Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment
This proposed rule would adjust representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act), to reflect changes in domestic cattle inventories as well as changes in levels of imported cattle, beef, and beef products that have occurred since the Board was last reapportioned in July 2017. These adjustments are required by the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) and, if adopted, would result in an increase in Board membership from 99 to 101, effective with the Secretary of Agriculture's (Secretary) appointments for terms beginning early in the year 2021.
Updated Labeling Guideline on Statements That Bioengineered or Genetically Modified Ingredients or Animal Feed Were Not Used in the Production of Meat, Poultry, or Egg Products
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing the availability of an updated version of its guideline on how establishments can make label claims concerning the fact that bioengineered or genetically-modified (GM) ingredients or animal feed were not used in the production of meat, poultry, or egg products. For purposes of this guidance document, these claims are referred to as ``negative claims.'' The updated document reflects changes made in response to comments received after announcement of the guideline in an August 2016 Federal Register notice.
Addition of Burma (Myanmar) to the List of Regions Affected With African Swine Fever
We are advising the public that we have added Burma (Myanmar) to the list of regions that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service considers to be affected with African swine fever (ASF). We have taken this action because of confirmation of ASF in Burma (Myanmar).
Addition of Serbia to the List of Regions Affected With African Swine Fever
We are advising the public that we have added Serbia to the list of regions that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service considers to be affected with African swine fever (ASF). We have taken this action because of confirmation of ASF in Serbia.
Food Safety and Inspection Service Labeling Guideline on Documentation Needed To Substantiate Animal Raising Claims for Label Submission
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing the availability of an updated version of its guideline on documentation needed to support animal-raising claims made on meat or poultry product labeling. Official establishments submit this documentation to the Agency when they apply for approval of labels with animal raising claims. The updated guideline includes changes made in response to comments on the guideline posted in October 2016. This Federal Register notice also summarizes and responds to issues raised in petitions submitted to the Agency by animal welfare advocacy organizations.
Advanced Biofuel Payment Program
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency or RBS) published an interim rule in the Federal Register on February 11, 2011. Through this action, RBS finalizes the rule based on public comments and new program requirements established in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill).
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Information Collection for the Child and Adult Care Food Program
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 revision of a currently approved information collection.
Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) published a proposed rule on August 23, 2018, proposing to implement changes to the single family housing guaranteed loan program (SFHGLP) regulation to streamline the loss claim process for lenders who have acquired title to property through voluntary liquidation or foreclosure; clarify that lenders must comply with applicable laws, including those within the purview of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); and better align loss mitigation policies with the mortgage industry. Through this action, RHS finalizes the rule largely as proposed with some revisions.
Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, Fall 2019
This agenda provides summary descriptions of the significant and not significant regulatory and deregulatory actions being developed in agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in conformance with Executive Orders (E.O.) 12866 ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' 13771 ``Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,'' 13777, ``Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,'' and 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.'' The agenda also describes regulations affecting small entities as required by section 602 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Public Law 96-354. This agenda also identifies regulatory actions that are being reviewed in compliance with section 610(c) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. We invite public comment on those actions as well as any regulation consistent with E.O. 13563. USDA has attempted to list all regulations and regulatory reviews pending at the time of publication except for minor and routine or repetitive actions, but some may have been inadvertently missed. There is no legal significance to the omission of an item from this listing. Also, the dates shown for the steps of each action are estimated and are not commitments to act on or by the date shown. USDA's complete regulatory agenda is available online at www.reginfo.gov. Because publication in the Federal Register is mandated for the regulatory flexibility agendas required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 602), USDA's printed agenda entries include only: (1) Rules that are likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; and (2) Rules identified for periodic review under section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. For this edition of the USDA regulatory agenda, the most important regulatory and deregulatory actions are summarized in a Statement of Regulatory Priorities that is included in the Regulatory Plan, which appears in both the online regulatory agenda and in part II of the Federal Register that includes the abbreviated regulatory agenda.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
We are reopening the comment period for our proposal to modify a system of records titled the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act, USDA/APHIS-8. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.
