotion and research program established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (1985 Act). A referendum on an order established under the 1996 Act would be conducted 3 years after assessments begin to determine whether beef producers favor the program and if it should continue. A second referendum would be held within 7 years of the start of the program.
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 2014-2015 Marketing Year
Document Number: 2014-25646
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-10-31
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This interim rule revises the quantity of Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2014-2015 marketing year under the Far West spearmint oil marketing order. This rule increases the Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity from 1,149,030 pounds to 1,984,423 pounds and the allotment percentage from 55 percent to 95 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 recommended this rule for the purpose of maintaining orderly marketing conditions in the Far West spearmint oil market.
Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program; Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection Governing the Inspection of Eggs
Document Number: 2014-25662
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-20), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection in support of the shell egg surveillance portion of the Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs (Egg Products Inspection Act)7 CFR part 57.
Plant Variety Protection Board Meeting
Document Number: 2014-25658
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a meeting of the Plant Variety Protection Board (Board). The meeting is being held to discuss a variety of topics including, but not limited to, work and outreach plans, subcommittee activities, and proposals for procedure changes. The meeting is open to the public. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting.
Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments
Document Number: 2014-25657
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-10-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers (domestic) and importers and used for projects to promote softwood lumber within the United States. Softwood lumber is used in products like flooring, siding and framing. This rule implements authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. This action will contribute to effective administration of the program.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Continuance Referendum
Document Number: 2014-25653
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-10-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of onions grown in South Texas to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order that regulates the handling of onions produced in the production area. This is the second referendum being conducted this year; the first was conducted in May 2014. The results of the first referendum revealed that the producer list used to mail ballots was not updated; consequently, USDA has determined that a second referendum should be conducted using an updated producer list to ensure all eligible producers have an opportunity to vote on whether to continue their Federal marketing order.
Transportation and Marketing Program: Notice of Guidance Regarding the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Multi-State Project Competition
Document Number: 2014-25270
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of a guidance document intended for use by State departments of agriculture in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The guidance document is entitled: Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Multi-State Project Competition. This guidance document is intended to inform the public of the Transportation Marketing Program's (TM) current thinking on this topic and will be used to develop a Request for Applications (RFA). Comments are requested on the guidance.
United States Standards for Grades of Creole Onions
Document Number: 2014-25195
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This Notice revises the U.S. Standards for Grades of Creole Onions, which 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 of onions, when designated as a mixed or specialty pack, to be certified to a U.S. grade. In addition, AMS will correct language and remove the ``Unclassified'' category from the standards. These revisions will align the standards with today's marketing practices and provide the industry with greater flexibility.
Onions Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano/Creole; Bermuda-Granex-Grano
Document Number: 2014-25193
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-10-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule revises the U.S. Standards for Grades of Onions (Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano (BGG) and Creole Type) and the U.S. Standards for Grades of BGG Type Onions which were issued under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the ``similar varietal characteristic'' and ``one type'' requirements to allow mixed colors of onions when designated as a mixed or specialty pack. This revision will update the standards to more accurately represent today's marketing practices and to provide the industry with greater flexibility.
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for the Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting Program
Document Number: 2014-24012
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-08
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 an extension and revision of a currently approved information collection under the Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting Program. The information collected supports the marketing of dairy products and is used to verify compliance with Federal milk marketing regulations.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado and Imported Irish Potatoes; Relaxation of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 2 and Import Regulations
Document Number: 2014-23524
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-10-06
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites comments on a revision to the minimum quantity exception for potatoes handled under the Colorado potato marketing order, Area No. 2 (order). The order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Colorado and is administered locally by the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 2 (Committee). This action would increase the quantity of potatoes that may be handled under the order without regard to the order's handling regulation requirements from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds. The change in the import regulation is required under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. This action would allow the importation which, in the aggregate, does not exceed 2,000 pounds for all other round type potatoes, except red skinned, round type or long type potatoes that continue to remain at a 500 pound limit, to be imported without regard to the import regulations. This action is expected to benefit producers, handlers, and importers.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Relaxing Grade Requirements on Valencia and Other Late Type Oranges
Document Number: 2014-23239
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-09-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that changed the minimum grade requirements prescribed under the marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida (order). The interim rule reduced the minimum grade requirement for Valencia and other late type oranges shipped to interstate markets from a U.S. No. 1 to a U.S. No. 1 Golden from May 15 through June 14 each season and to a U.S. No.2 external/U.S. No. 1 internal from June 15 through August 31 each season. This rule provides additional Valencia and other late type oranges for late season markets, helping to maximize fresh shipments.
National Organic Program (NOP); Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)
Document Number: 2014-23135
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-09-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on October 18, 2012, and removes two previously expired substances. Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, this final rule adds biodegradable biobased mulch film to the National List with restrictive annotations. This action also adds a new definition for biodegradable biobased mulch film. This rule also removes two listings for nonorganic agricultural substances from the National List, hops (Humulus lupulus) and unmodified rice starch, as their use exemptions expired on January 1, 2013, and June 21, 2009, respectively. Two other substances that were recommended by the NOSB to the Secretary for addition to the National List, Citrus hystrix, leaves and fruit, and curry leaves (Murraya koenigii), have not been added to the National List based on comments received on the proposed rule.
