Kiwifruit Grown in California; Order Amending Marketing Order No. 920
This final rule amends 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 the local administration of the order. The five amendments will provide authority to recommend and conduct production and postharvest research, to recommend and conduct market research and development projects, to receive and expend voluntary contributions, to specify that recommendations for production research and market development be approved by eight members of the Committee, and to update provisions regarding alternate members' service on the Committee. These amendments are intended to improve administration of and compliance with the order, as well as reflect current industry practices.
Peanut Standards Board
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a Peanut Standards Board (Board) for the purpose of advising the Secretary on quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. The initial Board was appointed by the Secretary and announced on December 5, 2002. USDA seeks nominations for individuals to be considered for selection as Board members for a term of office ending June 30, 2017. Selected nominees would replace three producers and three industry representatives who currently serve on the Board and who have terms of office that end on June 30, 2014. The Board consists of 18 members representing producers and the industry. In an effort to obtain diversity among candidates, USDA encourages the nomination of men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and persons with a disability.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Relaxing Grade Requirements on Valencia and Other Late Type Oranges
This rule changes the minimum grade requirements currently prescribed under the marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida (order). The order is administered locally by the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee). This rule reduces the minimum grade requirement for Valencia and other late type oranges shipped to interstate markets from a U.S. No. 1 to a U.S. No. 1 Golden from May 15 through June 14 each season and to a U.S. No. 2 external/U.S. No. 1 internal from June 15 through August 31 each season. This rule will provide additional Valencia and other late type oranges for late season markets, helping to maximize fresh shipments.
User Fees for 2014 Crop Cotton Classification Services to Growers
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will maintain user fees for 2014 crop cotton classification services at $2.20 per bale the same level as in 2013. Revenues resulting from this cotton classing fee and existing reserves are sufficient to cover the costs of providing classification services for the 2014 crop, including costs for administration and supervision.
Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments
This proposal invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) 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. Softwood lumber is used in products like flooring, siding and framing. This proposal would implement authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program.
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2014 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0165 to $0.0200 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 on January 1 and ends on December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2014-2015 Marketing Year
This final rule establishes the quantity of Far West Scotch and Native spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2014-2015 marketing year, which begins on June 1, 2014. The Far West includes Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and designated parts of Nevada and Utah. This rule establishes salable quantities and allotment percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil of 1,149,030 pounds and 55 percent, respectively, and for Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil of 1,090,821 pounds and 46 percent, respectively. The Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee), the entity responsible for local administration of the marketing order for spearmint oil produced in the Far West, recommended these quantities.
United States Standards for Grades of Maple Sirup
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting public comments on a proposed revision to the United States Standards for Grades of Maple Sirup (Syrup). AMS received a petition from the International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI) requesting a revision of the U.S. grade standards. IMSI stated it is interested in developing harmonized grade standards for maple syrup producers in the United States and Canada, and asked AMS to replace the current grade classification requirements with new color and flavor descriptors, and revise Grade A requirements to be free from damage. AMS is also proposing to change the spelling from ``sirup'' to the more commonly used term ``syrup.'' The proposed grade standards would revise the existing federal grade standards for maple sirup (syrup). The purpose of these proposed revisions would be to foster or assist in the development of new or expanded markets, and improve the marketing of maple syrup in the U.S. and internationally.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Modification of the Handling Regulations for Yellow Fleshed and White Types of Potatoes
This rule extends the temporary exemption of yellow fleshed and white skin (white types) potatoes from minimum quality, maturity, pack, marking, and inspection requirements under the Washington potato marketing order through the 2014-2015 and subsequent fiscal periods. Without this action, the temporary exemption currently in effect would end on June 30, 2014. 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 is expected to reduce overall industry expenses and increase net returns to producers and handlers while continuing to give the industry the opportunity to explore alternative marketing strategies.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of Administrative Rules and Regulations Governing Issuance of Additional Allotment Base
This proposed rule invites comments on revisions to the procedure currently prescribed for issuing additional allotment base for Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil to new and existing producers under the Far West spearmint oil marketing order (order). The order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West and is administered locally by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee). This action would: Reduce the number of new producers that are issued additional allotment bases each year from three to two, for each class of oil; temporarily change the method by which additional allotment base is allocated to existing producers to take into account small production operations; and amend the requirements for eligibility, retention, and transfer of additional allotment base issued to new and existing producers. Revising the procedure for issuing additional allotment base would help ensure that new and existing spearmint oil producers have sufficient allotment base to be economically viable in the future.
Milk in the Appalachian, Florida, and Southeast Marketing Areas; Order Amending the Orders
This final rule amends the Class I pricing provisions and the maximum administrative assessment for the Appalachian, Florida and Southeast marketing orders. This final rule also amends certain features of the diversion limit, touch-base and transportation credit provisions of the Appalachian and Southeast milk marketing orders. More than the required number of producers approved the issuance of the orders as amended.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington; Temporary Change to the Handling Regulations and Reporting Requirements for Yellow Fleshed and White Types of Potatoes
The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that temporarily exempted yellow fleshed and white types of potatoes from minimum quality, maturity, pack, marking, and inspection requirements under the Washington potato marketing order through June 30, 2014. The interim rule also modified an existing report to require handlers of yellow fleshed and white types of potatoes to report information necessary to administer the order during the period that such potatoes are exempt from handling requirements. This change is expected to reduce overall industry expenses and increase net returns to producers and handlers while giving the industry the opportunity to explore alternative marketing strategies.
Milk in the Appalachian and Southeast Marketing Areas; Termination of Proceeding
This action terminates a proceeding for two remaining proposals presented at a hearing held in Louisville, Kentucky, January 10-12, 2006. The two proposals (Proposal 2 and Proposal 5) would: Establish intra-market transportation credit provisions for the Appalachian and Southeast Federal milk marketing areas, and reduce payments to producers for milk diverted to locations outside of the geographic boundaries of the Appalachian and Southeast milk marketing areas. The Agricultural Marketing Service believes that the amendments adopted as part of a subsequent proceeding addressed the disorderly marketing conditions that Proposals 2 and 5 were designed to remedy, and therefore action on the proceedings for these two proposals is terminated.
Milk in the Appalachian and Southeast Marketing Areas; Order Amending the Orders
This final rule amends the transportation credit balancing fund provisions and pooling provisions of the Appalachian and Southeast orders. More than the required number of producers for the Appalachian and Southeast marketing areas approved the issuance of the orders as amended.
National Organic Program: Notification of Final Guidance on Products in the “Made With Organic * * *” Labeling Category
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of a final guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified organic operations. The final guidance document is entitled: Products in the ``Made with Organic ***'' Labeling Category (NOP 5032). This guidance is intended to inform the public of the National Organic Program's (NOP) current thinking on this topic.