Pistachios Grown in California; Establishment of Procedures for Exempting Handlers From Minimum Quality Testing
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that established 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 final rule continues in effect the establishment of an appeals process for handlers who have been denied an exemption or had an approved exemption revoked.
Pistachios Grown in California; Establishment of Additional Inspection Requirements
This rule establishes 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 modifies sampling procedures for dark-stained pistachios which are intended to be dyed or color-coated. It also establishes reinspection requirements for lots of pistachios which are materially changed after meeting initial aflatoxin and quality 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.
National Organic Program (NOP); Amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)
This final rule amends 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) on March 3, 2005. Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, this final rule revises the annotation of one substance on the National List, methionine, to extend its use in organic poultry production until October 21, 2008.
Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Definition of “Substantial Activity”
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites comments from producers, importers, first handlers and other interested persons on a possible change to the definition of ``substantial activity'' under the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The definition relates to the eligibility of importers to serve on the Hass Avocado Board (Board).
Revision of Fees for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Terminal Market Inspection Services
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on the proposed Revision of Fees for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Terminal Market Inspection Service is reopened and extended. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision 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 and revision to a currently approved information collection for specified exempt import commodities.
United States Standards for Grades of Sweet Peppers
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is revising the United States Standards for Grades of Sweet Peppers. The revision will allow sweet peppers to be marketed as mixed varieties and/or colors when marked with more than one variety or color on the container. The decay tolerance will be revised to include only those sweet peppers which are affected by decay on the wall and/or calyx. Decay affecting only stems will no longer fall under the restricted decay tolerance. It will be scored against the five percent serious damage tolerance for U.S. Fancy and U.S. No 1 grades and against the five percent restrictive tolerance for the U.S. No. 2 grade. The requirement to designate peppers which fail to meet the color requirements of their respective grades or respective (color specified) grade will be made optional. The ``Unclassified'' section will be deleted. The purpose for this revision is to update and revise the standards to accurately represent today's marketing practices.
Almonds Grown in California; Revision to Requirements Regarding Credit for Promotion and Advertising
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule revising the requirements regarding credit for promotion and advertising activities under the administrative rules and regulations of the California almond marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of almonds grown in California and is administered locally by the Almond Board of California (Board). The order is funded through the collection of assessments from almond handlers. Under the order, handlers may receive credit towards their assessment obligation for certain expenditures for marketing promotion activities, including paid advertising. This rule continues in effect the action that revised the requirements regarding the activities for which handlers may receive such credit. The changes expand the credit allowed for certain promotional activities, and help to clarify and simplify the regulations.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Control Committee Rules and Regulation
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is adding provisions to the Code of Federal Regulations that include rules and regulations used in administering the marketing order regulating the handling of pears grown in Oregon and Washington. Inadvertently, SubpartControl Committee Rules and Regulations was removed in May 2005 when the marketing order was amended.
Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order: Definition of “Substantial Activity”
This document withdraws a proposed rule published in the Federal Register March 18, 2003, which would have terminated the definition of ``substantial activity'' under the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The proposed action was expected to increase the number of importers eligible to serve on the Hass Avocado Board (Board). Based on comments received and other available information, termination of the definition would not be appropriate at this time.
Avocados Grown in South Florida; Changes in Container and Reporting Requirements
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that changed the container and reporting requirements prescribed under the marketing order for avocados grown in South Florida. The marketing order regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida and is administered locally by the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee). This rule continues in effect the action prohibiting the handling of fresh market avocados in 20 bushel plastic field bins to destinations inside the production area. This rule also continues in effect the action requiring that handlers provide, at the time of inspection, information regarding the number of avocados packed per container (count per container). These changes are expected to help reduce packing costs and facilitate the distribution of useful marketing information.
Milk in the Appalachian and Southeast Marketing Areas; Order Amending the Orders
This partial final rule amends the Appalachian and Southeast marketing orders. Specifically, the final rule expands the Appalachian milk marketing area, eliminates the ability to simultaneously pool the same milk on the Appalachian or Southeast order and on a State-operated milk order that has marketwide pooling, and amends the transportation credit provisions of the Southeast and Appalachian orders. The amendments are based on record evidence of a public hearing held February 2004. More than the required number of dairy farmers approved the issuance of the amended orders.
Quality Systems Verification Programs
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is establishing a separate user-fee schedule for the Quality Systems Verification Programs (QSVP) and expanding the scope of the QSVP to include all agricultural products and services within the responsibility of the Livestock and Seed (LS) Program. A new part 62 is established for QSVP services. QVSP are a collection of voluntary, audit-based, user-fee programs authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. QSVP facilitate the global marketing and trade of agricultural products; provide consumers the opportunity to distinguish specific characteristics involved in the production and processing of agricultural products; and ensure that product consistently meets program requirements.
United States Standards for Grades of Dewberries and Blackberries
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a notice soliciting comments on a proposal to revise the color requirements in the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Dewberries and Blackberries. The Agency has decided not to proceed further with this action due to the comments and concerns received from the industry.
United States Standards for Grades of Fresh Asparagus
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on its proposal to revise 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 the current U.S. Grade standards do not have provisions for grading purple or white asparagus. The proposed revision will allow purple or white asparagus to be certified to a U.S. grade.
Melons Grown in South Texas; Continued Suspension of Handling and Assessment Collection Regulations
This rule continues in effect indefinitely a suspension of the minimum grade, quality, maturity, container, pack, inspection, assessment collection, and other related requirements prescribed under the South Texas melon (cantaloupes and honeydews) marketing order (order). It also continues in effect a suspension of reporting requirements under the order. These requirements were initially suspended for the 2004-05 fiscal period to allow the South Texas melon industry to evaluate the need for the marketing order. This action also suspends one remaining reporting requirement in effect. The order regulates the handling of melons grown in South Texas and is administered locally by the South Texas Melon Committee (Committee). On September 7, 2005, the Committee recommended termination of the order. This rule will relieve handlers of regulatory requirements while the Department of Agriculture (USDA) evaluates the Committee's recommendation to terminate the order.
Milk in the Upper Midwest Marketing Area; Final Partial Decision on Proposed Amendments to Marketing Agreement and to Order
This document proposes to adopt as a final rule, order language contained in the interim final rule published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2005, concerning pooling standards and transportation credit provisions of the Upper Midwest (UMW) milk marketing order. This document also sets forth the final decision of the Department and is subject to approval by producers. A separate decision will be issued that will address proposals concerning pooling and repooling of milk, temporary loss of Grade A status, and increasing the maximum administrative assessment.
Amendment to the Beef Promotion and Research Rules and Regulations
This proposed rule would amend the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act) to reduce assessment levels for imported beef and beef products based on revised determinations of live animal equivalencies and to update and expand the Harmonized Tariff System numbers and categories, which identify imported live cattle, beef, and beef products to conform with recent updates in the numbers and categories used by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP).