Notice of Request for a New Information Collection: Small Meat Processor Study
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to create a new information collection to survey small and very small meat processing plants about a draft report concerning FSIS resources available to help them achieve and maintain regulatory compliance. This is a new information collection with an estimated burden of 375 hours.
Notice of Request for a New Information Collection: Focus Group Research to Inform Consumer Food Safety Education and Outreach
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to conduct focus groups with consumers to provide information to inform consumer education outreach efforts related to disseminating information to consumers about recalls and outbreaks and the labeling of meat and poultry products. This is a new information collection with an estimated burden of 411 hours.
ReConnect Pilot Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as the Agency, announces its general policy and application procedures for its second round of funding under the broadband pilot program. This pilot program was established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. The Agency is announcing the application window for this second round of funding and requesting comments on the program.
Inviting Applications for Value-Added Producer Grants and Solicitation of Grant Reviewers
This Notice announces that the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is accepting applications for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Approximately $37 million is currently available. The Agency may also utilize any funding that become available after publishing this notice. The Agency will publish the program funding level on the Rural Development website (https://www.rd.usda.gov/ programs-services/value-added-producer-grants). Section VII also announces solicitation of non-Federal independent grant reviewers to evaluate and score applications submitted under this Notice.
Request for information: Self-Determination Demonstration Project for Tribes That Administer the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
This is a Request for Information to help the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the Secretary or USDA) develop the additional criteria, as authorized in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, for a self-determination demonstration project related to the purchase of agricultural commodities for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). USDA requests feedback from Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) and State agencies that administer FDPIR, Tribal leaders and representatives, and Tribal associations. This notice is not a request for proposal and does not commit the Government to issue a solicitation, make an award, or pay any costs associated with responding to this announcement. All submitted information shall remain with the Government and will not be returned. All responses will become part of the public record and will not be held confidential. USDA received authority in section 4003(b) of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-334, the 2018 Farm Bill) to establish a demonstration project for one or more Tribal Organization(s) administering FDPIR to enter into self-determination contracts to purchase agricultural commodities (which are hereafter referred to as ``food(s)'') for the FDPIR food package for their Indian Tribe. These Tribally purchased foods will be issued to FDPIR participants in lieu of similar USDA Foods available in the FDPIR food package. The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes up to $5 million to remain available until expended to carry out this demonstration project; however, availability of funds is subject to Congressional appropriations. The objective of this Request for Information is to receive feedback to assist USDA in developing the process and criteria for determining if a FDPIR Tribal Organization is eligible for a self- determination demonstration project contract, as specified in the 2018 Farm Bill under Section 4003(b)(3). USDA invites comments on specific questions included in this Request for Information (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION) and welcomes comments from those involved in the administration of FDPIR, Tribal leaders and representatives, and Tribal associations. USDA will use the comments in response to this Request for Information to inform the competitive process for entering into a self-determination contract(s) as required by Section 4003(b)(2) of the 2018 Farm Bill, upon receipt of Congressional appropriations.
Performance Review Board Membership
This notice announces the members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Level (SL) and Scientific or Professional (ST) Performance Review Boards. Agriculture has two PRBs with representatives from each USDA Mission Area. The PRBs are comprised of a Chairperson and a mix of career and noncareer senior executives and senior professionals that meet annually to review and evaluate performance appraisal documents. The PRB provides a written recommendation to the Secretary for final approval of each executive's performance rating, performance-based pay adjustment, and performance award. The PRBs are advised by the Office of Human Resources Management, Office of General Counsel, and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico (Marketing Order No. 983)
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection for Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, pursuant to Federal Marketing Order No. 983.
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). The NOSB assists the USDA in the development of standards for substances to be used in organic production and advises the Secretary of Agriculture on any other aspects of the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA).
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Services (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
2020 Rate Changes for the Basetime, Overtime, Holiday, and Laboratory Services Rates
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing the 2020 rates it will charge meat and poultry establishments, egg products plants, and importers and exporters for providing voluntary, overtime, and holiday inspection and identification, certification, and laboratory services. The 2020 basetime, overtime, holiday, and laboratory services rates will be applied on January 5, 2020.
