Agricultural Marketing Service July 2005 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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National Organic Program; Proposed Amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)
This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect one recommendation submitted to the Secretary by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, this proposed rule would revise the annotation of one substance on the National List, Methionine, to extend its use in organic poultry production until October 21, 2008.
Almonds Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases 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) will 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 will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Milk in the Mideast Marketing Area; Tentative Partial Decision on Proposed Amendments and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions to Tentative Marketing Agreement and Order
This tentative partial decision adopts on an interim final and emergency basis proposals that would amend certain features of the pooling standards of the Mideast milk marketing order. Specifically, this decision will: (1) Prohibit the ability to simultaneously pool the same milk on the Mideast Federal milk order and on a marketwide equalization pool administered by another government entity; (2) lower the diversion limit standards; and (3) increase the performance standards for supply plants. A separate decision will be issued that will address proposals to deter the de-pooling of milk, adopt transportation credits and clarify the Producer definition of the order. This decision requires determining if producers approve the issuance of the amended order on an interim basis.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a forthcoming meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California and Imported Table Grapes; Extension of Comment Period on Changing Regulatory Periods
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on proposed changes in the regulatory periods when minimum grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements apply to southeastern California grapes under Marketing Order No. 925 (order), and to imported grapes under the table grape import regulation is extended until September 25, 2005.
Request for an Extension of and Revision to a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection for the Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading of Manufactured or Processed Dairy ProductsRecordkeeping (Subpart B).
Increase in Fees and Charges for Egg, Poultry, and Rabbit Grading
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is increasing the fees and charges for Federal voluntary egg, poultry, and rabbit grading. These fees and charges are being 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 Procedures for Exempting Handlers From Minimum Quality Testing
This rule establishes procedures for exempting handlers from quality requirements, including maximum limits for quality defects and minimum size, prescribed 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 procedures will be used by the Committee in considering handler requests for exemptions from minimum quality testing requirements and when considering revocations of such exemptions. Additionally, this rule establishes an appeals process for handlers who have been denied an exemption or had an approved exemption revoked.
Notice of Request for Revision to an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection for Fruit and Vegetable Market News.
United States Standards for Grades of Field Grown Leaf Lettuce
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on possible development of United States Standards for Grades of Field Grown Leaf Lettuce is reopened and extended.
Vidalia Onions Grown in Georgia; Increased Assessment Rate
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule which increased the assessment rate and changed 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.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Order Amending Marketing Order No. 946
This rule amends the marketing order (order) for Irish potatoes grown in Washington. Irish potato growers, voting in a mail referendum held March 18 through April 8, 2005 voted on seven amendments proposed by the State of Washington Potato Committee (Committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order, and two amendments proposed by the Agricultural Marketing Service of USDA. Of the nine amendments proposed, seven were favored, including: Adding authority for container and marking regulations; requiring Committee producer members to have produced potatoes for the fresh market in at least 3 out of the last 5 years prior to nomination; updating order provisions pertaining to establishment of districts and apportionment of Committee membership among those districts; allowing for nominations to be held at industry meetings or events; adding authority to change the size of the Committee; adding authority to allow temporary alternates to serve when a Committee member and that member's alternate are unable to serve; and, requiring continuance referenda to be conducted every six years. The two amendments that failed include: requiring Committee nominees to submit a written background and acceptance statement prior to selection by USDA and establishing tenure limitations for Committee members.
Plant Variety Protection Office, Fee Increase
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to increase Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Office application, search, and certificate issuance fees by 20 percent. The last general fee increase in February 2003 is no longer adequate to cover current program obligations for administrative and information technology needs. The PVP Act of 1970 requires that reasonable fees be collected from applicants seeking certificates of protection in order to maintain the program. Also, a technical amendment would allow applicants to send voucher seed samples directly to the public repository.
Pistachios Grown in the State of California; Termination of Language in Table 3 “Maximum Defect and Minimum Size Levels”
This rule terminates language in Table 3, ``Maximum Defect and Minimum Size Levels,'' of the marketing order regulating pistachios produced in the State of California. This language was erroneously included in Table 3 at the time of promulgation of the order. Removal of the language in the table was unanimously recommended by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios, the committee responsible for local administration of the order.
Pistachios Grown in California; Establishment of Reporting Requirements
This rule establishes 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 will 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.
Cranberries Grown in States of Massachusetts, et al.
This notice announces that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) plans to review Marketing Order 929 for cranberries grown in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island in the State of New York, under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program
This notice invites eligible States to submit a Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance, and to enter into a Cooperative Agreement with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for the Allocation of Organic Certification Cost-Share Funds. The AMS has allocated $1.0 million for this organic certification cost-share program in Fiscal Year 2005. Funds will be available under this program to 15 designated States to assist organic crop and livestock producers certified by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) accredited certifying agents to the National Organic Program (NOP). Eligible States interested in obtaining cost-share funds for their organic producers will have to submit an Application for Federal Assistance, and will have to enter into a cooperative agreement with AMS for the allocation of such funds.
National Organic Program (NOP), Final Judgment and Order in the Case Harvey v. Johanns
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service is publishing this notice pursuant to a June 9, 2005, consent final judgment and order issued by the United States District Court, District of Maine, in the case Harvey v. Johanns. The court issued a declaratory judgment that 7 CFR 205.606 shall be interpreted to permit the use of a nonorganically produced agricultural product only when the product has been listed in section 205.606 pursuant to National List procedures, and when an accredited certifying agent has determined that the organic form of the agricultural product is not commercially available. The court's order limits an accredited certifying agent's commercially available determinations for nonorganic agricultural products used in or on processed organic products to the 5 substances contained in 7 CFR 205.606. The products are native cornstarch, water extracted gums, kelp when used as a thickener and dietary supplement, unbleached lecithin, and high methoxy pectin.
United States Standards for Grades of Mangos
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on the proposed United States Standards for Mangos is reopened and extended.