United States Standard of Identity for Honey; Extension of Comment Period
Document Number: 2014-22406
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the comment period for the solicitation of comments on how a Federal standard of identity for honey would be in the interest of consumers, the honey industry, and U.S. agriculture.
National Sheep Industry Improvement Center
Document Number: 2014-22125
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-09-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is affirming without changes, its interim rule to promulgate rules and regulations as provided under the Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) amends the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) regulations to redesignate the statutory authority from the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, amends the definition of Act consistent with the redesignated statutory authority, and amends the regulations by increasing the administrative cap for the use of the fund from 3 percent to 10 percent.
Avocados Grown in South Florida and Imported Avocados; Change in Maturity Requirements
Document Number: 2014-22052
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule changes the maturity requirements currently prescribed under the Florida avocado marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida and is administered locally by the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee). The corresponding change in the avocado import regulation is required under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. This rule changes the maturity shipping schedule to allow certain sizes and weights of the Choquette avocado variety to be shipped to the fresh market earlier. With this change, the maturity schedule will better reflect the current maturity rate for the Choquette variety, facilitating the shipment of this variety as it matures.
Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Program: Amendment of Procedures and Notification of Request for Referendum
Document Number: 2014-21512
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-09-10
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is affirming without changes its interim rule (79 FR 12037) to amend the procedures to Request a Referendum at 7 CFR Part 1220 by removing the specific number of soybean producers eligible to request a referendum under the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information program, commonly known as the Soybean Checkoff Program. The number of soybean producers will be replaced with language that allows the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to update this number based on information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, this rule removes specific USDA and Farm Service Agency (FSA) Web site and office addresses and replaces them with more flexible language. These changes will enable AMS to announce future Requests for Referendum without engaging in additional informal rulemaking.
Results of Soybean Request for Referendum
Document Number: 2014-21509
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-10
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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 5, 2014, through May 30, 2014, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency county offices. To trigger a referendum, 56,999 soybean producers needed to complete a valid Request for Referendum. The total number of soybean producers participating in the referendum was 355. The number of valid petitions received was 324.
Process for Establishing Rates Charged for AMS Services
Document Number: 2014-21188
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-09-10
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to amend its regulations to provide for a set of standardized formulas by which fees are calculated. The methodology used to calculate and implement the fees charged by AMS user-funded programs would be specified in the regulations. Currently, AMS publishes separate rules for each of the service fees it collects. The fees are calculated using formulas to account for all costs incurred by AMS in providing these services. Each year, fees would be announced in a notice in the Federal Register by June 1 and take effect at the start of the fiscal year, crop year, or as required by specific laws. This would provide greater transparency to the customers we serve as to how the fees are derived. The standardized formulas would be used to calculate fees that AMS charges for providing voluntary grading, inspection, certification, auditing and laboratory services for a variety of agricultural commodities including meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and cotton and tobacco. The fees would also apply to those persons requesting such services including producers, handlers, processors, importers and exporters. Fees charged for inspection of fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops subject to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 also would be affected by this rule. Provisions of this proposed rule would not supersede rates established by Memorandum of Understanding, Marketing Orders, or by cooperative agreements already in place. Furthermore, the cotton program would continue to consult with its industry before rates are established.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
Document Number: 2014-21292
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, (5 U.S.C. App.), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing an upcoming 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.
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
Document Number: 2014-20833
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a meeting of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Committee). The meeting is being convened to examine the full spectrum of fruit and vegetable issues and provide recommendations and ideas to the Secretary of Agriculture on how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can tailor programs and services to better meet the needs of the U.S. produce industry. The meeting is open to the public. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2014-20413
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-08-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the California Date Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2014-15 and subsequent crop years from $0.40 to $0.20 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.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Modification of the Handling Regulations for Yellow Fleshed and White Types of Potatoes
Document Number: 2014-20409
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-08-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that extended the temporary exemption of yellow fleshed and white skin (white types) potatoes from minimum quality, maturity, pack, marking, and inspection requirements under the Washington potato marketing order through the 2014-2015 and subsequent fiscal periods. This rule is expected to reduce overall industry expenses and increase net returns to producers and handlers while continuing to give the industry the opportunity to explore alternative marketing strategies.
Request for an Extension Without Change to a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2014-20120
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-08-25
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 an extension without change to a currently approved information collection for the Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading of Manufactured or Processed Dairy Products Recordkeeping (Subpart B).
Regulations Issued Under the Export Apple Act; Exempting Bulk Shipments to Canada From Minimum Requirements and Inspection
Document Number: 2014-20116
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-08-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that revised the regulations issued under the Export Apple Act to exempt bulk shipments of apples to Canada from the minimum requirements and inspection provisions of the Export Apple Act and established a definition for bulk containers. The changes were necessary because section 10009 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 amended the Export Apple Act to exempt apples shipped to Canada in bulk containers weighing more than 100 pounds from inspection requirements.
