Agricultural Marketing Service January 2013 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Notice of Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program
Document Number: 2013-01409
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-01-24
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This notice invites the following eligible States: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming, to submit an Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), and to enter into a Cooperative Agreement with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for the allocation of organic certification cost-share funds. The AMS has allocated $1.425 million for this organic certification cost-share program. Funds are available to 16 designated States to provide cost- share assistance to organic crop and livestock producers certified under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Standards (7 CFR 205) that either receive organic certification or incur expenses for continued certification during the period of October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. Eligible States interested in obtaining cost-share funds for their organic producers must submit an Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424) via http://www.grants.gov and enter into a Cooperative Agreement with AMS for the allocation of funds.
Increase in Fees for Voluntary Federal Dairy Grading and Inspection Services
Document Number: 2013-00916
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-01-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to increase the fees for voluntary Federal dairy grading and inspection services. The fee increases proposed are 15 percent during fiscal year (FY) 2013 and 5 percent during FY 2014. These fees were last adjusted in 2006. Dairy grading and inspection services are voluntary and are financed in their entirety through user fees assessed to participants using the program. Despite the adoption of technologies that have improved services, additional changes in operations that enhanced efficiencies, and reduced employee numbers, increases in salaries, technology investments, and general inflation have more than offset savings resulting in the need to increase fees. AMS estimates the proposed fee increase will result in an overall cost increase to the industry of less than $0.0004 per pound of dairy product graded. This increase is needed to avoid a reduction in the services offered that aid the dairy industry in effectively marketing their products.
United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Vegetables
Document Number: 2013-00600
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-01-15
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise eight United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Vegetables. AMS is proposing to replace the dual grade nomenclature with single letter grade designations. ``U.S. Grade A'' (or ``U.S. Fancy''), ``U.S. Grade B'' (or ``U.S. Extra Standard''), and ``U.S. Grade C'' (or ``U.S. Standard'') would become ``U.S. Grade A,'' ``U.S. Grade B,'' and ``U.S. Grade C,'' respectively. This would conform to recent changes in other grade standards. AMS is also proposing to provide updated contact information in order to obtain copies of the grade standards and color standards. These changes would bring these grade standards in line with the present quality levels being marketed today and would provide guidance in the effective utilization of these products. The grade standards covered by these proposed revisions are: frozen asparagus, frozen lima beans, frozen speckled butter beans, frozen cooked squash, frozen summer squash, frozen sweet potatoes, frozen turnip greens with turnips, and frozen mixed vegetables.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2013-00599
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-01-15
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2012-13 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0072 to $0.008 per \4/5\ bushel carton of citrus handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. Assessments upon citrus handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Grapes Grown in Designated Area of Southeastern California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2013-00190
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-01-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2012 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0125 to $0.0150 per 18-pound lug of grapes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of grapes grown in a designated area of southeastern California. Assessments upon grape handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period began January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2013-00189
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-01-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee) for the 2012-13 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.14 to $0.16 per 7/10- bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas (order). Assessments upon orange and grapefruit handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, CA; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2013-00185
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-01-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the California Date Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2012-13 and subsequent crop years from $1.00 to $0.90 per hundredweight of dates handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of dates grown or packed in Riverside County, California. Assessments upon date handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The crop year begins October 1 and ends September 30. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Temporary Suspension of Handling Regulations
Document Number: 2013-00129
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-01-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule suspends the minimum grade, size, quality, maturity, and inspection requirements prescribed under the Washington apricot marketing order for the 2012-13 fiscal period. The marketing order regulates the handling of apricots grown in designated Counties in Washington and is administered locally by the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee). In order for the Committee to continue collecting assessments and administer the marketing order, the Washington State Department of Agriculture will provide apricot handling data to the Committee during the suspension of the handling regulations. This rule is expected to reduce overall industry expenses and increase net returns to producers and handlers.
Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Modification of the Assessment Rate for Fresh Pears
Document Number: 2012-31516
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-01-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Fresh Pear Committee (Committee) for the 2012-2013 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.366 to $0.449 per standard box or equivalent of summer/fall pears handled, and would decrease the assessment rate from $0.471 to $0.449 per standard box or equivalent of fresh winter pears handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of fresh pears grown in Oregon and Washington. Assessments upon Oregon-Washington fresh pear handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins July 1 and ends June 30. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Modification of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 2
Document Number: 2012-31513
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-01-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule modifies the grade requirements for potatoes handled under the Colorado potato marketing order, Area No. 2 (order). The order regulates the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Colorado and is administered locally by the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 2 (Committee). This rule relaxes the minimum grade requirement for size B and 1-inch to 1\3/4\-inch diameter round, red-skinned potatoes handled under the Colorado potato marketing order from U.S. No. 1 to U.S. Commercial. This change is expected to facilitate the handling and marketing of the Area No. 2 potato crop, provide producers and handlers with increased returns, and supply consumers with increased potato purchasing options.
Soybean Promotion and Research: Amend the Order To Adjust Representation on the United Soybean Board
Document Number: 2012-31511
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-01-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule adjusts the number of members on the United Soybean Board (Board) to reflect changes in production levels that have occurred since the Board was reapportioned in 2009. As required by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Act), membership is reviewed every 3 years and adjustments are made accordingly. This change results in an increase in Board membership for Mississippi, increasing the total number of Board members from 69 to 70. The change will be effective for the 2013 nomination and appointment process.
Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order
Document Number: 2012-30923
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-01-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites comments on a proposed Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The purpose of the program would be to maintain and expand markets for paper and paper-based packaging. A referendum would be held among eligible manufacturers and importers to determine whether they favor implementation of the program prior to it going into effect. The program would be financed by an assessment on paper and paper-based packaging manufacturers (domestic producers) and importers and would be administered by a board of industry members appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary). The assessment rate would initially be $0.35 per short ton. This proposed rule also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program.
Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order; Referendum Procedures
Document Number: 2012-30915
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-01-02
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites comments on procedures for conducting a referendum to determine whether issuance of a proposed Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order) is favored by manufacturers (domestic producers) and importers of paper and paper-based packaging. The procedures would also be used for any subsequent referendum under the Order. The proposed Order is being published separately in this issue of the Federal Register. This proposed rule also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program.