Agricultural Marketing Service 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-31532
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that implemented a recommendation from the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for pistachios grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico for the 2016-2017 and subsequent production years from $0.0035 to $0.0010 per pound of assessed weight pistachios handled under the marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of pistachios operating within the area of production. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
United States Standards for Grades of Canned Vegetables
Document Number: 2016-30619
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is revising 18 U.S. grade standards for canned vegetables issued on or before August 3, 1998. AMS is replacing the two-term grading system (dual nomenclature) with a single term to describe each quality level for the grade standards identified in this document. Terms using the letter grade will be retained and the descriptive term will be eliminated. For example, grade standards using the term ``U.S. Grade A'' or ``U.S. Fancy'' will be revised to use only the term ``U.S. Grade A.'' Likewise, grade standards using the term ``U.S. Grade B'' or ``U.S. Extra Standard'' will be revised to use the single term ``U.S. Grade B.'' These changes will bring the grade standards in line with the present quality levels being marketed today and provide guidance in the effective use of these products. Editorial changes will also be made to the grade standards that conform to recent changes made in other grade standards.
Cranberries Grown in the States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island in the State of New York; Proposed Amendment to Marketing Order 929 and Referendum Order
Document Number: 2016-30571
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule proposes an amendment to Marketing Order No. 929 (order), which regulates the handling of cranberries grown in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island in the State of New York. The amendment is based on a proposal made by the Cranberry Marketing Committee (Committee), which is responsible for the local administration of the order. The amendment would authorize the Committee to receive and expend voluntary contributions from domestic sources. Contributed funds would be used solely for research and development activities authorized under the order and would be free from any encumbrances as to their usage by the donor.
Revisions to Inspection Application Requirements
Document Number: 2016-30570
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule amends the inspection, certification and standards requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables and other products and processed fruits and vegetables, processed products and certain other processed food products (7 CFR parts 51 and 52) by adding an option to allow for electronic submissions of inspection applications. This rule also eliminates outdated terminology referencing submission of inspection applications by telegraph.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30303
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that implemented a recommendation from the California Date Administrative Committee (committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the committee for the 2016-17 and subsequent crop years from $0.10 to $0.05 per hundredweight of dates handled under the marketing order (order). The committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of dates operating within the area of production. The interim rule was necessary to allow the committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30302
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-2017 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.15 to $0.25 per ton of Washington cherries handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of growers and handlers of cherries operating within the production area. Assessments upon cherry handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the marketing order. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Almonds Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30264
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Almond Board of California (Board) for an increase of the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 through the 2018-19 crop years from $0.03 to $0.04 per pound of almonds handled under the marketing order (order). Of the $0.04 per pound assessment, 60 percent (or $0.024 per pound) is available as credit-back for handlers who conduct their own promotional activities. The assessment rate will return to $0.03 for the 2019-20 and subsequent crop years, and the amount available for handler credit- back will return to $0.018 per pound (60 percent). The Board locally administers the order and is comprised of growers and handlers of almonds grown in California. Assessments upon almond handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The crop year began on August 1 and ends on July 31. The $0.04 assessment rate will remain in effect until July 31, 2019. Beginning August 1, 2019, the assessment rate will return to $0.03 and will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Two comments period were provided to interested individuals. Comments will be addressed later in this document.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30307
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-19
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the California Walnut Board (Board) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0379 to $0.0465 per kernelweight pound of assessable walnuts. The Board locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of growers and handlers of walnuts operating within the area of production. Assessments upon walnut handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The marketing year began on September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Amendment to the Egg Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations To Update Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, and Information Provisions
Document Number: 2016-29988
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule amends the Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, Publications, and Product Formulations (IP) language of the Egg Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations (Regulations) to conform with commodity research and promotion program orders created under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act).
