Agricultural Marketing Service August 2005 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Changes to Container and Pack Requirements
This rule revises the container and pack requirements currently prescribed under the marketing order (order) covering oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. The order regulates the handling of such fruit and is administered locally by the Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee). This rule revises the orange and grapefruit rules and regulations and container requirements by adding eight new containers to the list of authorized containers for use by Texas citrus handlers, removing one obsolete container, and by combining all the requirements on authorized bags into one grouping for easier reference. Other changes would revise incorrect references to the U.S. grade standards for oranges and grapefruit grown in Texas. These changes are expected to help handlers compete more effectively in the marketplace, better meet the needs of buyers, and to improve producer returns.
Onions Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, OR; Decreased Assessment Rate
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 Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee (Committee) for the 2005-2006 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.105 to $0.10 per hundredweight of onions handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of onions grown in designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon. Authorization to assess onion handlers enables the Committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The fiscal period began July 1 and ends June 30. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and Its Production and Processing: Requirements Recommended for Adoption by State Regulatory Agencies
This document is a final notice that modifies the recommended manufacturing milk requirements (Recommended Requirements) by establishing provisions for sheep milk, modifying follow-up procedures when plant-commingled milk in storage tanks exceeds the maximum allowable bacterial estimate, and defining heat-treated cream. The notice to modify the Recommended Requirements was requested by the Dairy Division of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). This document makes certain other changes to the Recommended Requirements for clarity and consistency. Also, a second notice published in error on August 18, 2005, in the Federal Register is withdrawn.
Walnuts Grown in California; Suspension of Provision Regarding Eligibility of Walnut Marketing Board Members
This rule suspends a provision of the walnut marketing order (order) pertaining to eligibility of members to serve on the Walnut Marketing Board (Board). The order regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California, and the Board is responsible for local administration of the order. This action is an interim measure to address a change in industry structure affecting cooperative marketing association related positions. This will allow the Board to continue to represent the industry's interests while the order is amended to reflect the change in industry structure. The Board unanimously recommended a suspension action by mail balloting in early July, 2005.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Suspension of Handling and Reporting Requirements, Extension of the Suspension of Outgoing Inspection and Volume Control Regulations, and Extension of the Suspension of the Prune Import Regulation
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule suspending indefinitely all remaining handling and most reporting requirements under Marketing Order No. 993. The marketing order regulates the handling of dried prunes produced in California and is administered locally by the Prune Marketing Committee (committee). The interim final rule being adopted by this action also indefinitely extends the suspensions of the outgoing inspection and prune import regulations and volume control regulations, currently temporarily suspended until August 1, 2006, and August 1, 2008, respectively. The interim final rule was effective August 1, 2005.
Pistachios Grown in California; Establishment of Additional Inspection Requirements
This rule invites comments on the establishment of additional inspection 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). This rule would modify sampling procedures for dark-stained pistachios which are intended to be dyed or color-coated. It would also establish reinspection requirements for lots of pistachios, which are materially changed after meeting initial aflatoxin, quality, and size requirements. This action is expected to assure the quality of pistachios, improve the marketability of pistachios, and provide handlers more marketing flexibility. The benefits of this action are expected to offset the increased inspection costs.
Revision of Fees for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Terminal Market Inspection Services
This proposed rule revises regulations governing the inspection and certification for fresh fruits, vegetables and other products by increasing by approximately 15 percent certain fees charged for the inspection of these products at destination markets. These revisions are necessary in order to recover, as nearly as practicable, the costs of performing inspection services at destination markets.
Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rates
This rule would increase the assessment rates established for the Nectarine Administrative Committee and the Peach Commodity Committee (committees) for the 2005-06 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.195 and $0.19, respectively, to $0.20 per 25-pound container or container equivalent of nectarines and peaches handled. The committees locally administer the marketing orders that regulate the handling of nectarines and peaches grown in California. Authorization to assess nectarine and peach handlers enables the committees to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the programs. The fiscal period runs from March 1 through the last day of February. The assessment rates would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Kiwifruit Grown in California; Relaxation of Pack Requirements
This rule revises the pack requirements for California kiwifruit under the California kiwifruit marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of kiwifruit grown in California and is administered locally by the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (Committee). This rule requires that kiwifruit marked as Size 39 or 42 not vary in diameter by more than \3/8\ inch, regardless of pack type. In addition, the three tables that are currently under the pack regulation will be consolidated into one. By allowing handlers to utilize a single table for kiwifruit size designations and size variation tolerances regardless of pack or container, this rule is expected to simplify requirements for the industry, reduce handler packing costs, increase grower returns, and increase flexibility in handler packing operations.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Reopening of Comment Period on Relaxation of Handling Regulation for Area No. 2 and Certain Imported Potatoes
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on the proposed relaxation of minimum grade requirements for Colorado Area No. 2 potatoes under Marketing Order No. 948 (order), and for imported red- skinned round type potatoes under the potato import regulation is reopened until September 12, 2005.
Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and Its Production and Processing; Requirements Recommended for Adoption by State Regulatory Agencies
This document proposes to adopt as a final notice add to the recommended manufacturing milk requirements (Recommended Requirements) by providing provisions for sheep milk, adding follow-up procedures used when plant-commingled milk in storage tanks exceeds the maximum allowable bacterial estimate, and providing a definition for heat- treated cream. The notice to add to the recommended manufacturing milk requirements (Recommended Requirements) was initiated at the request of the Dairy Division of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and developed in cooperation with NASDA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dairy trade associations, and producer groups. This document also proposes certain other changes to the Recommended Requirements for clarity and consistency.
Kiwifruit Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule would increase the assessment rate and change the assessable unit established for the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2005-06 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.002 per pound of kiwifruit to $0.045 per 9-kilo volume-fill container or equivalent of kiwifruit. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of kiwifruit grown in California. Authorization to assess kiwifruit handlers enables the Committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
The USDA intends to reestablish the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Committee). The purpose of the Committee is to examine the full spectrum of issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry and provide suggestions and ideas to the Secretary of Agriculture on how USDA can tailor its programs to better meet the fruit and vegetable industry's needs. USDA also seeks nominations of individuals to be considered for selection as Committee members.
United States Standards for Grades of Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) Grapes
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is soliciting comments on its proposal to create a voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) Grapes. AMS has received a request from an industry group representing muscadine grape growers to develop a standard for Muscadine Grapes. This proposal will provide a common language for trade and a means of measuring value in the marketing of muscadine grapes, thus promoting orderly and efficient marketing of muscadine grapes.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board; Correction
The Agricultural Marketing Service published a document in the Federal Register on July 26, 2005, (70 FR 43116), announcing a forthcoming meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The document contained an incorrect date requesting individuals and organizations wishing to make an oral presentation at the meeting to do so by close of business on July 25, 2005. The correct date is listed below.
Regulations Governing the California Clingstone Peach (Tree Removal) Diversion Program; Notice of Request for Approval of a New Information Collection
This proposed rule invites comments on procedures for a California Clingstone Peach Diversion Program. The program would be voluntary and consist entirely of tree removal. The program would be implemented under clause (3) of section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935, as amended. Based on 2003 and prior season acreage, production, supply, and marketing information for California clingstone peaches, the proposed program is expected to bring the domestic canned peach supply more in line with the market and provide relief to growers faced with excess acreage and supplies, and with low prices. The program would ensure that removal is not part of the normal process of tree replacement. This rule also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's intention to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the new information collection requirements necessary to implement the proposed California Clingstone Peach (Tree Removal) Diversion Program.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Modification of Special Purpose Shipment Regulations
This rule modifies the special purpose shipment regulations currently prescribed under the Washington potato marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Washington, and is administered locally by the State of Washington Potato Committee (Committee). This rule modifies the reporting requirements, procedures, and safeguard provisions for making certain special purpose potato shipments. Under the marketing order, such special purpose shipments may be exempted from the quality, assessment, or inspection requirements. The changes include removal of the special purpose exemption for exported potatoes, clarification of the reporting procedures for potatoes diverted to processing, and addition of safeguard provisions for shipments of seed potatoes and shipments to charitable organizations. These changes will help facilitate special purpose shipments, while enhancing the Committee's compliance program.
Sweet Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Order Amending Marketing Order No. 923
This rule amends the marketing order (order) for sweet cherries grown in Washington. Sweet cherry growers, voting in a mail referendum held March 1 through March 21, 2005, voted on four amendments proposed by the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order, and two amendments proposed by the Agricultural Marketing Service of USDA. Of the six amendments proposed, three were favored, including: Adding authority for the Committee to accept voluntary contributions for research and promotion; establishing tenure limitations for Committee members; and requiring that continuance referenda be conducted every 6 years. The three amendments that failed include: adding authority for promotion, including paid advertising, and production research projects; adding authority for supplemental rates of assessment for individual varieties of cherries; and, adding a public member to the Committee. These amendments will not be implemented.
Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Revision of Handling Requirements for Fresh Nectarines and Peaches
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, with changes, an interim final rule revising 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 enables 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.
Change in Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Marketed in the United States
This rule changes the peanut quality and handling standards (Standards) to require that domestic and imported peanuts be dried to 18 percent moisture or less prior to inspection and to 10.49 percent or less prior to storing or milling. Virginia-type peanuts used for seed must be dried to 18 percent or less prior to inspection and to 11.49 percent or less prior to storing or milling. The Standards and the Peanut Standards Board (Board) were established by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), pursuant to section 1308 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. The Board suggested changing the peanut quality and handling standards to allow handlers and importers to receive or acquire high moisture peanuts to promote the development of new drying technologies, increase efficiencies, and reduce costs to the industry.