Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, (5 U.S.C. App.), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing an upcoming meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Written public comments are invited in advance of the meeting, and the meeting will include scheduled time for oral comments from the public.
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 of a currently approved information collection for Almonds Grown in California, M.O. No. 981.
Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Importer Membership Requirements
This rule proposes to amend the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) importer membership requirements to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board). The Board recommended to eliminate the requirement that an importer import more than 50 percent of the total volume handled and imported in order to qualify as an importer member. This change would allow for additional parties to qualify as an importer member.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Reestablishment of Membership on the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 2
This rule invites comments on reestablishing the membership on the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 2 (Committee). The Committee locally administers the marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Colorado. This rule would modify the Committee membership structure by amending the position allocated to a producer from Conejos County. Beginning with the 2013-2014 term of office, such designated Committee position would be allocated to an eligible producer operating in either Conejos or Costilla County. This action is expected to improve Committee representation for producers from this sub-region of the production area.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Change to Administrative Rules Regarding the Transfer and Storage of Excess Spearmint Oil
This rule revises the administrative rules prescribed under the marketing order regulating the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West. The marketing order is administered locally by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee). This rule changes the date by which a producer must transfer excess spearmint oil to another producer, or deliver such oil to the Committee or its designees for storage, from November 1 to December 1. This rule also changes the date that the Committee must pool identified excess oil as reserve oil from November 1 to December 1. The changes are a relaxation of the handling regulations and are expected to benefit producers, handlers, and consumers.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) for the 2012-13 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.037 to $0.024 per 25-pound carton of tomatoes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida. Assessments upon Florida tomato 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 will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Revision of Regulations Defining Bona Fide Cotton Spot Markets
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to amend the regulation that specifies which states compose bona fide cotton spot markets in order to assure consistency with the revised Cotton Research and Promotion Act. Updated bona fide spot market definitions will allow for published spot quotes to consider spot prices of cotton marketed in Kansas and Virginia. AMS is also proposing to amend references to the ``New York Cotton Exchange'' to read the ``Intercontinental Exchange.''
Kiwifruit Grown in California; Proposed Amendments to Marketing Order
This rule invites comments on five proposed amendments to Marketing Order No. 920 (order) which regulates the handling of kiwifruit grown in California. The amendments were proposed by the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (Committee or KAC), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The five proposals would amend the marketing order by adding authority to recommend and conduct production and postharvest research, adding authority to recommend and conduct market research and development projects, adding authority to receive and expend voluntary contributions, amending procedures to specify that recommendations for production research and market development be approved by eight members of the Committee, and updating provisions regarding alternate members' service on the Committee.
Milk in the Northeast and Other Marketing Areas; Final Decision on Proposed Amendments to Marketing Agreements and Orders and Termination of a Portion of the Proceeding
This document is the final decision proposing to permanently adopt changes to the manufacturing cost allowances and the butterfat yield factor used in Class III and Class IV product-price formulas applicable to all Federal milk marketing orders. These amendments were adopted by an interim final rule issued on, July 25, 2008, that became effective on October 1, 2008. This document also terminates the proceeding with regard to additional proposals that addressed the collection of manufacturing cost information, the use of an energy cost adjustor and providing for a cost add-on feature to Class III and Class IV product-price formulas. The orders amended by this decision require producer approval. Referenda will be conducted in three markets and dairy farmer cooperatives will be polled in the other seven markets to determine whether dairy farmers approve the issuance of the orders as amended.
Onions Grown in South Texas; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the South Texas Onion Committee (Committee) for the 2012-13 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.025 to $0.03 per 50-pound equivalent of onions handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of onions grown in South Texas. Assessments upon onion 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.
National Organic Program; Proposed Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)
This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on November 5, 2009, and December 2, 2011. One recommendation addressed in this proposed rule pertains to amending the annotations for two exemptions (uses) for peracetic acid in organic crop production. Additional NOSB recommendations addressed in this proposed rule pertain to changing the annotations for three substances, potassium hydroxide, silicon dioxide, and beta-carotene extract color, which are currently allowed for use in organic handling. This proposed rule would also address the NOSB recommendation to remove the allowance on the National List for the use of nonorganic annatto extract color in organic handling.
Continuation of 2008 Farm Bill-Dairy Forward Pricing Program
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) extended the authorization of the Dairy Forward Pricing Program contained in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill), through September 30, 2013. This document provides notice that producers and cooperative associations of producers may enter into forward price contracts under the Dairy Forward Pricing Program through September 30, 2013, as provided for in the Final Rule published October 31, 2008 (73 FR 64868). The 2008 Farm Bill initially prohibited new forward contracts from being entered into after September 30, 2012, and no forward contracts entered into under the program extending beyond September 30, 2015. However, passage of the ATRA that was signed into law on January 2, 2013, revised the program to allow new contracts to be entered into until September 30, 2013. Any forward contract entered into up and until the September 30, 2013, deadline is still subject to the September 30, 2015, cutoff date to meet the terms of the contract.