United States Standards for Grades of Greenhouse Tomatoes
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 Greenhouse Tomatoes. AMS is proposing to revise the standards to allow that percentages of defects and size classifications be determined by count rather than weight. This would result in a revision of the following sections of the standards: Tolerances, Size Classification, Standard Pack, Damage, and Serious Damage sections. Additionally, AMS is proposing to delete the ``Unclassified'' section, add moldy stems as a damage defect, and add a scoring guide for damage and serious damage for skin checks. The proposed revisions would bring the standards for greenhouse tomatoes in line with current marketing practices, thereby improving their usefulness in serving the industry.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Hearing on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Agreement No. 143 and Order No. 959
Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to receive evidence on proposed amendments to Marketing Agreement No. 143 and Order No. 959 (order), which regulate the handling of onions grown in South Texas. Four amendments are proposed by the South Texas Onion Committee (committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. These proposed amendments would: Add authority to the order to establish supplemental assessment rates on specified containers; authorize interest and late payment charges on assessments not paid within a prescribed time period; add authority for the committee to engage in marketing promotion and paid advertising activities; and authorize container marking requirements on containers of onions prior to shipment. Three additional amendments are proposed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). These amendments would: (1) Require that a continuance referendum be conducted every six years to determine grower support for the order; (2) limit the number of consecutive terms of office a member can serve on the committee; and (3) make such changes as may be necessary to the order to conform with any amendment thereto that may result from the hearing. The proposals are intended to provide the industry with additional tools to aid in the marketing of onions and to improve the operation and administration of the order.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown 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 Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2005-06 and subsequent crop years from $11.00 to $7.50 per ton of free tonnage raisins acquired by handlers, and reserve tonnage raisins released or sold to handlers for use in free tonnage outlets. The Committee locally administers the Federal marketing order which regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California (order). Assessments upon raisin handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The crop year runs from August 1 through July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
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 2006-2007 Marketing Year
This rule revises the quantity of Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle for, producers during the 2006-2007 marketing year. This rule increases the Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 1,007,886 pounds to 1,161,260 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 46 percent to 53 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 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 pistachios grown in California, Marketing Order No. 983.
United States Standards for Grades of Tomatoes on the Vine
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on the proposed voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Tomatoes on the Vine. The proposed standards would provide industry with a common language and uniform basis for trading, thus promoting the orderly and efficient marketing of tomatoes on the vine (TOV).
United States Standards for Grades of Mushrooms
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), prior to undertaking research and other work associated with revising official grade standards, is soliciting comments on the possible revisions of the United States Standards for Grades of Mushrooms. At a meeting with the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, AMS was asked to review the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grade standards for usefulness in serving the industry. As a result, AMS has identified the United States Standards for Grades of Mushrooms for possible revision. AMS is considering proposed revisions that would allow the standards to be used for open veil types of mushrooms, include small, medium, and large size classifications for open veil types of mushrooms; revise the current size classifications (small to medium and large) as well as an addition of a button and jumbo size for the closed veil types of mushrooms; and eliminate the unclassified category. AMS is seeking comments regarding these changes as well as any other revisions that may be necessary to better serve the industry.
Blueberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Continuance Referendum
This notice directs that a referendum be conducted among the eligible producers and importers of blueberries to determine whether they favor continuance of the Blueberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order).
United States Standards for Grades of Pea Pods
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on the proposed United States Standards for Grades of Pea Pods is reopened and extended.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Modification of Handling Regulation
This rule removes the minimum quantity exemption for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes from the handling regulations issued under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in certain designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon, and is administered locally by the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Potato Committee (Committee). A minimum quantity shipment exemption of up to 200 hundredweight per day is provided for yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes. Because yellow fleshed Finnish-type potatoes are no longer produced in the production area covered under the marketing order, the exemption from handling and assessment regulations is no longer necessary.
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Final Free and Reserve Percentages for 2005-06 Crop Natural (Sun-Dried) Seedless Raisins
This rule establishes final volume regulation percentages for 2005-06 crop Natural (sun-dried) Seedless (NS) raisins covered under the Federal marketing order for California raisins (order). The order regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California and is locally administered by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee). The volume regulation percentages are 82.50 percent free and 17.50 percent reserve. The percentages are intended to help stabilize raisin supplies and prices, and strengthen market conditions.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Recommended Decision and Opportunity to File Written Exceptions on Proposed Amendments to Marketing Agreements and Orders
This document recommends changes to the fluid milk product definition for all Federal milk marketing orders and is based on the record of a hearing held June 20-23, 2005, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Specifically, this document recommends maintaining the current 6.5 percent nonfat milk solids criteria and incorporating an equivalent 2.25 percent true protein criteria in determining if a product meets the fluid milk product definition. This decision also proposes to clarify how milk and milk-derived ingredients should be priced under all orders. In addition, ``drinkable'' yogurt products containing at least 20 percent yogurt, keifir and products designed to be meal replacements, regardless of packaging, are proposed to be exempted from the fluid milk product definition.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Order Amending Orders
This final rule amends the current ten Federal milk marketing orders issued under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (AMAA) to reflect a re-interpretation of the Milk Regulatory Equity Act of 2005, that was signed into law on April 11, 2006. Each order is amended to change the ``April 11, 2006'' in Sec. 1.7 to ``May 1, 2006.''
United States Standard for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claim, Grass (Forage) Fed Claim
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is soliciting comments on a revised proposed voluntary standard for a grass (forage) fed marketing claim. This proposed standard incorporates revisions made as a result of comments received as a result of an earlier published proposed standard. A number of livestock producers make such claims in order to distinguish their products in the marketplace. Once a voluntary standard is established, livestock producers may request that a grass (forage) fed claim be verified by USDA. Verification of this claim will be accomplished through an audit of the production process by AMS.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; 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 established for the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2005-06 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.006 to $0.008 per \4/5\ bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. Assessments upon Florida citrus handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
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.
Eligibility Requirements for USDA Graded Shell Eggs
The Agricultural Marketing Service published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2006, a document regarding Voluntary Shell Egg Grading regulations. The final rule provides that shell eggs must not have been previously shipped for retail sale in order to be officially identified with a USDA consumer grademark and changes the definition of the term eggs of current production from 30 days to 21 days, thereby making eggs that were laid more than 21 days before the date packing ineligible to be officially identified with a USDA-consumer grademark. In that document, a number appearing in one of the columns in Table 1 was typed incorrectly. This document corrects that error.
United States Standards for Grades of Persian (Tahiti) Limes
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is revising the voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Persian (Tahiti) Limes. Specifically, the juice content requirement shall be revised to allow juice content to be determined by weight. Additionally, the redesignation of limes to ``Mixed Color'' and ``Turning'' within the color requirements will be made optional. The standards provide industry with a common language and uniform basis for trading, thus promoting the orderly and efficient marketing of Persian limes.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Order Amending Orders
This final rule amends the current ten Federal milk marketing orders issued under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (AMAA) to reflect recent amendments to the AMAA. The Milk Regulatory Equity Act of 2005, which was signed into law on April 11, 2006, amended the AMAA to ensure regulatory equity between and among dairy farmers and handlers for sales of packaged fluid milk in Federal milk marketing order areas and into certain non-Federally regulated milk marketing areas from Federal milk marketing areas.