Agricultural Marketing Service March 2005 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Revision of Handling Requirements for Fresh Nectarines and Peaches
Document Number: 05-6418
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-31
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule revises the handling requirements for California nectarines and peaches by modifying the grade, size, maturity, and pack requirements for fresh shipments of these fruits, beginning with 2005 season shipments. This rule also authorizes continued shipments of ``CA Utility'' quality nectarines and peaches, and revises weight-count standards for fruit in volume-filled containers. The marketing orders regulate the handling of nectarines and peaches grown in California and are administered locally by the Nectarine Administrative and Peach Commodity Committees (committees). This rule will enable handlers to continue to ship fresh nectarines and peaches in a manner that meets consumer needs, increases returns to producers and handlers, and reflects current industry practices.
United States Standards for Grades of Fresh Asparagus
Document Number: 05-6083
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-29
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), prior to undertaking research and other work associated with revising an official grade standard, is soliciting comments on a possible revision to the United States Standards for Grades of Fresh Asparagus. At a 2003 meeting of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, AMS was asked to review all the fresh fruit and vegetable grade standards for usefulness in serving the industry. As a result, AMS has noted that currently there are no provisions to allow purple or white asparagus to be graded using the standards. Therefore, AMS is soliciting comments on the possible revision of the color requirements in the grade standards. Additionally, AMS is seeking comments regarding any other revisions that may be necessary to better serve the industry.
Pistachios Grown in California; Establishment of Reporting Requirements; Notice of Request for New Information Collection
Document Number: 05-6082
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2005-03-28
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule invites comments on the establishment of reporting requirements authorized under the California pistachio marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California and is administered locally by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (committee). These additional reporting requirements would enable the committee to collect information on: Pistachios failing to meet quality and aflatoxin requirements; failing pistachios that are reworked or disposed of in accordance with applicable requirements; handlers applying for exemptions; transfers of uninspected pistachios between regulated handlers; and inventories and shipments of pistachios. This document also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a new information collection.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil for the 2004-2005 Marketing Year
Document Number: 05-6081
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-28
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule further amends prior interim final rules that increased the quantity of Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil produced in the Far West that handlers may purchase from, or handle for, producers during the 2004-2005 marketing year. This rule increases the Native spearmint oil salable quantity by an additional 85,936 pounds from 1,267,562 pounds to 1,353,498 pounds, and the allotment percentage by an additional 4 percent from 59 percent to 63 percent. The Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee), the agency responsible for local administration of the marketing order for spearmint oil produced in the Far West, unanimously recommended this rule to avoid extreme fluctuations in supplies and prices and to help maintain stability in the Far West spearmint oil market.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 05-5984
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-28
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Prune Marketing Committee (committee) under Marketing Order No. 993 for the 2004-05 and subsequent crop years from $4.00 to $6.00 per ton of salable dried prunes. The committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of dried prunes grown in California. Authorization to assess dried prune handlers enables the committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The committee recommended a higher assessment rate because the 2004-05 crop is very small, and the higher assessment rate is needed to generate funds to meet program expenses and provide an adequate financial reserve. The crop year began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Peanut Standards Board
Document Number: 05-5900
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a Peanut Standards Board (Board) for the purpose of advising the Secretary on quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. The initial Board was appointed by the Secretary and announced on December 5, 2002. USDA seeks nominations for individuals to be considered for selection as Board members for terms of office ending June 30, 2008. Selected nominees sought by this action would replace those six producer and industry representatives who are currently serving for the initial term of office that ends June 30, 2005. The Board consists of 18 members representing producers and industry representatives.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 05-5897
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule which decreased the assessment rate established for the South Texas Onion Committee (Committee) for the 2004-05 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.03 to $0.02 per 50-pound equivalent of onions handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of onions grown in South Texas. Authorization to assess onion handlers enables the Committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The fiscal period began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Fluid Milk Promotion Order
Document Number: 05-5814
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-24
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule amends the Fluid Milk Promotion Order (Order) by modifying the terms of membership of the Fluid Milk Promotion Board (Board). The amendment requires that any change in a fluid milk processor member's employer or change in ownership of the fluid milk processor who the member represents would disqualify that member. The member would continue to serve on the Board for a period of up to six months until a successor was appointed. In addition, a public member to the Board who changes employment, gains employment with a new employer, or ceases to continue in the same business would be disqualified in a manner similar to a fluid milk processor member. The amendments ensure that the Board is able to equitably represent fluid milk processing constituents and the public interest through the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Program.
