Termination of Designation of the State of North Dakota With Respect to the Inspection of Poultry Products
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending the poultry products inspection regulations by terminating the designation of the State of North Dakota under sections 1 through 4, 6 through 10, 11(b), 11(c), and 12 through 22 of the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA). FSIS has concluded that North Dakota is in a position to administer a State poultry inspection program, which is at least equal to the Federal poultry products inspection program.
National Organic Program, Sunset Review
As required by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), the allowed use of 165 synthetic and non-synthetic substances in organic production and handling will expire on October 21, 2007. In addition, prohibitions on the use of 9 non-synthetic substances will expire in organic production on October 21, 2007. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is publishing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to make the public aware of this OFPA requirement. AMS believes that public comment is essential in the review process to determine whether these substances should continue to be allowed or prohibited in the production and handling of organic agricultural products.
Almonds Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Almond Board of California (Board) for the 2005-06 and subsequent crop years from $0.025 to $0.030 per pound of almonds received. Of the $0.030 per pound assessment, 60 percent (or $0.018 per pound) would be available as credit-back for handlers who conduct their own promotional activities. The Board locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of almonds grown in California. Authorization to assess almond handlers enables the Board to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The crop year begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the State of Washington Potato Committee (Committee) for the 2005-2006 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.002 to $0.0035 per hundredweight of potatoes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Washington. Authorization to assess potato handlers enables the Committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The fiscal period begins July 1 and ends June 30. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Request for Public Comments To Be Used in Developing USDA Recommendations for the 2007 Farm Bill
This notice announces a series of public forums that senior officials of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hold to obtain public input for the development of the 2007 Farm Bill. The 2002 Farm Bill, officially entitled the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 2002 Act; Publ. L. 107-171), authorizes many of the programs operated by USDA such as the farm price and income support programs and expires with the 2007 crop year. Many other key programs specified in the 2002 Act expire at the end of fiscal year 2007. New legislation will need to be enacted prior to the expiration of the 2002 Act. USDA intends to develop recommendations for the new farm bill and believes that public input is essential to the process by which these recommendations will be developed. This process requires an assessment of the performance of current programs operated under the 2002 Act as well as of possible alternative programs for the next farm bill. The public forums will be held at various locations in the United States during 2005. The dates, locations, and times of the forums will be announced by USDA press release (available at http://www.usda.gov). The public will be invited to attend the forums and to present oral comments. The primary topics addressed at the forums will reflect various concerns affecting rural America such as commodity, conservation, and rural economic development issues. However, some forums will be dedicated to other important programs authorized by the farm bill such as food assistance, research, and education programs. Topics for these discussions will be announced via USDA press release. In addition, this notice provides the public the opportunity to comment in writing on key issues that USDA expects to address in the development of its recommendations. USDA will review the public comments received, including any analyses, reports, studies, and other material submitted with the comments, that address the questions specified below.