Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Redistricting and Importer Representation
This rule realigns the production districts for producer and handler membership on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board) under the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulations regarding a national research and promotion program for watermelons. This rule also adds four importer seats to the Board. These changes were recommended by the Board after a review of the production volume in each district as well as assessments paid by importers. This action is necessary to provide for the equitable representation of producers, handlers, and importers on the Board.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule an interim rule that implemented a recommendation from the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2017-2018 and subsequent fiscal periods. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses. This final rule also makes administrative revisions to the subpart headings to bring the language into conformance with the Office of Federal Register requirements.
United States Standards for Grades of Pork Carcasses
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reopening the comment period on the notice requesting comments on revisions to the United States Standards for Grades of Pork Carcasses (pork standards) published in the Federal Register (82 FR 48971) on October 23, 2017. The comment period for this notice closed on December 22, 2017. The revisions are intended to modernize the standards and meet stakeholder demands by segregating the population of commodity pork products into uniform groups (of similar quality, value, etc.) that can facilitate the production and marketing of pork and deliver certain eating expectations for the consumer.
National Organic Program; Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops, Livestock and Handling)
This proposed rule would amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) provisions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) organic regulations to implement recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). This rule proposes to change the use restrictions for seventeen substances allowed for organic production or handling on the National List: Micronutrients; chlorhexidine; parasiticides; fenbendazole; moxidectin; xylazine; lidocaine; procaine; methionine; excipients; alginic acid; flavors; carnauba wax; chlorine; cellulose; colors; and, glycerin. This rule also proposes to add sixteen new substances on the National List to be allowed in organic production or handling: Hypochlorous acid; magnesium oxide; squid byproducts; activated charcoal; calcium borogluconate; calcium propionate; injectable vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes; kaolin pectin; mineral oil; propylene glycol; acidified sodium chlorite; zinc sulfate; potassium lactate; and, sodium lactate. In addition, this proposed rule would list the botanical pesticide, rotenone, as a prohibited substance in organic crop production. Finally, this proposed rule would remove ivermectin as an allowed parasiticide for use in organic livestock production.
Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
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 the Organic Foods Production Act.
Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Increased Assessment Rate for Processed Pears
This rule implements a recommendation from the Processed Pear Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2017-2018 and subsequent fiscal periods from $7.00 to $8.00 per ton of ``summer/fall'' pears for canning. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. This rule also makes administrative revisions to the subpart headings to bring the language into conformance with the Office of Federal Register requirements.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule implements a recommendation from the South Texas Onion Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2017-18 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.05 to $0.065 per 50-pound equivalent of onions handled under the Marketing Order (Order). The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Cranberries Grown in States of Massachusetts, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2017-18 Crop Year for Cranberries
This proposed rule invites comments on a recommendation to establish free and restricted percentages for the 2017-18 crop year under the marketing order for cranberries grown in the production area (Order). This action would establish the proportion of cranberries from the 2017-18 crop which may be handled and allow for the disposal of 2017-18 processed cranberry products. It would also establish a minimum quantity exemption and an exemption for handlers with no carryover inventory, exempt organically grown cranberries, and define outlets for restricted fruit. This action would adjust supply to more closely meet market demand, improve grower and handler returns and reduce inventory. This proposal also contains a formatting change to subpart references to bring the language into conformance with the Office of Federal Register requirements.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Revision of Exemption Requirements
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to revise the exemption provisions under the Marketing Order for tart cherries (Order). This rule changes the number of years that new product, new market development, and market expansion projects are eligible for handler diversion credit. This action would also permit handlers to apply for previously awarded projects if the original handler has not begun the project within a year of approval, and provides an expedited approval option for some market expansion activities. These changes are intended to encourage handlers to participate in new product, new market and market expansion activities, expand demand, and make the approval process more efficient. This proposal also contains a formatting change to subpart references to bring the language into conformance with the Office of Federal Register requirements.