Dried Prunes Produced in California; 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 Prune Marketing Committee (committee) under Marketing Order No. 993 for the 2005-06 and subsequent crop years from $6.00 to $0.65 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 crop year began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Milk in the Appalachian and Southeast Marketing Areas; Notice of Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Tentative Marketing Agreements and Orders
A public hearing is being held to consider proposals for the Appalachian and Southeast Federal milk orders to amend the current inter-market transportation credit provisions and to establish new intra-market transportation credit provisions. Evidence will be taken at the hearing to determine whether emergency marketing conditions exist that would warrant omission of a recommended decision under the rules of practice and procedure (7 CFR 900.12(d)).
Revision of Fees for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Terminal Market Inspection Services
This rule revises the 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 under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA of 1946). The fees charged to persons required to have inspection on imported commodities are in accordance with the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and for imported peanuts under section 1308 of the Farm Security and Rural Investigation Act of 2002.
Fresh Bartlett Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Termination of Marketing Order No. 931
This rule terminates the marketing order for fresh Bartlett pears grown in Oregon and Washington, Marketing Order No. 931 (order), and the rules and regulations issued thereunder. On May 21, 2005, Marketing Order No. 927 was amended to include regulatory authority over Bartlett pears grown in Oregon and Washington, historically regulated by the order. That action anticipated the termination of Order No. 931. Thus, there is no need to continue the operation of the order.
USDA Farmers Market Operating Procedures
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is publishing procedures to administer the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers Market at 12th Street & Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. These procedures allow AMS the means to demonstrate and experiment with direct marketing techniques (operate a farmers market), while at the same time educating consumers on the significance of small farms, the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the merits of food recovery. This final rule includes guidelines for the establishment of vendor criteria, selection procedures, and guidelines for governing the operation of the USDA Farmers Market. Also established is a one-time yearly submission information collection in a required application form.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Relaxation of Handling Regulation for Area No. 2
This rule invites comments on a relaxation of the minimum grade requirement for certain potatoes handled under the Colorado potato marketing order, Area No. 2. The Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 2 (Committee), the agency responsible for local administration of the marketing order, recommended this rule as a replacement for a previously issued proposed rule. This rule would change the minimum grade from U.S. No. 1 to U.S. Commercial for varieties of long, red-skinned, yellow fleshed potatoes produced in Area No. 2 measuring from 1\1/2\ inch minimum diameter to 2\1/4\-inch maximum diameter (size B), and from 1-inch minimum diameter to 1\3/4\- inch maximum diameter. The proposed change is intended to provide potato handlers with more marketing flexibility, growers with increased returns, and consumers with a greater supply of small specialty potatoes.
Melons Grown in South Texas; Proposed Termination of Marketing Order 979
This rule proposes to terminate the Federal marketing order for melons grown in South Texas (order) and the rules and regulations issued thereunder. The order contains authority to regulate the handling of melons grown in South Texas and is administered locally by the South Texas Melon Committee (Committee). The Committee recommended terminating the order at a meeting on September 7, 2005. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) suspended regulations under the order while it considered the Committee's recommendation. This rule invites comments on proposed termination of the order.
Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order; Section 610 Review
This document announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) review of the Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (conducted under the Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act), under the criteria contained in Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
Potato Research and Promotion Plan; Section 610 Review
This document announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) review of the Potato Research and Promotion Plan (conducted under the Potato Research and Promotion Act), under the criteria contained in Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
Milk in the Pacific Northwest and Arizona-Las Vegas Marketing Areas; Final Decision on Proposed Amendments to Marketing Agreement and to Orders
This document is the final decision proposing to adopt changes to provisions of the producer-handler definitions of the Pacific Northwest and Arizona-Las Vegas orders as contained in a Recommended Decision published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2005. This document is subject to approval by producers.
Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Changes to Container and Pack Requirements
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that revised the container and pack requirements 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 continues in effect the addition of eight new containers to the list of authorized containers for use by Texas citrus handlers, the removal of one obsolete container, and the grouping of all the requirements on authorized bags for easier reference. Other continued changes correct 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 improve producer returns.
Milk in the Upper Midwest Marketing Area; Order Amending the Order
This document adopts as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule concerning pooling standards and transportation credit provisions of the Upper Midwest Federal milk order. More than the required number of producers for the Upper Midwest marketing area approved the issuance of the final order amendments.
Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Establishment of Continuing Assessment Rates and Modification of the Rules and Regulations
This rule would establish continuing assessment rates for the Fresh Pear Committee and the Processed Pear Committee (Committees) for the 2005-2006 fiscal period and subsequent fiscal periods. The Committees recommended the establishment of three base rates of assessment for any or all varieties or subvarieties of pears classified as ``summer/fall'', ``winter'', and ``other'' for fresh pears and pears for processing, respectively. This rule would also modify handling and reporting requirements in conformance with the amendments made to the marketing order for pears grown in Oregon and Washington on May 21, 2005, and to reflect current pear industry operating practices under the marketing order. The order is locally administered by the Committees. Assessments upon pear handlers are used by the Committees to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period began July 1 and ends June 30. The assessment rates would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the Walnut Marketing Board (Board) for the 2005-06 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0094 to $0.0096 per kernelweight pound of assessable walnuts. The Board locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California. Assessments upon walnut handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The marketing year began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Melons Grown in South Texas; Continued Suspension of Handling and Assessment Collection Regulations
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule suspending 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 all reporting requirements under the order. 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 continues to relieve handlers of regulatory requirements while the USDA evaluates the Committee's recommendation to terminate the order.
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 2005-2006 Marketing Year
This rule amends a prior interim final rule that increased the quantity of Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle for, producers during the 2005- 2006 marketing year. The prior interim final rule increased the Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity from 677,409 pounds to 1,062,898 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 35 percent to 55 percent. In addition, the prior interim final rule increased the Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 867,958 pounds to 1,019,600 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 40 percent to 47 percent. This action does not affect the Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity and allotment percentage; however, it increases the Native spearmint oil salable quantity by an additional 151,855 pounds from 1,019,600 pounds to 1,171,455 pounds, and the allotment percentage by an additional 7 percent from 47 percent to 54 percent. The marketing order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West and is administered locally by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee). The Committee recommended this rule for the purpose of avoiding extreme fluctuations in supplies and prices and to help maintain stability in the Far West spearmint oil market.
Notice of Program Continuation
Notice is hereby given for proposals for FY 2006 grant funds under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). FSMIP anticipates that approximately $1.3 million will be available for support of this program in FY 2006. States interested in obtaining funds under the program are invited to submit proposals. While only State Departments of Agriculture or other appropriate State Agencies are eligible to apply for funds, State Agencies are encouraged to involve industry groups, academia, and community-based organizations in the development of proposals and the conduct of projects.
Soybean Promotion and Research Program; Section 610 Review
This action announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) review of the Soybean Promotion and Research Program (conducted under the Soybean Promotion and Research Order), under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
Recommendations of Advisory Committee on Universal Cotton Standards
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) held a meeting of the Universal Cotton Standards Advisory Committee in Memphis, Tennessee on June 9 and 10, 2005. This notice announces the Advisory Committee's recommendation to expand the Universal Cotton Standards Agreement to include Universal HVI Cotton Color Standards and to recognize the color tolerance for Rd and +b as defined by USDA Guidelines for HVI Testing. These guidelines can be obtained on the Internet from the USDA, AMS, Cotton Program's Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/cotton/cnpubs.htm.
Walnuts Grown in California; Suspension of Provision Regarding Eligibility of Walnut Marketing Board Members
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule suspending the 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 that addresses a change in industry structure affecting cooperative marketing association related positions. This allows 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.