The Secretary of Agriculture's Determination of the Primary Purpose of the Nevada Petroleum Claims Fund for the Cleanup of Petroleum Discharge From Storage
NRCS is providing public notice that the Secretary of Agriculture has determined that cost share payments made by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) are primarily for the purpose of conserving soil and water resources or protecting and restoring the environment. NRCS was assigned technical and administrative responsibility for reviewing NDEP's Petroleum Claims Fund program and for making appropriate recommendations for the Secretary's determination of primary purpose. The Secretary made the determination for the State of Nevada's Petroleum Claims Fund program administered by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.
Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders on the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program-FRTEP
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is requesting written stakeholder input on the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP). The purpose of this Notice is to assist NIFA in developing the FY 2021 Request for Applications for the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program. NIFA plans to consider all stakeholder input received in response to this Notice.
Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program
This rule revises the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program regulations to incorporate legislative changes introduced in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 and to incorporate changes that conform the operation of the program to the requirements in the ``Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards'' (Uniform Guidance) and Federal grant-making best practices.
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Evanston-Mountain View Ranger District; Utah; West Fork Smiths Fork Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Enhancement
The Evanston-Mountain View Ranger District of the Uinta- Wasatch-Cache National Forest (Forest) is withdrawing the Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the West Fork Smiths Fork Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Enhancement project. The original NOI was published in the Federal Register on August 25, 2017. No significant issues were identified during the scoping period or any other opportunity to comment. Upon further evaluation, the responsible official has determined that the proposed action fits within an identified categorical exclusion (CE); there are no extraordinary circumstances; and the action would not have significant effects to the human environment. As a result, the Forest is withdrawing its intent to prepare an EIS and is now preparing a CE. All comments previously received regarding this project will be retained and considered in the development of the CE.
Emerging Markets Program
This final rule is revising the Emerging Markets Program (EMP) regulations to incorporate legislative changes introduced in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 and to incorporate changes that conform the operation of the program to the requirements in the ``Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards'' (Uniform Guidance) and Federal grant- making best practices.
Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board
The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Board is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, the National Forest Management Act of 1976, and the Federal Public Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Additional information concerning the Board, including meeting agendas and meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Board's website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/blackhills/ workingtogether/advisorycommittees.
Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program
The United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is extending the comment period due date for an interim final rule published on October 31, 2019, by an additional thirty (30) days from December 30, 2019 to January 29, 2020. The interim final rule establishes a domestic hemp production program pursuant to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The rule outlines provisions for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve plans submitted by States and Indian Tribes for the domestic production of hemp. It also establishes a Federal plan for producers in States or territories of Indian Tribes that do not have their own USDA-approved plan. The program includes provisions for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced, testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements, licensing requirements, and ensuring compliance with the requirements of the new part.
Notice of Contract Proposals (NOCP) for the 9005 Advanced Biofuel Payment Program for Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020
This Notice announces the acceptance of applications to enter into Contracts to make payments to eligible advanced biofuel producers under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels. To be eligible for payments, advanced biofuels must be produced from renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch, in a biorefinery located in a State. This Notice is being published concurrently with the issuance of the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels final rule. The Agency did not request applications, nor make payments in Fiscal Year 2019 pending the rule's promulgation/publication. This notice announces the availability of up to $7 million for each of two Fiscal Years, 2019 and 2020, to make payments to eligible advanced biofuel producers for the production of eligible advanced biofuels.
Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act, and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces a meeting of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.
National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard; Validation of Refining Processes
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments and feedback on draft instructions for validation of refining processes as it pertains to the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (Standard).
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) made changes to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This interim rule makes conforming changes to EQIP policies and procedures in the regulations. NRCS has responsibility for administering EQIP using funding, facilities, and authorities of the CCC. EQIP helps agricultural producers conserve and enhance soil, water, air, plants, animals (including wildlife), energy, and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, rangeland, pasture, wetlands, nonindustrial private forest land, and other agricultural land on which agricultural or forest- related products or livestock are produced and natural resource concerns may be addressed. Participation in the program is voluntary.
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.