National List of Reportable Animal Diseases
We are proposing to amend the animal disease regulations to provide for a National List of Reportable Animal Diseases, along with reporting responsibilities for animal health professionals that encounter or suspect cases of communicable animal diseases and disease agents. These proposed changes are necessary to streamline State and Federal cooperative animal disease detection, response, and control efforts. This action would consolidate and enhance current disease reporting mechanisms, and would complement and supplement existing animal disease tracking and reporting at the State level.
Announcement of Funding Availability, Loan Application Procedures, and Deadlines for the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP)
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is soliciting letters of intent for loan applications under the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP), announcing the application process for those loans and deadlines for applications from eligible entities for funding in fiscal year (FY) 2020, until expended or further notice.
Rural Energy Savings Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as RUS or the Agency, is issuing a final rule to establish the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) as authorized by Section 6407 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, as amended and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 to assist rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings by providing loans to eligible entities that agree to make loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures. This rule describes the eligibility requirements, the application process, the criteria that will be used by RUS to assess Applicants' creditworthiness and how to obtain application materials.
Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders on Agricultural Innovations
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments and suggestions on objectives and opportunities leading to research goals and informed product goals to facilitate transformative breakthroughs to enable U.S. agriculture to meet the Department's goal of increasing agricultural production by 40 percent to meet the needs of the global population in 2050 while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half. This effort is part of USDA's Agricultural Innovation Agenda, the Department's commitment to the continued success of American farmers, ranchers, producers, and foresters in the face of future challenges.
Notice of Proposed Revision to Import Requirements for the Importation of Fresh Citrus From South Africa Into the United States
We are advising the public that we have prepared a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) relative to the importation into the United States of citrus (grapefruit, lemon, mandarin orange, sweet orange, tangelo, and Satsuma mandarin) fruit from South Africa. Based on the findings of the CIED, we are proposing to remove restrictions on the ports of entry into which citrus from South Africa may be imported into the United States. We are making the CIED available to the public for review and comment.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is initiating an environmental impact statement to inform a decision to revise agency regulations that minimize adverse environmental impacts on National Forest System surface resources in connection with operations authorized by the Mining Law of 1872, as amended (United States mining laws). These rules and procedures govern prospecting, exploration, development, mining, and processing operations conducted on National Forest System lands authorized by the United States mining laws, subsequent reclamation of the land, and any necessary long-term post- closure resource management.
Exceptions to Geographic Boundaries
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) in response to recent changes to the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA or Act). The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) amended the USGSA to allow customers to obtain grain inspection services from other than the designated official inspection agency (OA) for the customer's geographic area if the customer has not been receiving services from the designated OA. AMS is seeking public comment on criteria to evaluate requests submitted under this provision, known as the ``nonuse of service'' exception. The Agency is also seeking input on criteria to evaluate requests submitted under another USGSA exception provision, ``timely service.''
Notification of Guarantee Loan Payment Deferrals for Business and Industry Loan Guarantees, Rural Energy for America Program Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Loan Guarantees, and Water and Waste Loan Guarantees
The Rural-Business Cooperative Service (RBCS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) agencies of the Rural Development mission area, hereinafter referred to as Agency, will temporarily allow lenders with guaranteed loans with the Agency to unilaterally offer payment deferrals for the period specified in the DATES section of this notification to their customers who may be experiencing temporary cash flow issues due to the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic.
Import Requirements for the Importation of Fresh Blueberries From Chile Into the United States
We are advising the public that we have prepared a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) relative to the importation into the United States of blueberries from Chile. Currently, blueberries from Chile imported into the United States from an area in which European grapevine moth is known to exist must be fumigated with methyl bromide. Based on the findings of the CIED, we are proposing to also allow the importation of such blueberries under the provisions of a systems approach. We are making the CIED available to the public for review and comment.
Implementation of Revised Lacey Act Provisions
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 amended the Lacey Act to provide, among other things, that importers submit a declaration at the time of importation for certain plants and plant products. Enforcement of the declaration requirement began on April 1, 2009, and products requiring a declaration are being phased-in. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of another phase of the Federal Government's enforcement schedule.
Notice of Intent to Reinstate an Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to seek reinstatement of an information collection, the Census of Agriculture Content Test. Response to this survey will be voluntary.
