Agricultural Marketing Service 2015 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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2015 Rates Charged for AMS Services
Document Number: 2015-08162
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-04-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the 2015 rates it will charge 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 2015 regular, overtime, holiday, and laboratory services rates will be applied at the beginning of the crop year, fiscal year or as required by law (June 1 for cotton programs) depending on the commodity. This action established the rates for user-funded programs based on costs incurred by AMS.
National Organic Standards Board (NOSB): Call for Nominations
Document Number: 2015-08160
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-04-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) was established to assist in the development of standards for substances to be used in organic production and to advise the Secretary on the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). Through this Notice, The USDA is requesting nominations to fill five (5) upcoming vacancies on the NOSB. The positions are as follows: Farmers/growers (2), consumer/public interest advocates (2), and a USDA Accredited Certifying Agent (1). The Secretary of Agriculture will appoint one person to each of these five positions to serve a 5-year term of office that will commence on January 24, 2016, and end January 23, 2021.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States; Suspension of Marketing Order Provisions
Document Number: 2015-07320
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-04-01
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule continues the previous suspension of the marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states (order). Representatives of the Virginia/North Carolina Irish potato industry met and requested that the suspension of all provisions of the order, and the rules and regulations implemented thereunder be continued through March 1, 2017. The request was based on the belief that the industry needs more time to study changes in the industry, and any new developments which could affect the need for, or status of the order. If the industry does not petition to have the order reactivated by the end of the suspension period, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will propose to terminate the order.
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2015-07370
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-03-31
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate for the 2015 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0200 to $0.0250 per 18-pound lug of grapes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of producers and handlers of grapes grown and handled in a designated area of southeastern California. Assessments upon grape handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period began on January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Olives Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2015-07116
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-03-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the California Olive Committee (committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2015 and subsequent fiscal years from $15.21 to $26.00 per assessable ton of olives handled. The committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of producers and handlers 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 begins January 1 and ends December 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 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil for the 2014-2015 Marketing Year
Document Number: 2015-07114
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-03-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This interim rule implements a recommendation from the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) to further revise the quantity of Class 3 (Native) 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 (order). The salable quantity and allotment percentage for Native spearmint oil was initially established at 1,090,821 pounds and 46 percent, respectively, and was subsequently increased to 1,280,561 pounds and 54 percent in a separate rulemaking action. This rule further increases the Native spearmint oil salable quantity to 1,351,704 pounds and the allotment percentage to 57 percent for the 2014-2015 marketing year. The order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West and is locally administered by the Committee, which is comprised of spearmint oil producers operating within the order's area of production. The Committee recommended this rule for the purpose of maintaining orderly marketing conditions in the Far West spearmint oil market.
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: 2015-07110
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-03-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule recommended by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) that revised 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. The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of spearmint oil. The interim rule increased 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. This change is expected to help maintain orderly marketing conditions in the Far West spearmint oil market.
Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crops-Import Regulations; Changes to Reporting Requirements To Add Electronic Form Filing Option
Document Number: 2015-06490
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-03-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule changes the reporting requirements for commodities exempt from import regulations under section 608(e) (hereinafter referred to as ``8e'') of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 by adding an option to electronically file an ``Importer's Exempt Commodity Form'' (FV-6 form). These changes are needed to bring the import regulations into conformance with the current practice of filing FV-6 forms electronically using the Marketing Order Online System (MOLS), an internet-based application that was implemented in 2008. This rule also changes the import regulations for dates and raisins by moving the FV-6 form-filing procedures for these two commodities to the safeguard procedure regulations for specialty crops and by making other administrative updates. These changes to the import regulations are also required to support the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that will automate the filing of import and export information by the trade. All government agencies that are participating in the ITDS initiative, including AMS, are required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (hereinafter referred to as ``CBP'') to make updates to import and export regulations to provide for the electronic entry of shipment data.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2015-2016 Marketing Year
Document Number: 2015-05681
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-03-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) to 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 2015-2016 marketing year, which begins on June 1, 2015. The Far West includes the states of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, and designated parts of Nevada and Utah. This rule invites comments on the establishment of salable quantities and allotment percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil of 1,265,853 pounds and 60 percent, respectively, and for Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil of 1,341,269 pounds and 56 percent, respectively. The Committee locally administers the marketing order for spearmint oil produced in the Far West and recommended these quantities to help maintain stability in the spearmint oil market.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
Document Number: 2015-05664
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-03-12
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.
National Organic Program; Nominations for Task Force Members
Document Number: 2015-05403
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-03-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is soliciting nominees to participate in a task force to examine hydroponic and aquaponic practices and their alignment with the USDA organic regulations and the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA). The USDA organic regulations do not include specific provisions for organic hydroponic or aquaponic production. However, these production systems have obtained certification under the USDA organic regulations by complying with the existing requirements for organic crop production. The task force will inform the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) of their findings and advise on what practices should be allowed or restricted in organic hydroponic and aquaponic production.
