Amendment to the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order: Adjust Representation on the Hass Avocado Board
This interim final rule adjusts the number of members on the Hass Avocado Board (Board) to reflect changes in the production of domestic Hass avocados in the United States and the volume of Hass avocados imported into the U.S. over the 2003, 2004, and 2005 calendar years, which are three years after assessments commenced. These adjustments are required by the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The result of the adjustment is one additional importer member and alternate and one less domestic producer member and alternate of Hass avocados that are subject to assessments. As a result of these changes, the Board membership would be composed of seven domestic producer members and alternates and five importer members and alternates. Currently, the Board is composed of eight domestic producer members and alternates, and four importer members and alternates. These changes to the Board are effective for the Secretary of Agriculture's 2006 appointments.
Fresh Prunes Grown in Designated Counties in Washington and in Umatilla County, OR; Suspension of Handling Regulations, Establishment of Reporting Requirements, and Suspension of the Fresh Prune Import Regulation
This rule suspends the minimum grade, size, quality, maturity, and inspection requirements prescribed under the Washington-Oregon fresh prune marketing order for the 2006 and future seasons. The marketing order regulates the handling of fresh prunes grown in designated Counties in Washington and in Umatilla County, Oregon, and is administered locally by the Washington-Oregon Prune Marketing Committee (Committee). During the suspension of the handling regulations, reports from handlers will be required to obtain information necessary to administer the marketing order. This rule also suspends fresh prune import inspection and minimum quality, grade, size, and maturity requirements. This rule is expected to reduce overall industry expenses and increase net returns to producers and handlers. This rulemaking action must be effective as soon as possible to ensure that the suspensions are in effect for the 2006 shipping season, expected to begin in early July.