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

Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order; Assessment Rate Increase
Document Number: 2013-23695
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-09-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule amends the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order) to increase the assessment rate from $12 to $18 per ton (an increase of $0.003 per pound). The Order is administered by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the program, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for highbush blueberries in the United States and abroad. Additional funds will allow the USHBC to expand its health research activities and promotional efforts. The USHBC uses its health information in its promotion messaging to help build demand for blueberries. Increasing demand will help move the growing supply of blueberries, which will benefit producers and consumers.
Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Changes to the Membership of the Softwood Lumber Board
Document Number: 2013-22968
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-09-25
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposal invites comments on changes to the membership of the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) established under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Board administers the Order with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers (domestic) and importers and used for projects to promote softwood lumber within the United States. This proposal would revise the Board's membership to reflect the diversity of the industry in terms of size of operation; allow companies that operate in multiple geographic regions to seek representation in any region in which they operate (U.S. or import); add flexibility for the Board to nominate eligible persons to fill vacancies that occur during a term; and re-designate the States of Virginia and West Virginia to the U.S. South Region. These changes would help facilitate program operations.
United States Standards for Condition of Food Containers
Document Number: 2013-22574
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-09-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the regulations governing the United States (U.S.) Standards for Condition of Food Containers. The revisions to existing tables, removal of operating characteristic (OC) curves and updating language in the standards would enable the standards to be applicable to most types of food containers and align the standards to reflect current industry practices.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2013-22571
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-09-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established for the California Walnut Board (Board) for the 2013-14 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0175 to $0.0189 per kernelweight pound of merchantable walnuts. The Board locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California. Assessments upon walnut handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The marketing year begins September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Avocados Grown in South Florida; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2013-22539
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-09-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2013-14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.25 to $0.30 per 55- pound bushel container of Florida avocados handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida. Assessments upon Florida avocado handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Vidalia Onions Grown in Georgia; Change in Reporting and Assessment Requirements
Document Number: 2013-22407
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that changed the reporting and assessment requirements prescribed under the marketing order for Vidalia onions grown in Georgia (order). The interim rule changed the date by which handlers are required to submit monthly shipping reports and their corresponding assessments to the Vidalia Onion Committee (Committee) from the fifth day of the month to the tenth day of the month. In addition, the interim rule also changed the due date to the first business day after the tenth day of the month, should the tenth fall on a weekend or a holiday. These changes benefit handlers without negatively affecting program compliance.
National Organic Program-Sunset Process
Document Number: 2013-22388
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document describes the sunset review and renewal process for substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), a subpart of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) requires that the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a 15-member federal advisory committee, review all substances and that the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) renew these substances, within 5 years of their addition to or renewal on the National List. This action of NOSB review and USDA renewal is commonly referred to as the ``Sunset Process.'' This document informs stakeholders about the process that the NOSB will use to complete their responsibility to review substances under OFPA's sunset provision. This document also informs stakeholders about the process that the Secretary and the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) will use to complete the USDA's responsibilities under OFPA's sunset provision.
Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order
Document Number: 2013-22330
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document proposes a 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. 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 document also announces that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting a referendum among eligible manufacturers and importers to determine whether they favor implementation of the program. The program would be implemented if it is favored by a majority of current U.S. manufacturers and importers voting in the referendum who also represent a majority of the volume of paper and paper-based packaging represented in the referendum who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, were engaged in the manufacturing or importation of paper and paper-based packaging into the United States. A separate final rule on referendum procedures is being published in this issue of the Federal Register.
Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order; Referendum Procedures
Document Number: 2013-22328
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-09-16
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule establishes 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 will also be used for any subsequent referendum under the Order. The proposed Order is being published separately in this issue of the Federal Register.
Cotton Futures Classification: Optional Classification Procedure
Document Number: 2013-21658
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-09-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes regulatory amendments that would allow for the addition of an optional cotton futures classification procedureidentified and known as ``registration'' by the U.S. cotton industry and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). In response to requests from the U.S. cotton industry and ICE, AMS proposes to offer a futures classification option whereby cotton bales may be certificated for the purpose of an exchange's cotton futures contract using Smith-Doxey data to verify that submitted bales meet more restrictive quality requirements and age parameters established by that exchange. The implementation of ICE's Cotton Resolution No. 2 is scheduled to commence with the March 2014 contract month. It is anticipated that AMS would make the futures classification option available December 2013.
Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board
Document Number: 2013-21563
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-09-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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 of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2013-21311
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-09-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is requesting approval from the Office of Management and Budget for revision to and extension of the information collection titled USDA Food Connect Web site.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2013-21309
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-09-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the California Date Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2013-14 and subsequent crop years from $0.90 to $0.40 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.