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California and Imported Table Grapes; Relaxation of Handling Requirements
Document Number: 2015-04087
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-03-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites comments on partially relaxing the handling requirements currently prescribed under the California table grape marketing order (order) and the table grape import regulation. The order regulates the handling of table grapes grown in a designated area of southeastern California and is administered locally by the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee (committee). The import regulation is authorized under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and regulates the importation of table grapes into the United States. This action would partially relax the one-quarter pound minimum bunch size requirement in the order's regulations and the import regulation for U.S. No. 1 Table grade grapes packed in consumer packages known as clamshells weighing 5 pounds or less. Under the proposal, up to 20 percent of the weight of such containers may consist of single grape clusters weighing less than one- quarter pound, but consisting of at least five berries each. This rule would provide California desert grape handlers and importers with the flexibility to respond to an ongoing marketing opportunity to meet consumer needs.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Recommended Decision and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions to Proposed Amendments to Marketing Order No. 905
Document Number: 2015-04085
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-03-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This recommended decision proposes amendments to Marketing Order No. 905 (order), which regulates the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos (citrus) grown in Florida. Nine amendments are proposed by the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. These proposed amendments would: Authorize regulation of new varieties and hybrids of citrus fruit, authorize the regulation of intrastate shipments of fruit, revise the process for redistricting the production area, change the term of office and tenure requirements for Committee members, authorize mail balloting procedures for Committee membership nominations, increase the capacity of financial reserve funds, authorize pack and container requirements for domestic shipments and authorize different regulations for different markets, eliminate the use of separate acceptance statements in the nomination process, and require handlers to register with the Committee. These proposed amendments are intended to improve the operation and administration of the order.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Renewal of the Plant Variety Protection Board Charter
Document Number: 2015-04086
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App.), this notice announces that the Secretary of Agriculture intends to renew the Plant Variety Protection Board (PVP Board).
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
Document Number: 2015-04022
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-26
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 industry 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.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2014-15 Crop Year for Tart Cherries
Document Number: 2015-03406
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-02-19
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to establish free and restricted percentages for the 2014-15 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 Board locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of producers and handlers of tart cherries operating within the production area. This action would establish the proportion of tart cherries from the 2014 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets at 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted. In addition, this action would increase the carry-out volume of fruit to 50 million pounds for this season. These percentages should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns.
Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Program: Referendum
Document Number: 2015-03392
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-19
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing that a referendum will be conducted among eligible sorghum producers and importers regarding the Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order), as authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Act).
Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Continuance Referendum
Document Number: 2015-02901
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-02-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible first handlers and importers of honey or honey products to determine whether they favor continuance of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order).
Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order; Continuance Referendum
Document Number: 2015-02899
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-02-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible first handlers and importers of mangos to determine whether they favor continuance of the Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order).
Federal Milk Marketing Orders; Section 610 Review
Document Number: 2015-02902
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-02-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) review of the Federal Milk Marketing Orders using the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended.
National Organic Program
Document Number: 2015-02324
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-02-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document contains technical corrections to the USDA organic regulations (7 CFR part 205) which were published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000. The correcting amendments are minor, mostly typographical amendments which do not change, or alter the interpretation, of any provision within the USDA organic regulations.
United States Standards for Grades of Maple Sirup (Syrup)
Document Number: 2015-01618
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-01-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This notice revises the United States Standards for Grades of Maple Sirup (Syrup). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is revising the standards to replace the current grade classification requirements with new color and flavor descriptors, and revise Grade A requirements to be free from damage. The USDA Color Standards for Maple Sirup will become obsolete, and color will be determined using a spectrophotometer, or any method that provides equivalent results. AMS has also changed the spelling from ``sirup'' to ``syrup.'' These revisions will improve the marketing of maple syrup in the United States and internationally.
Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2015-01016
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-01-22
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 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. The interim rule was necessary to decrease the assessment rate to reflect reductions to the marketing program and management fees while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Relaxation of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 3
Document Number: 2015-01014
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-01-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule revises the minimum quantity exception for potatoes handled under the Colorado potato marketing order, Area No. 3 (order). The order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Colorado and is administered locally by the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 3 (Committee). This rule increases 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. This action is expected to benefit producers and handlers.
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 2014-2015 Marketing Year
Document Number: 2015-01002
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-01-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This interim rule revises the quantity of Class 3 (Native) 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 Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 1,090,821 pounds to 1,280,561 pounds and the allotment percentage from 46 percent to 54 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.
Exemption of Organic Products From Assessment Under a Commodity Promotion Law
Document Number: 2015-00540
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-01-15
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on proposed modifications to the organic assessment exemption regulations under 23 Federal marketing orders and 22 research and promotion programs is extended until February 17, 2015. The proposed rule would expand the organic assessment exemption to 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. The authority for this proposal is in section 10004 of the Agricultural Act of 2014.