National Organic Standards Board (NOSB): Call for Nominations
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 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing its call for nominations to fill five vacancies. Descriptions of the five positions are listed below under supplementary information. Appointees will serve a five-year term beginning January 24, 2021 and ending January 23, 2026. Additionally, the USDA seeks nominations for a pool of candidates that the Secretary of Agriculture can draw upon as replacement appointees if unexpected vacancies occur.
Sweet Onions Grown in the Walla Walla Valley of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon; Increased Assessment Rate
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2020 and subsequent fiscal periods. The proposed assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Notice of Request for a New Information Collection (Laboratory Assessment Requests)
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to collect information from laboratories that test food samples during illness outbreak investigations. This is a new information collection with 22.5 burden hours.
Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the Federal Register on Thursday, December 12, 2019, (84 FR 67913) announcing its general policy and application procedures for funding under the broadband pilot program (ReConnect) established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (which became law on February 15, 2019) which provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of an extension of the application window until midnight, based on the time zone the applicant is located in, on April 15, 2020.
Notice of Request for Approval for Generic Clearance To Conduct Multiple Crop and Pesticide Use Surveys
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of USDA's Office of Pest Management Policy to request approval for a new information collection for Multiple Crop and Pesticide Use Surveys.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on the following information collection extension for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection; Comments Requested
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this Notice announces the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intention to request a revision for a currently approved information collection in support of the program servicing Water Program loans and grants.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the above-named agency to request Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for an extension of a currently approved information collection in support of RUS Specification for Quality Control and Inspection of Timber Products.
Import Requirements for the Importation of Fresh Fragrant Pears From China Into the United States
We are advising the public of our decision to revise the import requirements for the importation of fresh fragrant pears from China into the United States and to authorize importation from an additional area of production. Based on the findings of the pest risk analysis, which we made available to the public to review and comment through a previous notice, we have concluded that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh fragrant pears fruit from this additional production area.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the above-named agency to request Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for a revision of a currently approved information collection in support of the Single- Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP).
Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020; Amendment
The Rural-Business Cooperative Service (the Agency) published a notice of solicitation of applications in the Federal Register on August 30, 2019, entitled ``Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2020,'' to allow potential applicants time to submit applications for financial assistance under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for fiscal year (FY) 2020 and allow the Agency time to process applications within the current FY. This notice extends the application window closing date from March 31, 2020 to April 15, 2020.
Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License
Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Washington State Crop Improvement Association, Inc. of Pullman, Washington, an exclusive license to the variety of chickpea described in Plant Variety Protection Application Number 201900296, `CA0790B0043C,' applied for on August 5, 2019.
Notice of Proposed Revisions to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is giving notice that it intends to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices (NHCP). NRCS is also giving the public an opportunity to provide comments on specified conservation practice standards in NHCP.
Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the Summer Food Service Program
This rulemaking proposes to amend the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) regulations to strengthen program integrity by codifying in regulations changes that have been tested through policy guidance and by streamlining requirements among Child Nutrition Programs. These changes update important definitions, simplify the application process, enhance monitoring requirements, and provide more discretion at the State agency level to manage program operations. The intended effect of this rulemaking is to clarify, simplify, and streamline program administration in order to facilitate compliance with program requirements. The original comment period for this proposed rule, published on January 23, 2020, ends on March 23, 2020. FNS is extending the comment period through April 22, 2020.
Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) Program
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) published an interim rule on December 23, 2011, which made several revisions to the Rural Business Investment program. Through this action, RBS finalizes the rule based on public comments, amends its regulations, and incorporates new program requirements established in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Bill for the Rural Business Investment Program. This action, which affects some of the substantive aspects of the Rural Business Investment Program, is expected to decrease the time and workload necessary in carrying out the Rural Business Investment Program.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants for Fiscal Year 2020
The Rural Housing Service (RHS), an Agency within Rural Development, announces that it is soliciting competitive applications under its Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program. This action is taken to comply with Agency regulations which requires the Agency to announce the opening and closing dates for receipt of pre-applications for HPG funds from eligible applicants. The Agency will publish the amount of funding on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/ notices-solicitation-applications-nosas. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk.
Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; Extension of Comment Period
This rulemaking proposes changes to simplify meal pattern and monitoring requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The proposed changes, including optional flexibilities, are customer-focused and intended to help State and local Program operators overcome operational challenges that limit their ability to manage these Programs efficiently. The original comment period for this rule ends on March 23, 2020. FNS is extending the comment period through April 22, 2020.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the above-named Agencies to request Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for a revision of a currently approved information collection in support of the servicing of Community and Direct Business Programs Loans and Grants.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2019-20 Crop Year
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to establish free and restricted percentages for the 2019-20 crop year under the Marketing Order for tart cherries grown in the states of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. This action would establish the proportion of tart cherries from the 2019-20 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets. This action should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns. Also, a correction would be made to this section to reflect the correct desirable carry-out inventory not to exceed a maximum of 100 million pounds.
Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs and Noninsured Crop Assistance Program; Correction
This document corrects regulations that were published in the Federal Register on September 3, 2019, and March 2, 2020. The rules revised the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs and Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) to implement changes required by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill). There were errors in three of the definitions in ARC and PLC program rule. The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is also correcting one sentence in the NAP rule.
Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Amendment to Primary Peanut-Producing States and Adjustment of Membership
This rule adds the State of Missouri as a primary peanut- producing State under the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Peanut Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This rule also adds a producer member and alternate member to the Board to represent the State of Missouri. The Board recommended this action to ensure the Board's representation reflects changes in the geographical distribution of the production of peanuts.
Child Nutrition Programs: Income Eligibility Guidelines
This notice announces the Department's annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines to be used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk for the period from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. The annual adjustments are required by section 9 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The guidelines are intended to direct benefits to those children most in need and are revised annually to account for changes in the Consumer Price Index.
Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Live Swine, Pork, and Pork Products From Certain Regions
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of live swine, pork, and pork products from certain regions free of classical swine fever in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.
Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board; Meeting
The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Rapid City, South Dakota. The committee is established consistent with, and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture through the Black Hills National Forest Supervisor on a broad range of forest issues. Board information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ blackhills/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.
Notice of Request for Renewal of an Approved Information Collection (State Meat and Poultry Programs)
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to request renewal of the approved information collection regarding State Meat and Poultry Programs. There are no changes to the existing information collection. The approval for this information collection will expire on July 31, 2020.
Expansion of Use of the Term “Healthy”
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing that it will allow establishments to use the implied nutrient content claim ``healthy'' on their labels which: (1) Are not low in total fat, but have a fat profile makeup of predominantly mono and polyunsaturated fats; or (2) contain at least ten percent of the Daily Value (DV) per reference amount customarily consumed (RACC) of potassium or vitamin D. FSIS is making this announcement to maintain consistent requirements for food labels by allowing the same uses of the claim ``healthy'' for meat and poultry products as are currently allowed for food products under the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) jurisdiction.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020; Amendment
Rural Development (Agency) published a notice of solicitation of applications in the Federal Register on February 28, 2020, entitled ``Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020,'' to provide applicants with projects eligible for the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program (SECD) the opportunity to apply for funding in FY 2020. After publication of the NOSA for SECD for FY 2020, the Agency found an error in the dates section of the Notice. This notice will correct the DATES section of the NOSA.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the South Texas Onion Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2019-20 and subsequent fiscal periods. The proposed assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection: Assessment Exemption for Organic Commodities Under Federal Marketing Orders
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (``AMS'') intention to request an extension for the form currently used by marketers to apply for exemption from market promotion assessments under Federal marketing order programs.
WTO Agricultural Quantity-Based Safeguard Trigger Levels
This notice lists the updated quantity-based trigger levels for products which may be subject to additional import duties under the safeguard provisions of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. This notice also includes the relevant period applicable for the trigger levels on each of the listed products.
Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002; Biennial Review and Republication of the Select Agent and Toxin List
In accordance with the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002, we are soliciting public comment regarding the list of select agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to animal or plant health, or to animal or plant products. The Act requires the biennial review and republication of the list of select agents and toxins and the revision of the list as necessary. Accordingly, we are soliciting public comment on the current list of select agents and toxins in our regulations and suggestions regarding any addition or reduction of the animal or plant pathogens currently on the list of select agents.