Regulations Under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA): Growers' Trust Protection Eligibility and Clarification of “Written Notification”
Document Number: 2016-29983
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is proposing to amend the regulations under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA or Act) to enhance clarity and improve the administration and enforcement of the PACA. The proposed revisions to the regulations would provide greater direction to the industry of how growers and other principals that employ selling agents may preserve their PACA trust rights. The proposed revisions would further provide greater direction to the industry on the definition of ``written notification'' and the jurisdiction of USDA to investigate alleged PACA violations.
Provisions for Removing Commodity Research and Promotion Board Members and Staff
Document Number: 2016-29852
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on proposed amendments to the provisions for removal of board and council members or staff of the research and promotion ordersor the regulations under the ordersoverseen by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is extended to December 23, 2016. The proposed rule would provide uniform authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to initiate action to remove board members and staff who fail to perform their duties or who engage in dishonest actions or willful misconduct. Such action is necessary to ensure the boards can continue to fulfill their intended purposes with minimal disruption.
National Organic Program: Notice of Draft Guidance for Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products
Document Number: 2016-29173
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-06
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified handling operations. The draft guidance document is entitled as follows: Calculating Percentage Organic in Multi-Ingredient Products (NOP 5037). This draft guidance document is intended to inform the public of AMS' current thinking on this topic. AMS invites organic producers, handlers, certifying agents, material evaluation programs, consumers and other interested parties to submit comments.
Changes to Reporting Requirements-Vegetable and Specialty Crop Import Regulations; and Other Clarifying Changes-Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crop Import Regulations
Document Number: 2016-29016
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-06
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would change the reporting requirements for certain Irish potatoes, tomatoes, and onions regulated under Sec. 608(e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (section 8e of the Act) by requiring importers of those regulated commodities that have been certified by a designated governmental inspection service other than the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service as meeting 8e requirements to provide the inspection certificate number and a copy of the certificate to AMS (currently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the only entity so designated). In addition, the pistachio import regulations would be changed to provide for the electronic filing of aflatoxin test results and to eliminate a requirement to report the disposition of reworked or failed lots of pistachios. Other changes would be made to several of the 8e regulations to remove or replace outdated information. These changes would allow AMS to confirm that section 8e regulatory requirements are being met and would also 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.
Changes to Reporting and Notification Requirements and Other Clarifying Changes for Imported Fruits, Vegetables, and Specialty Crops
Document Number: 2016-29022
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule updates reporting and notification requirements associated with, and makes clarifying changes to, the fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop import regulations for certain commodities regulated under section 608(e) (hereinafter referred to as ``8e'') of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. The updates include shifting the exempt reporting requirement for imported tomatoes destined for noncommercial outlets for experimental purposes from the tomato import regulations to the safeguard procedures section of the vegetable import regulations. In addition, the pistachio import regulations will be updated by removing reference to a paper-based notification of entry process. Other administrative changes will be made to several of the 8e regulations to replace outdated information. These changes to the import regulations support the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that will streamline and automate the filing of import and export information by the trade.
National Organic Program: Notice of Final Guidance on Classification of Materials and Materials for Organic Crop Production
Document Number: 2016-29018
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This notice announces availability of final guidance intended for use by accredited certifying agents, certified operations, material evaluation programs, and other organic industry stakeholders. The first set of guidance documents, NOP 5033, follows recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) concerning the classification of materials under the USDA organic regulations (7 CFR part 205). The Classification of Materials guidance, NOP 5033, details the procedures and decision trees for classifying materials used for organic crop production, livestock production, and handling. The second set of guidance documents, NOP 5034, clarifies certain materials for use in organic crop production. These documents include an illustrative list of allowed natural and synthetic materials and a limited appendix of materials prohibited in organic crop production. The guidance explains the policy of the National Organic Program (NOP) concerning the portions of the regulations in question, referenced herein.