United States Standard of Identity for Honey
Document Number: 2014-19770
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-08-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on how a Federal standard of identity for honey would be in the interest of consumers, the honey industry, and U.S. agriculture.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2014-19455
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-08-18
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 intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for a Revision of the currently approved information collection used to compile and generate the Federally Inspected Estimated Daily Slaughter Report.
United States Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef
Document Number: 2014-19309
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-08-15
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public comments on revising the United States Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef. USDA is requesting comments concerning, but not limited to, the beef yield grade standard and carcass maturity. The current standards do not adequately reflect the genetic and production changes that have taken place in the cattle population since 1965 when a cutability or yield grade standard was first adopted. In 1997, the maturity requirements were changed to improve uniformity and consistency. Since that time, research has indicated that carcasses from fed steers and heifers less than 30 months of age, based on dentition, should be classified ``A'' maturity for grading purposes even though the skeletal maturity characteristics of ``B'' or older may be present. Industry and other groups have discussed the possibility of changing the grade standards for carcass beef with AMS.
Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2014-19306
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-08-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee) for the 2014-15 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.16 to $0.11 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Assessments upon orange and grapefruit 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.
Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment
Document Number: 2014-19029
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-08-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule adjusts representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act), to reflect changes in cattle inventories as well as cattle and beef imports that have occurred since the most recent Board reapportionment rule became effective in July 2011. These adjustments are required by the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) and result in a decrease in Board membership from 103 to 100, effective with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) appointments for terms beginning early in the year 2015. The rule also makes technical amendments to update and correct information in the Order and regulations.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Modification of Container Requirements
Document Number: 2014-18606
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-08-06
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule modifies the container requirements currently prescribed under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of potatoes grown in certain designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon and is administered locally by the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Potato Committee (Committee). This rule removes the requirement that fiberboard cartons used to pack 50-pound quantities of U.S. No. 2 grade potatoes be of one-piece construction. This change is needed to respond to market demands and to provide handlers flexibility in shipping U.S. No. 2 grade potatoes. In addition, this rule makes a change to the order's handling regulations to correct a citation reference.
Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2014-17505
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-07-25
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 Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2014-2015 and subsequent marketing years from $0.10 to $0.09 per pound of spearmint oil handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas and Imported Oranges; Change in Size Requirements for Oranges
Document Number: 2014-16638
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-07-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that relaxed the minimum size prescribed for oranges under the marketing order for oranges and grapefruit grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas (order) and the orange import regulation. The interim rule relaxed the minimum size requirement for domestic and import shipments from 2\6/16\ inches to 2\3/16\ inches in diameter. This rule provides additional oranges to meet market demand, helping to maximize fresh shipments.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Revision of Assessment Requirements
Document Number: 2014-16637
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-07-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule revises the rules and regulations of the California date marketing order (order) to impose interest and late payment charges on overdue handler assessments. The order regulates the handling of dates produced or packed in Riverside County, California, and is administered locally by the California Date Administrative Committee (committee). Assessments upon date handlers are used to fund the reasonable and necessary expenses of the committee. These changes are expected to assist in the financial administration of the order by encouraging handlers to pay their assessments in a timely manner.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington and Imported Potatoes; Modification of the Handling Regulations, Reporting Requirements, and Import Regulations for Red Types of Potatoes
Document Number: 2014-16635
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-07-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that exempted red types of potatoes from minimum quality, maturity, pack, marking, and inspection requirements of the Washington potato marketing order and the potato import regulation for the 2013-2014 and subsequent fiscal periods. This rule also continues in effect the action that required handlers of red types of potatoes to submit reports during the period that red types of potatoes are exempt from regulation. This rule is expected to reduce overall industry expenses and increase net returns to producers and handlers while giving the industry the opportunity to explore alternative marketing strategies.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of Administrative Rules and Regulations Governing Issuance of Additional Allotment Base
Document Number: 2014-15598
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-07-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule revises the procedure currently prescribed for issuing additional allotment base for Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil to new and existing producers under the Far West spearmint oil marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West and is administered locally by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee). This action reduces the number of new producers that are issued additional allotment bases each year from three to two for each class of oil; temporarily changes the method by which additional allotment base is allocated to existing producers to take into account small production operations; and amends the requirements for eligibility, retention, and transfer of additional allotment base issued to new and existing producers. Revising the procedure for issuing additional allotment base will help to ensure that new and existing spearmint oil producers have sufficient allotment base to be economically viable in the future.
Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Modification of Aflatoxin Regulations
Document Number: 2014-15596
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-07-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule revises the aflatoxin sampling regulations currently prescribed under the California, Arizona, and New Mexico pistachio marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and is administered locally by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee). This rule allows the use of mechanical samplers (auto-samplers) for in- line sampling as a method to obtain samples for aflatoxin analysis. The use of auto-samplers is expected to reduce handler costs by providing a more efficient and cost-effective process.