United States Standards for Grades of Field Grown Leaf Lettuce
Document Number: 05-5813
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-24
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on its proposal to create a new voluntary U.S. Standard for Grades of Field Grown Leaf Lettuce. This action is being taken at the request of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, which asked AMS to identify commodities that needed grade standards developed to facilitate commerce. The proposed standards would provide industry with a common language and uniform basis for trading, thus promoting the orderly and efficient marketing of field grown leaf lettuce.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2005-2006 Marketing Year
Document Number: 05-5812
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-24
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule establishes the quantity of spearmint oil produced in the Far West, by class, that handlers may purchase from, or handle for, producers during the 2005-2006 marketing year, which begins on June 1, 2005. This rule establishes salable quantities and allotment percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil of 677,409 pounds and 35 percent, respectively, and for Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil of 867,958 pounds and 40 percent, respectively. The Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee), the agency responsible for local administration of the marketing order for spearmint oil produced in the Far West, recommended these limitations for the purpose of avoiding extreme fluctuations in supplies and prices to help maintain stability in the spearmint oil market.
United States Standards for Grades of Sweet Potatoes
Document Number: 05-5608
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-22
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is revising the United States Standards for Grades of Sweet Potatoes. USDA had received a request from several industry groups to add a new grade to the standards, U.S. No. 1 Petite. The change will allow the packing and shipping of smaller size sweet potatoes under the U.S. standards, thereby, improving the usefulness of the standards in serving the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Snap Beans
Document Number: 05-4816
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), prior to undertaking research and other work associated with revising official grade standards, is soliciting comments on the possible revisions to the United States Standards for Grades of Snap Beans. At a 2003 meeting with the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, AMS was asked to review all the fresh fruit and vegetable grade standards for usefulness in serving the industry. As a result, AMS has identified that the standard may need to be modified to allow percentages to be determined by count and not weight. Additionally, AMS is seeking comments regarding any other revisions that may be necessary to better serve the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Persian (Tahiti) Limes
Document Number: 05-4815
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is soliciting comments on its proposal to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Persian (Tahiti) Limes. Specifically, AMS is proposing to revise the color and juice requirements. The proposed revision would simplify the two requirements in the standards which are complex and difficult to apply. These changes would bring the lime standards in line with other citrus standards, thereby, improving the usefulness in serving the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Sweet Peppers
Document Number: 05-4814
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on it's proposal to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Sweet Peppers. This action is being taken at the request of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, which asked AMS to review the grade standards for possible revision. AMS is proposing to revise the standards to report decay affecting the stems under the serious damage tolerance in all grades instead of the more restrictive tolerance of two percent for decay. Additionally, AMS is proposing to amend the similar varietal requirement to allow mixed colors and/or types when designated as speciality packs and remove the unclassified category. AMS is proposing to remove the requirement to re-designate lots of sweet peppers as ``Mixed Color'' in the grade statement when peppers fail to meet the color requirement. AMS is also proposing to include the Mixed Color designation as an option for any lot of sweet peppers intentionally packed with peppers of different color. The proposed revisions would bring the standards for sweet peppers in line with current marketing practices, thereby improving the usefulness of the standards in serving the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Kale
Document Number: 05-4813
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on it's proposal to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Kale. This action is being taken at the request of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, which asked AMS to review the grade standards for possible revision. AMS is proposing to revise the standards to allow percentages to be determined by count rather than weight. AMS is also proposing to revise the application of tolerances for packages which contain less than 15 specimens. Additionally, based on a request from an industry group, the North American Perishable Agriculture Receivers (NAPAR), AMS is proposing to allow the standards to be used for kale leaves and bunches of leaves in addition to kale plants. The proposed revision would bring the standards for kale in line with current marketing practices, thereby improving the usefulness in serving the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Strawberries
Document Number: 05-4812
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the Department of Agriculture, is soliciting comments on a proposal to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Strawberries. AMS has received a petition from the California Strawberry Commission (CSC), requesting that the current standards be modified to allow percentages be determined on the basis of count and not volume. Additionally, AMS is seeking comments regarding any other revisions that may be necessary to better serve the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Mangos
Document Number: 05-4811
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on the proposed voluntary U.S. Standards for Grades of Mangos. Members of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas and other members of the mango industry have requested this action to be taken. The proposed standards would provide industry with a common language and uniform basis for trading, thus promoting orderly and efficient marketing of mangos.
United States Standards for Grades of Cucumbers
Document Number: 05-4810
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-03-11
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is withdrawing the notice soliciting comments on its proposal to amend the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Cucumbers. After reviewing and considering the comments received, the Agency has decided not to proceed with this action.
