National Organic Program: Notice of Draft Guidance on Substances Used in Post-Harvest Handling of Organic Products
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified operations and exempt operations that produce or handle certified organic products. The guidance document is entitled: Substances Used in Post-Harvest Handling of Organic Products (NOP 5023). This guidance document is intended to inform the public of the National Organic Program's (NOP) current thinking on this topic. The NOP is seeking comments on this draft guidance document.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Potato Committee (Committee) for the 2014-2015 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0045 to $0.0025 per hundredweight of potatoes handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of potatoes grown in certain designated counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon. Assessments upon potato 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.
Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule decreases the assessment rate established for the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee), for the 2014-15 and subsequent marketing years from $0.10 to $0.09 per pound of spearmint oil handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West. Assessments upon spearmint oil handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The marketing year begins June 1 and ends May 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Effective April 23, 2014. Comments received by June 23, 2014, will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule.
Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program; Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection and To Merge the Collections of OMB 0581-0124 and 0581-0128
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Sec. 3501-20), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for revision of two previously approved collections by merging them into a single information collection. AMS recently merged the Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program's Poultry Grading Branch and Grading and Verification Division. Due to this organizational merger, AMS intends to combine the following collections, 0581-0128 ``Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs7 CFR part 56'' and 0581-0124 ``7 CFR part 54 Meats, Prepared Meats, and Meat Products (Grading, Certification, and Standards) and 7 CFR part 62 Quality Systems Verification Program (QSVP).'' These collections will be combined into a single collection retitled 0581-0128 ``Regulations for Voluntary Grading, Certification, and Standards7 CFR parts 54, 56, 62, and 70.''
Kiwifruit Grown in California; Continuance Referendum
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible California kiwifruit growers to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of kiwifruit grown in California.
Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Request for Reinstatement of a Previously Approved Information Collection for Which Approval has Expired
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this document announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request reinstatement of a previously approved information collection from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for which approval has expired for the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Program (Order). In addition, to the Order, we are including the burden and ballot form from a previously approved information collection that expired, titled Referendum for Christmas Tree Promotion, Research and Information Program.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Open Teleconference Meeting
This notice is intended to notify the public of their opportunity to attend an open meeting of the Plant Variety Protection Board.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Revision of Assessment Requirements
This proposed rule invites comments on proposed rules and regulations necessary for the California Date Administrative Committee (committee) to exercise its authority to impose interest and late payment charges on overdue handler assessments. The California date marketing order (order) regulates the handling of dates produced or packed in Riverside County, California, and is administered locally by the committee. Assessments upon date handlers are used to fund the reasonable and necessary expenses of the committee. These changes are expected to assist in the financial administration of the order by encouraging handlers to pay their assessments in a timely manner.
Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Lifting of the Stay of Regulation
On November 8, 2011, a final rule was published in the Federal Register (76 FR 69094) establishing an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for fresh cut Christmas trees. The effective date of the final rule was November 9, 2011. On November 17, 2011, the Christmas Tree Promotion Research and Information Order (Order) date was stayed to provide all interested persons, including the Christmas tree industry and the general public, an opportunity to become more familiar with the program. The stay is being lifted in accordance with the provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Regulations Issued Under the Export Apple Act; Exempting Bulk Shipments to Canada From Minimum Requirements and Inspection
This interim rule revises the regulations issued under the Export Apple Act to exempt bulk shipments of apples to Canada from the minimum requirements and inspection provisions of the Export Apple Act, and to add a definition for bulk containers. The rule is necessary because section 10009 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 amended the Export Apple Act to exempt apples shipped to Canada in bulk containers weighing more than 100 pounds from inspection requirements.
User Fees for 2014 Crop Cotton Classification Services to Growers
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to maintain user fees for cotton producers for 2014 crop cotton classification services under the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act at the same level as in 2013. These fees are also authorized under the Cotton Standards Act of 1923. The 2013 crop user fee was $2.20 per bale, and AMS proposes to continue the fee for the 2014 cotton crop at that same level. This proposed fee and the existing reserve are sufficient to cover the costs of providing classification services for the 2014 crop, including costs for administration and supervision.