Regulations Issued Under Authority of the Export Apple Act and Export Grapes and Plums; Changes to Export Reporting Requirements
Document Number: 2016-29017
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would change the reporting of export certificate information under regulations issued pursuant to the Export Apple Act (7 CFR part 33) and the Export Grape and Plum Act (7 CFR part 35). This change would require shippers of apples and grapes exported from the United States to electronically enter an Export Form Certificate number or a USDA-defined exemption code into the Automated Export System (AES). This rule would also define ``shipper,'' shift the current file retention requirement from carriers to shippers, and require shippers to provide, upon request, copies of the certificates to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). These changes would enable AMS to track exported apple and grape shipments to ensure that exports meet inspection and certification requirements. This action is also required to support the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that will automate the filing of export and import information by the trade. This proposal would also remove obsolete regulations and make clarifying changes. It also announces AMS' intention to request revision to a currently approved information collection for exported apples and grapes.
National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs; Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2016-28816
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-11-30
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 (OMB). AMS requests an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection 0581-0093 the National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
Document Number: 2016-28383
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-11-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to assist the USDA in the development of standards for substances to be used in organic production and to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on any other aspects of the implementation of Organic Foods Production Act.
Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Continuance Referendum
Document Number: 2016-28256
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-11-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible Oregon and Washington pear growers to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of pears grown in Oregon and Washington.
Olives Grown in California; Suspension and Revision of Incoming Size-Grade Requirements
Document Number: 2016-28254
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-11-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that suspended the incoming size- grade authority under the California olive marketing order, which regulates the handling of olives in California. The rule, which was recommended by the California Olive Committee (Committee), also made conforming changes to the corresponding size-grade requirements in the order's rules and regulations and two Committee forms. The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of olives operating within the area of production. The interim rule suspended the incoming size-grade authority of the marketing order and revised the corresponding size-grade requirements in the order's rules and regulations. The change is expected to benefit handlers because the current size-grading requirements hinder handler operations and flexibility, increase costs, and diminish their competitiveness.
U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and Walnuts in the Shell
Document Number: 2016-28253
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-11-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and the U.S. Standards for Grades of Walnuts in the Shell. AMS proposes to include red colored walnuts. In addition, AMS proposes to remove the ``Unclassified'' section. The changes will modernize the standards, and meet growing consumer demand by providing greater marketing flexibility.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Modification of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 2
Document Number: 2016-28252
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-11-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 2 (Committee) to revise the grade requirement currently prescribed for 1\1/2\-inch minimum to 2\1/4\-inch maximum diameter (Size B) potatoes under the Colorado potato marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of potatoes operating within the area of production. This rule relaxes the current minimum grade requirement for Size B red potatoes from U.S. Commercial grade or better to U.S. No. 2 grade or better. Relaxing this grade requirement will allow area handlers to supply new markets with U.S. No. 2 grade Size B red potatoes and is expected to benefit producers, handlers, and consumers.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-28259
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-11-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.03 to $0.035 per 25-pound carton of tomatoes handled under the marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers of tomatoes operating within the area of production. Assessments upon Florida 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.
United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions
Document Number: 2016-28255
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-11-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on its proposal to create new United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions. The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) petitioned AMS to develop new grade standards for frozen onions. AMS has received additional industry comments on several discussion drafts of the proposed standards. The grade standards would provide a common language for trade, a means of measuring value in the marketing of frozen onions, and guidance on the effective use of frozen onions.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California and Imported Raisins; Removal of Language
Document Number: 2016-28251
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-11-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule removes language from the California raisin marketing order's minimum grade standards and the import regulations' grade and size requirements. The marketing order regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California, and is administered locally by the Raisin Administrative Committee (committee). The change to the import regulations is required under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended. Recently, the U.S. Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins (standards) were amended to remove the word ``midget.'' This rule makes the marketing order and the import regulations consistent with the amended standards.
Request for Approval of a New Information Collection for the Processed Egg and Egg Products Verification Program
Document Number: 2016-28250
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-11-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), this notice announces the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for a new information collection for the Processed Egg and Egg Products Verification Program. One new form is introduced in this information collection.
