Solicitation of Applications for the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP)
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces a solicitation of applications for competitive grant funds for fiscal year (FY) 2011, subject to final appropriation action by Congress, which would enable States to explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the U.S. marketing system. Eligible applicants include State departments of agriculture, State agricultural experiment stations, and other appropriate State Agencies. Applicants are encouraged to involve industry groups, academia, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in developing proposals and conducting projects. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements have been previously approved by OMB under 0581-0240, Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). Historically, Congress has appropriated funding for this program. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a FY 2011 Appropriations Act, which may or may not provide an appropriation for this program, to allow applicants sufficient time to leverage financing, submit applications, and give AMS time to process applications within the current fiscal year.
Tobacco Report: Notice of Request for Extension 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 approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of the currently approved information collection for Tobacco Report (OMB No. 0581-0004).
Poultry Programs; Notice of Request for an Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-20), this notice announces the intention of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection in support of the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs.
Federal Seed Act Regulations
AMS is proposing to revise the Federal Seed Act (FSA) regulations. The changes would amend the list of prohibited noxious- weed seeds to reflect the recent addition of four species, deletion of two species, and nomenclature change of four species listed in the Federal Noxious Weed Act (FNWA); update the seed labeling regulations; update the seed testing regulations; update the noxious-weed seed tolerances; update the seed certification regulations; and correct several minor errors, including updating the nomenclature of kinds regulated under the FSA. The list of noxious-weed seeds would be amended to help prevent the spread of these highly destructive weeds. Updating the labeling regulations and noxious-weed seed tolerances would prevent potential conflicts with State regulations, reflect currently used terms, and reflect current industry practices. Updating the seed testing and seed certification regulations would incorporate the latest in seed testing and seed certification knowledge and prevent potential conflicts with State regulations.
Privacy Act of 1974: New System of Records
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to add a system of records to its inventory of records systems. The system of record will cover information collected under Research and Promotion programs in AMS. This notice is necessary to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act to publish in the Federal Register notice of the existence and character of record systems maintained by the agency. Although the Privacy Act requires only that the portion of the system that describes ``routine uses'' of the system be published for comment, we invite comment on all portions of this notice. AMS Research and Promotion branches and its components and offices have relied on preexisting Privacy Act system of records notices for the collection and maintenance of records that pertain to research and promotion program management.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Temporary Change to the Handling Regulations and Reporting Requirements
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, with changes, the provisions of an interim rule that suspended, for the 2010-2011 season only, the minimum quality, maturity, pack, marking, and inspection requirements currently prescribed for russet potato varieties under the Washington potato marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Washington, and is administered locally by the State of Washington Potato Committee (Committee). This rule continues in effect the action that suspended regulation for russet potatoes for the 2010-2011 season and established temporary reporting requirements for russet potato handlers during the suspension. These changes are needed to reduce overall industry expenses and increase net returns to producers and handlers while allowing the industry to explore alternative marketing strategies. Changes to the interim rule clarify that assessment reports are required for russet potatoes handled beginning on July 24, 2010, and restore regulatory text that was inadvertently deleted from the regulation when the interim rule was published.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Reestablishment of the Plant Variety Protection Board
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App.), this notice announces that the Secretary of Agriculture intends to reestablish the Plant Variety Protection Board.
Notice of Request for Extension 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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of the currently approved information collection for OMB 0581-0229 Form TM-28, USDA Farmers Market Application. Copies of this one-time yearly application form to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers Market at 12th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC may be obtained by calling the AMS Marketing Services Branch contact listed.
Nectarines, Pears, and Peaches Grown in California; Continuance Referenda
This document directs that referenda be conducted among eligible California nectarine, pear, and peach growers to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing orders regulating the handling of nectarines, pears, and peaches grown in California.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.;
This rule invites comments on the establishment of final free and restricted percentages for the 2010-2011 crop year. The percentages are 58 percent free and 42 percent restricted and will establish the proportion of cherries from the 2010 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets. The percentages are intended to stabilize supplies and prices, and strengthen market conditions. The percentages were recommended by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board), the body that locally administers the marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Regulations Issued Under the Export Grape and Plum Act; Revision to the Minimum Requirements
This rule invites comments on proposed revisions to the requirements under the Export Grape and Plum Act. The proposed action would change the minimum bunch weight requirement for grapes exported to Japan, Europe, and Greenland from one-half pound to one-quarter pound. This rule would also update the list of European countries defined in the regulation and remove the additional 2 percent tolerance for sealed berry cracks on the Exotic grape variety. This action was recommended by the California Grape and Tree Fruit League (League).
National Organic Program; Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)
This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact six recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) from November 30, 2007, and May 22, 2008. This final rule adds aqueous potassium silicate and sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate, along with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic crop production, and adds gellan gum, fortified cooking wineMarsala, fortified cooking wine sherry, and tragacanth gum, along with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic handling. This final rule also removes the listing for glycerine oleate (glycerol monooleate) as the use exemption for this substance as a synthetic inert ingredient in organic crop production expired on December 31, 2006.
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for Regulations Governing Inspection and Certification of Processed Fruits and Vegetables and Related Products
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the intention of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to request an extension and revision of a currently approved information collection that will combine a number of forms issued under inspection and grading services under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 and section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. AMS is combining all burden hours with submission.
National Sheep Industry Improvement Center
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is affirming without changes, its interim rule to promulgate rules and regulations establishing a National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) program, consistent with the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill). This rule establishes the NSIIC and a Board of Directors (Board) that will manage and be responsible for the general supervision of the activities of the NSIIC, with oversight from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The NSIIC is authorized to use funds to make grants to eligible entities in accordance with a strategic plan. No comments were received. Accordingly, AMS is issuing this final rule without changes.