Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Partial Exemption to the Minimum Grade Requirements
This rule invites comments on a proposed partial exemption to the minimum grade requirements under the marketing order for tomatoes grown in Florida (order). The Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) locally administers the order. Under the order, Florida tomatoes must meet at least a U.S. No. 2 grade before they can be shipped and sold outside the regulated area. This rule would exempt UglyRipeTM (UglyRipe) tomatoes from the shape requirements associated with the U.S. No. 2 grade. This change would increase the volume of UglyRipe tomatoes that would meet the order requirements, and would help increase shipments and availability of these tomatoes.
Vegetables, Import Regulations; Partial Exemption to the Minimum Grade Requirements for Fresh Tomatoes
This rule invites comments on a proposed partial exemption to the minimum grade requirements under the tomato import regulation. The import regulation is authorized under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (Act). Section 8e requires imported tomatoes to meet the same or comparable grade and size requirements as those in effect under Federal Marketing Order No. 966 (order). The order regulates the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida. A separate proposed rule to amend the rules and regulations under the order to exempt UglyRipe (UglyRipe) tomatoes from the shape requirements associated with the U.S. No. 2 grade is being issued by Department of Agriculture (USDA). This rule would provide the same partial exemption under the import regulation so it would conform to the regulations for Florida tomatoes under the order.
United States Standards for Grades of Cultivated Ginseng
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), is soliciting comments on the proposed voluntary United States Standards for Grades of Cultivated Ginseng. AMS received a request from the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin (GBW), to develop the standards. The proposed standards would provide a common language for trade and a means of measuring value in the marketing of cultivated ginseng, thus promoting orderly and efficient marketing of ginseng.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Notice of Intent To Reconvene National Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Tentative Marketing Agreements and Orders
To assure that any changes to manufacturing allowance factors used in Federal order Class III and Class IV product price formulas are appropriate and reflective of manufacturing costs, the Department of Agriculture (Department) will be reconvening the national hearing held January 24-27, 2006, in Alexandria, Virginia. Additional proposals addressing the Federal order Class III and Class IV price formulas are also requested for further consideration in the reconvened hearing.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) for the 2006-2007 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years from $0.0021 to $0.0066 per pound to fund the Board's administrative expenses and its new research and promotion program. Authorization to assess tart cherry handlers enables the Board to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The Board locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The fiscal year begins July 1, 2006 and ends June 30, 2007. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Olives Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rate
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the California Olive Committee (committee) for the 2006 and subsequent fiscal years from $15.68 to $11.03 per assessable ton of olives handled. The committee locally administers the marketing order that regulates the handling of olives grown in California. Assessments upon olive handlers are used by the committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal year began January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Sweet Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2006-2007 and subsequent fiscal periods. The Committee is responsible for local administration of the marketing order regulating the handling of sweet cherries grown in designated counties in Washington. Specifically, this rule decreases the assessment rate from $0.75 to $0.50 per ton for Washington sweet cherries handled under the marketing order. Authorization to assess cherry handlers enables the Committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and necessary to administer the program. The fiscal period for the marketing order begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Notice of Request for New Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is requesting approval from the Office of Management of Budget of a new information collection Application for Export Certification.
Pistachios Grown in California; Modification of Small Handler Exemption
This rule invites comments on modifications to the current handling requirements 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). The proposed modification would increase the exemption threshold for pistachio handlers who handle small amounts of pistachios, primarily for home or personal use. Currently, handlers of 1,000 pounds or less of hulled and dried pistachios (assessed weight) are exempt from most handling requirements. Under this proposal, the exemption would be extended to handlers of less than 5,000 pounds of assessed weight pistachios. This change is not expected to have a significant impact on the overall quality of California pistachios found in the marketplace.
Amendment to the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule to bring the sections of the Peanut Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order), into conformity with changes that have occurred since the implementation of the Order with regard to the collection of assessments. This order is issued under the authority of the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. This rule continues in effect changes to the Order provisions on assessments and the deletion of a number of obsolete definitions.
Vidalia Onions Grown in Georgia; Revision of Reporting and Assessment Requirements
This rule revises the reporting and assessment requirements under the marketing order for Vidalia onions grown in Georgia (order). The order regulates the handling of Vidalia onions grown in Georgia and is administered locally by the Vidalia Onion Committee (Committee). This rule changes the reporting requirements for handlers from filing weekly shipment reports to monthly reporting. It also changes when assessments are due and how delinquent assessments are handled. This change is expected to benefit handlers without negatively affecting program compliance.
Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Redistricting
This interim final rule invites comments on changing the boundaries of all seven districts under the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) to apportion producer and handler membership on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board). This will make all districts equal according to the previous three-year average production records. Pursuant to the provisions of the Plan and regulations, these changes are based on a review of the production and assessments paid in each district and the amount of watermelon import assessments, which the Plan requires at least every five years.
Melons Grown in South Texas; Termination of Marketing Order 979
This final rule terminates the Federal marketing order for melons grown in South Texas (order) and the rules and regulations issued thereunder. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined the order should be terminated given the declining status of the industry.
National Organic Program-Revisions to Livestock Standards Based on Court Order (Harvey v. Johanns) and 2005 Amendment to the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA)
This final rule revises the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations to comply with the final judgment in the case of Harvey v. Johanns (Harvey) issued on June 9, 2005, by the U.S. District Court, District of Maine, and to address the November 10, 2005, amendment made to the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq., the OFPA), concerning the transition of dairy livestock into organic production. Further, this final rule revises the NOP regulations to clarify that only nonorganically produced agricultural products listed in the NOP regulations may be used as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as ``organic.'' In accordance with the final judgment in Harvey, the revision emphasizes that only the nonorganically produced agricultural ingredients listed in the NOP regulations can be used in accordance with any specified restrictions and when the product is not commercially available in organic form. To comply with the court order in Harvey, USDA is required to publish final revisions to the NOP regulations within 360 days of the court order, or by June 4, 2006. Accordingly, this final rule amends the NOP regulations to eliminate the use of up to 20 percent nonorganically produced feed during the first 9 months of the conversion of a whole dairy herd from conventional to organic production. This final rule also addresses the amendment made to the OFPA concerning the transition of dairy livestock into organic production by allowing crops and forage from land, included in the organic system plan of a dairy farm, that is in the third year of organic management to be consumed by the dairy animals of the farm during the 12-month period immediately prior to the sale of organic milk and milk products.