Provisions for Removing Commodity Research and Promotion Board Members and Staff
Document Number: 2016-28050
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-11-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposal would amend the research and promotion orders or the regulations under the ordersoverseen by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to provide uniform authority for the removal of board members and staff who fail to perform their duties or who engage in dishonest actions or willful misconduct. The removal provisions in 13 of the orders would be modified to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take action necessary to ensure the boards can continue to fulfill their intended purposes with minimal disruption. Removal provisions would be added to the six orders that do not currently provide for such action.
Amendments to Quality Systems Verification Programs and Conforming Changes
Document Number: 2016-25690
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-11-07
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend its regulations to better reflect the current needs of Quality Systems Verification Program (QSVP) activities and to implement changes created by the merger of the AMS Livestock and Seed Program and the AMS Poultry Programs. These proposed changes include amending the Livestock, Meat, and Other Agricultural Commodities QSVP to expand the commodities under the QSVP to include those authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (hereafter referred to as ``the Act''), remove reference to ``Livestock, Meat, and Other Commodities'' in the title, more clearly identify and define the types of programs and services offered under QSVP, and make other technical and administrative changes. Simultaneously, AMS proposes to make conforming changes to the regulations pertaining to the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs and Voluntary Grading of Poultry Products and Rabbit Products to remove references to audit activities.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-25694
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-10-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.75 to $1.40 per ton of Washington apricots handled under the marketing order. The Committee, which is composed of growers and handlers, locally administers the order which regulates the handling of apricots grown in designated counties in Washington. Assessments upon apricot handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Tobacco Inspection and Grading Services: Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2016-25502
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-10-21
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 to the currently approved information collection in support of the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (U.S.C. Chapter 518), the Rural Development, Food and Drug Administrative, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 2002 (Appropriations Act), and the Tobacco Inspection Act and Regulations Governing the Tobacco Standards.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Open Meeting
Document Number: 2016-25501
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-10-21
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.
Cotton Classing, Testing and Standards: Notice of Request for an Extension and Revision to a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2016-25500
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-10-21
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 and revision to the currently approved information collection entitled Cotton Classing, Testing, and Standards.
Cotton Classification and Market News Service: Notice of Request for an Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2016-25499
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-10-21
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 Cotton Classification and Market News Service.
Hazelnuts Grown in Oregon and Washington; Hearing on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Order No. 982
Document Number: 2016-23669
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-09-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to receive evidence on proposed amendments to Marketing Order No. 982 (order), which regulates the handling of hazelnuts grown in Oregon and Washington. Two amendments are proposed by the Hazelnut Marketing Board (Board), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The proposed amendments would add both the authority to regulate quality and the authority to establish different regulations for different markets. In addition, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to make any such changes as may be necessary to the order to conform to any amendment that may result from the hearing. The proposals are intended to aid in pathogen reduction and meet the needs of different market destinations.
Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Relaxation of Container and Pack Requirements
Document Number: 2016-23502
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-09-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule implementing a recommendation from the Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee) that relaxed the container and pack requirements prescribed under the marketing order for oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of Texas citrus operating within the area of production. The interim rule added the word ``approximate'' to the size specifications of three regulated containers to make the language consistent with other containers specified under the order. This change provides uniformity in the descriptions of containers and helps prevent potential compliance violations stemming from slight variations in container dimensions.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-23319
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-09-28
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-22745
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-09-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the California Date Administrative Committee (committee) for a decrease in the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent crop years from $0.10 to $0.05 per hundredweight of dates handled. The committee locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of dates produced 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.
Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-22740
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-09-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-2017 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.15 to $0.25 per ton of Washington cherries handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of growers and handlers of cherries operating within the production area. Assessments upon cherry handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the marketing order. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California and Imported Raisins; Removal of Language
Document Number: 2016-22270
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites comments on a recommendation by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee) to the remove the term ``midget'' from the minimum grade standards of the California raisin marketing order (order). The marketing order regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California, and is administered locally by the Committee. Recently, the U.S. Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins (standards) were amended to remove the word ``midget.'' The proposed change would make the marketing order consistent with the amended standards. Furthermore, this rule would make a corresponding change to the raisin import regulation as required by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended, when changes are made to the size, grade, maturity, or quality requirements of the order.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Revision of Optimum Supply Requirements and Establishment of Inventory Release Procedures
Document Number: 2016-22258
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements recommendations from the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to add inventory release procedures and revise optimum supply provisions 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 order and is comprised of growers and handlers operating within the area of production. This final rule establishes procedures for releasing inventory from reserves and increases the maximum carry-out volume available when calculating optimum supply from 20 million pounds to 100 million pounds. These changes provide clear procedures should an inventory release be necessary and provides more flexibility when calculating optimum supply.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-22249
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the California Walnut Board (Board) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0379 to $0.0465 per kernelweight pound of assessable walnuts. The Board locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of growers and handlers of walnuts operating within the area of production. Assessments upon walnut handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The marketing year begins September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-22248
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee) for a decrease in the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent production years from $0.0035 to $0.0010 per pound of assessed weight pistachios handled under the marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of pistachios operating within the area of production. Assessments upon pistachio handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The production year begins September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Walnuts Grown in California; Proposed Amendment to Marketing Order
Document Number: 2016-22247
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites public comments on a proposed amendment to Marketing Order No. 984, which regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California. The California Walnut Board (Board), which is responsible for the local administration of the order and is comprised of walnut producers and handlers operating within the production area, recommended an amendment that would authorize the Board to borrow from a commercial lending institution to fund operations and marketing/research expenses. Allowing the Committee to utilize this customary business practice would provide flexibility for the Board while increasing its effectiveness.
Amendment to the Definition of “Condition” and Prerequisite Requirement for Shell Eggs Eligible for Grading and Certification Stated in the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs
Document Number: 2016-22246
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will amend the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs to clarify the definition of ``condition'' and revise the prerequisite requirement for shell eggs eligible for voluntary USDA grading and certification.
National Dairy Promotion and Research Program
Document Number: 2016-21841
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-09-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) hereby gives notice that no changes will be made to the current distribution of domestic National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (Dairy Board) members in 12 regions as outlined in Section 1150.131(b) of the Dairy Research and Promotion Order (Dairy Order). The Dairy Order provides that the Dairy Board shall review the geographic distribution of milk production throughout the United States (U.S.) and, if warranted, shall recommend to the Secretary a reapportionment of the regions and/or modification of the number of domestic members from the regions in order to better reflect the geographic distribution of milk production volumes in the U.S. The number of domestic Dairy Board members was last modified in 2011 based on 2010 U.S. milk production.
Almonds Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-21851
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-09-12
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on the proposed rule to increase the assessment rate for California almonds under Marketing Order No. 981 (order) is reopened until October 12, 2016. The proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Almond Board of California (Board) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 through the 2018-19 crop years from $0.03 to $0.04 per pound of almonds handled under the marketing order (order). Of the $0.04 per pound assessment, 60 percent (or $0.024 per pound) would be available as credit-back for handlers who conduct their own promotional activities.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-21700
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-09-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
Document Number: 2016-21425
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-09-07
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 to 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.
National Organic Program: Notice of Draft Guidance on Treated Lumber
Document Number: 2016-20808
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-08-31
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and organic producers. The draft guidance document is entitled: Treated Lumber (NOP 5036). This draft guidance document is intended to inform the public of the National Organic Program's (NOP) current thinking on this topic. The AMS invites interested parties to submit comments about these guidance provisions.
National Organic Program: Notice of Interim Instruction on Material Review
Document Number: 2016-20806
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-08-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of an interim instruction document intended for use by accredited certifying agents. The interim instruction document is entitled: NOP 3012: Material Review. This instruction specifies the criteria and process that USDA accredited organic certifying agents (certifiers) must follow when approving substances for use in organic production and handling. This instruction is directed at certifiers, who must meet certain terms and conditions as part of their accreditation. The AMS invites interested parties to submit comments about this instruction document.