Tobacco Inspection and Grading Services: Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information 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 an extension to the currently approved information collection in support of the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004, 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.
Conservation Reserve Program
This rule is revising the Commodity Credit Corporation's (CCC) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) regulations to specify the terms and conditions of CRP and to implement amendments made by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes CRP through fiscal year 2023. This rule makes required changes to the eligibility criteria for enrollment in CRP, the benefits available to participants, and the land use and compliance provisions of CRP. In addition, this rule will implement two new pilot programs, the Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers 30 (CLEAR 30) Pilot Program and the Soil Heath and Income Protection Pilot (SHIPP) Program, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents
USDA is finalizing its rulemaking proposed February 1, 2019. The rule revises the conditions under which USDA would waive, when requested by States, the able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) time limit in areas that have an unemployment rate of over 10 percent or a lack of sufficient jobs. In addition, the rule limits carryover of ABAWD discretionary exemptions.
National Poultry Improvement Plan and Auxiliary Provisions
We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). These amendments would establish a U.S. Newcastle Disease Clean program within the NPIP, create an NPIP subpart specific to game birds, revise testing requirements, and clarify existing provisions of the regulations. We are also proposing to amend the regulations concerning the payment of indemnity and compensation for low pathogenic avian influenza to reflect current policy and operational practices, and to allow NPIP voting delegates to represent multiple States during the Biennial Conferences. These proposed changes were voted on and approved by the voting delegates at the NPIP's 2018 National Plan Conference.
Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Scrapie in Sheep and Goats; Interstate Movement Restrictions and Indemnity Program
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 current regulations for the interstate movement of sheep and goats and an indemnity program to control the spread of scrapie. This notice is separate from any new rulemaking.
Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Phytosanitary Export Certification
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 issuance of phytosanitary certificates for plants or plant products being exported to foreign countries.
Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact; Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Conservation Program
We are advising the public that the United States Department of Agriculture and its sub-agency, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, have prepared an environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for a conservation program pursuant to the Endangered Species Act to benefit the southwestern willow flycatcher, a small, neotropical migrant bird found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Based on our finding of no significant impact, we have determined that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Operating Guidelines, Forms and Waivers
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this information collection. This is a revision of a currently approved collection. This information collection consists of five components of State agency reporting and/or recordkeeping: A budget projection statement, a program activity report, State plans of operation updates, waiver requests, and other plans and submissions such as advance planning documents for information systems and for electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems.
Information Collection: Youth Conservation Corps Application and Medical History
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the USDA Forest Service and certain Department of Interior agencies are seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension of a currently approved information collection, Youth Conservation Corps Application and Medical History.
Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Amendment to Primary Peanut-Producing States and Adjustment of Membership
This proposal invites comments on adding 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 proposal would also add a producer member and alternate member to the Board to represent the State of Missouri. The Board recommended this action to ensure that the Board's representation reflects changes in the geographical distribution of the production of peanuts.
Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Aquaculture Surveys. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in NASS estimates programs, target population sizes, sampling designs, and/or content of questionnaires.
Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Sugar Beet Crop Insurance Provisions
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) finalizes the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Sugar Beet Crop Insurance Provisions (Crop Provisions) and makes amendments to the final rule, with request for comment, published in the Federal Register on September 10, 2018, that updated existing policy provisions and definitions to better reflect current agricultural practices. This final rule is amended based on comments received and other issues identified since implementation of the previous final rule. The changes will be effective for the 2020 and succeeding crop years in states with a November 30 contract change date and for the 2021 and succeeding crop years in all other states.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Assessment of the Collection, Analysis, Validation, and Reporting of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Data
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a new collection for the assessment of the collection, analysis, validation, and reporting of SNAP E&T data collected by States.
Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Coarse Grains Crop Insurance Provisions
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) amends the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Coarse Grains Crop Insurance Provisions (Crop Provisions). The intended effect of this action is to allow separate enterprise and optional units by the cropping practices Following Another Crop (FAC) and Not Following Another Crop (NFAC). The changes will be effective for the 2020 and succeeding crop years.
Publication Method for Lists of Foreign Countries Eligible To Export Meat, Poultry, or Egg Products to the United States
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending its regulations to remove lists of foreign countries eligible to export meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States. FSIS will maintain a single list of eligible foreign countries on its website. The criteria FSIS uses to evaluate whether a foreign country is eligible to export meat, poultry, or egg products has not changed. This rule will allow FSIS to more efficiently and clearly communicate equivalence determinations by maintaining a single list of exporting countries on its website, rather than maintaining one list on the website and outdated lists in the codified regulations. In addition, the Agency is amending it regulations to remove references to the lists.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Sweet Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate
This final rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2019-2020 and subsequent fiscal periods. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Almonds Grown in California; Revisions to the Accepted User Program Requirements and New Information Collection
This rule implements a recommendation from the Almond Board of California (Board) to revise the almond accepted user program requirements currently prescribed under the Marketing Order for Almonds Grown in California (Order). This rule prohibits the transfer of inedible material between accepted users, implements a new information collection form and makes a conforming change to an existing form.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
This final rule implements a recommendation from the Prune Marketing Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2019-20 and subsequent crop years from $0.28 to $0.25 per ton of salable dried prunes handled under the Marketing Order 993. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Decreased Assessment Rate
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2019-20 and subsequent fiscal years. The proposed assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is revising the regulations governing the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Program to add provisions related to the local and regional procurement of commodities under the program, and to make other minor changes. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 amended the statute authorizing the McGovern-Dole Program to provide that not more than ten percent of the funds made available to carry out the program shall be used to purchase agricultural commodities through local and regional procurement. This revision implements this statutory change by setting forth requirements applicable to the local or regional procurement of commodities by an award recipient under the McGovern-Dole Program, and it makes other technical changes to update the regulations.
Notice of Availability of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Little Otter Creek Watershed Plan, Caldwell County, Missouri
NRCS announces the availability of the FSEIS for the Little Otter Creek Watershed Plan (LOCWP), Caldwell County, Missouri, involving the proposed construction of a multi-purpose reservoir. The purpose of this supplement is to address changes which have occurred since NRCS prepared the LOCWP and Environmental Impact Statement in 2003. The FSEIS updates the original EIS with more recent relevant environmental information and expands the alternatives analysis beyond those previously considered. The FSEIS evaluates reasonable and practicable alternatives and their expected environmental impacts under the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) provisions of the Council on Environmental Quality.
Export Sales Reporting Program
The USDA is modifying the regulations implementing the export sales reporting requirements of Section 602 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978. The Export Sales Reporting Requirements regulations require exporters to report on a weekly basis information concerning quantity, country of destination, and other specified information related to export sales of beef and pork, among other commodities. USDA is adding a footnote to clarify the descriptions for ``fresh, chilled or frozen muscle cuts/whether or not boxed'' for beef and pork in the appendix to the regulations. The footnote includes an illustrative list of items that fall under these headings, such as carcasses and half- carcasses. This final rule clarifies the wording of the regulations to avoid potential confusion.
International Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standard-Setting Activities
In accordance with legislation implementing the results of the Uruguay Round of negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, we are informing the public of the international standard- setting activities of the World Organization for Animal Health, the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, and the North American Plant Protection Organization, and we are soliciting public comment on the standard-setting activities.
Plants for Planting Whose Importation Is Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis; Notice of Availability of Data Sheets for Taxa of Plants for Planting That are Quarantine Pests or Hosts of Quarantine Pests
We are advising the public that we have determined that 26 taxa of plants for planting are quarantine pests, and that all Myrtaceae taxa (when destined to Hawaii), all subfamily Bambusoideae taxa, and 43 other taxa of plants for planting are hosts of 18 quarantine pests, and therefore should be added to our lists of taxa of plants for planting whose importation is not authorized pending pest risk analysis. We have prepared data sheets that detail the scientific evidence we evaluated in making the determination that the taxa are quarantine pests or hosts of quarantine pests. We are making these data sheets available to the public for review and comment.