Section 610 Review: Fluid Milk Promotion Program
Document Number: 05-4581
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document summarizes the results of an Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) review of the Fluid Milk Promotion Program under the criteria contained in Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). Based upon its review, AMS has determined that the Order should be continued without change.
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 05-4449
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee (committee) for the 2005 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.015 to $0.0175 per 18-pound lug of grapes handled. The committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of grapes grown in a designated area of southeastern California. Authorization to assess grape handlers enables the committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The fiscal period began January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, CA; Modification of the Qualification Requirements for Approved Manufacturers of Date Products
Document Number: 05-4448
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule modifies the requirements for approved manufacturers of date products under the marketing order regulating the handling of domestic dates produced or packed in Riverside County, California. The marketing order is administered locally by the California Date Administrative Committee (committee). The committee's approved product manufacturer program helps assure that only high quality whole and pitted dates are shipped within the United States and exported to Canada. This rule clarifies the application procedures and qualification requirements for an approved manufacturer of date products. This rule also specifies that a regulated date handler must be in compliance with the marketing order to be an approved manufacturer of date products. These modifications will help safeguard the integrity of the approved date product manufacturer program, as well as the quality of whole and pitted dates marketed both domestically and in Canada.
Vidalia Onions Grown in Georgia; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 05-4447
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule increases the assessment rate and changes the assessable unit established for the Vidalia Onion Committee (Committee) for the 2005 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.12 per 50-pound bag or equivalent to $0.10 per 40-pound carton of Vidalia onions. The assessment rate of $0.10 per 40-pound carton is $0.0001 per pound more than the assessment rate previously in effect. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of Vidalia onions grown in Georgia. Authorization to assess Vidalia onion handlers enables the Committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The fiscal period began January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Winter Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Secretary's Decision and Referendum Order on Proposed Amendments to Marketing Agreement and Order No. 927
Document Number: 05-4306
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2005-03-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This decision proposes amending the marketing agreement and order (order) for winter pears grown in Oregon and Washington, and provides producers with the opportunity to vote in a referendum to determine if they favor the changes. The amendments are based on recommendations jointly proposed by the Winter Pear Control Committee and the Northwest Fresh Bartlett Marketing Committee, which are responsible for local administration of orders 927 and 931, respectively. Marketing Agreement and Order No. 931 regulates the handling of fresh Bartlett pears grown in Oregon and Washington. The amendments would combine the winter pear and fresh Bartlett orders into a single program under marketing order 927, and would add authority to assess pears for processing. All of the proposals are intended to streamline industry organization and improve the administration, operation, and functioning of the program.
Milk in the Mideast Marketing Area; Amendment to Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Tentative Marketing Agreement and Order
Document Number: 05-4176
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2005-03-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service is withdrawing from the notice of hearing that appeared in the Federal Register of February 17, 2005 (70 FR 8043), to consider proposals to amend certain provisions of the Mideast Federal milk marketing order, a proposal regarding producer-handler regulation. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Proposal 10, which would modify the producer-handler definition will not be heard at this time. The proposal to amend the producer-handler definition will be addressed at a future hearing. The date, time and location of the future hearing has yet to be determined. All other proposals as originally published in the February 17, 2005, notice of hearing will still be addressed.
Increase in Fees and Charges for Egg, Poultry, and Rabbit Grading
Document Number: 05-3929
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2005-03-01
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to increase the fees and charges for Federal voluntary egg, poultry, and rabbit grading. These fees and charges need to be increased to cover the increase in salaries of Federal employees, salary increases of State employees cooperatively utilized in administering the programs, and other increased Agency costs.
Pistachios Grown in California; Establishment of Continuing Assessment Rate and Reporting Requirements
Document Number: 05-3928
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-01
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule establishes a continuing assessment rate for the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee) for the 2004-05 and subsequent fiscal periods of $0.0014 per pound of pistachios received for processing and establishes assessment reporting requirements under the California pistachio marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California and is administered by the Committee. Authorization to assess pistachio handlers enables the Committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The fiscal period began September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Requiring handlers to file annual reports with the Committee will facilitate the Committee's collection of handler assessments.
Milk in the Arizona-Las Vegas Marketing Area; Interim Order Amending the Order
Document Number: 05-3883
Type: Rule
Date: 2005-03-01
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This order amends the Producer milk provision of the Arizona- Las Vegas milk marketing order to eliminate the ability to simultaneously pool the same milk on the order and on a State-operated order that provides for marketwide pooling. More than the required number of producers on the Arizona-Las Vegas order have approved the issuance of the interim order as amended.