Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; De Minimis Quantity Exemption Threshold
This rule establishes a de minimis quantity exemption threshold under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) regulations regarding a national research and promotion program for softwood lumber. In response to a 2016 federal district court decision, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted a new analysis to determine a reasonable and appropriate de minimis threshold. Based on that analysis, this rule establishes the de minimis quantity threshold at 15 million board feet (mmbf) and entities manufacturing (and domestically shipping) or importing less than 15 mmbf per year will be exempt from paying assessments under the regulations.
National Organic Program: Notice of Interim Instruction, Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Imports
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of an interim instruction document intended for use by USDA-accredited organic certifying agents (certifiers). The interim instruction is entitled as follows: Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Imports (NOP 4013). This interim instruction explains the USDA organic regulations' current requirements for certifiers engaged in the oversight of organic products imported into the United States. It also recommends best practices that certifiers may use in order to comply with the existing regulations. AMS invites organic handlers, certifying agents, importers, consumers, and other interested parties to submit comments on the interim instruction. Specifically, comments should address the parts of the instruction that recommend best practices that certifiers may use to ensure compliance with the USDA organic regulations. This document is not intended to request comments on the existing USDA organic regulations found at 7 CFR part 205.
Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule implements a recommendation from the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee) for a decrease in the assessment rate established for the 2017-18 and subsequent production years from $0.0010 to $0.0001 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, and a public member. 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.
United States Standards for Grades of Pork Carcasses
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking public comment on revisions to the United States Standards for Grades of Pork Carcasses (pork standards). The last revision to the pork standards occurred in 1985 and the standards no longer accurately reflect value differences in today's pork products. Modern pork production is characterized by products with improved color and higher marbling content, two factors that have been consistently identified by researchers as the main components affecting pork eating quality.
Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Marketed in the United States; Change to the Quality and Handling Requirements
This rule implements a recommendation from the Peanut Standards Board (Board) to revise the minimum quality and handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States (Standards). The Board advises the Secretary of Agriculture regarding potential changes to the Standards and is comprised of producers and industry representatives. This action relaxes the allowance for damaged kernels in farmers stock peanuts when determining segregation. This change increases the allowance for damaged kernels under Segregation 1 from not more than 2.49 percent to not more than 3.49 percent. The requirements for Segregation 2 are also adjusted to reflect this change. The Board recommended this change to align the incoming standards with recent changes to the outgoing quality standards and to help increase returns to producers.
Request for Extension of and Revision to a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 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 used in support of the Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs (as authorized by the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA)), which is commonly referred to as the Shell Egg Surveillance Program.
Revision of a Currently Approved Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for a revision of a currently approved collection for the Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading of Manufactured or Processed Dairy ProductsRecordkeeping (Subpart B).
Cranberries Grown in States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island in the State of New York; Request for Approval of a New Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agency's intent to request emergency approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a new information collection for cranberry handlers, where applicable, to provide prior affirmative consent authorizing five forms needed to implement and facilitate compliance with a handler withhold volume regulation for the 2017-18 season under the marketing order for 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.
Regulations Issued Under Authority of the Export Apple Act and Export Grapes and Plums; Changes to Export Reporting Requirements; Withdrawal
This document withdraws a proposed rule to change the reporting of export certificate information under regulations issued pursuant to the Export Apple Act and the Export Grape and Plum Act. After reviewing and considering the comments received, the agency has decided not to proceed with this action.