Proposed New Recreation Fees: George Washington and Jefferson National Forests; Correction
The Forest Service published a document in the Federal Register on September 30, 2019, requesting for comments on proposed new recreation fees for three recreation sites on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. The document contained incorrect information on the type of fee and features of recreation sites required in order to charge that fee type. The Forest Service is reopening the comment period. The previous comment period ended on October 15, 2019. In addition to comments received under this notice, comments previously submitted in response to the notice published during the comment period announced September 30, 2019, will be considered.
Proposed New Recreation Fees: Shawnee National Forest
The Shawnee National Forest is proposing to charge new fees at six recreation sites. All sites are highly developed day use sites with significant infrastructure. They provide amenities and special opportunities that are beyond those typical of Shawnee National Forest day use sites. Fees are assessed based on the level of amenities and services provided, cost of operation and maintenance, market assessment, and public comment. The fees listed are proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment. Funds from fees would be used for the continued operation and maintenance of these recreation sites. An analysis of the nearby state and private recreation opportunities with similar amenities show that the proposed fees are reasonable for the area.
Single Family Housing Direct Loan and Grant Programs
Through this proposed rule, the Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) is proposing to amend its regulations to update and improve the direct Single-Family Housing (SFH) loans and grants programs. The proposed changes would increase program flexibility, allow more borrowers to access affordable loans, better align the programs with best practices, and enable the programs to be more responsive to economic conditions and trends.
Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Cotton Ginning Survey. Revision to burden hours may be needed due to possible changes in the size of the target population, sampling design, and/or questionnaire length.
Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation is correcting a final rule that was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2019, which revised the Catastrophic Risk Protection Endorsement, the Area Risk Protection Insurance Basic Provisions, and the Common Crop Insurance Policy (CCIP) Basic Provisions. This correction is being published to correct an incorrect reference in section 3(g)(3) of the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions.
Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Rice Crop Insurance Provisions
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) amends the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Rice Crop Insurance Provisions (Crop Provisions). The intended effect of this action is to allow for new irrigation methods and change the cancellation and termination dates in certain states to align with other row crops to implement the changes contained in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill). The changes will be effective for the 2020 and succeeding crop years.
Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License
Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, intends to grant to Hunter Farms dba Whispering Green Energy of 684 County Road #2 Hillier, Ontario K0K 2J0, Canada, an exclusive license to U.S. Patent Application No. 15/882,078, ``LOW TEMPERATURE AND EFFICIENT FRACTIONATION OF LIGNOCELLULOSIC BIOMASS USING RECYCLABLE ORGANIC SOLID ACIDS'', filed on January 29, 2018.
Swine Health Protection Act; Amendments to Garbage Feeding Regulations
We are amending the Swine Health Protection Act regulations by removing the State status lists from the regulations in order to maintain these lists on the Agency's website. These changes will allow us to use a notice-based, streamlined approach to update the lists while continuing to protect swine health in the United States.
Pecans Grown in the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas; Reporting Requirements
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the American Pecan Council (Council) to revise the reporting requirements prescribed under the Federal marketing order regulating the handling of pecans. This action would reduce the number of monthly reporting requirements, revise the requirements for inter-handler transfers, and make other conforming changes to the reporting requirements.
Privacy Act of 1974: New System of Records
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) proposes to add a new system of records notice to its inventory of records systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974. This action is necessary to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act to publish in the Federal Register notice of the existence and character of records systems maintained by the agency. The Integrated Management Administrative Resources Tool (iMART) will serve as a comprehensive personnel management system to manage and store all personnel and career data, along with organizational and historical data, in one central and integrated system.