Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate
The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that implemented a recommendation from the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate from $1.50 to $0.75 per ton of Washington apricots handled for the 2015-2016 and subsequent fiscal periods. The Committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of apricot producers and handlers operating within designated counties in Washington. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
Local Food Directories and Survey: Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection and To Merge the Collection of National Farmers Market Directory and Survey With Modules and Local Food Directories and Survey
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for revision of two currently approved collections by merging them into a single information collection, titled ``Local Food Directories and Survey''. AMS intends to combine collection 0581-0169, National Farmers Market Directory and Survey with Modules, and collection 0581-0289, Local Food Directories and Survey, and title it ``Local Food Directories and Survey''. Merging the collections will allow for reduced input time for operators of multiple local food enterprises. All directories are national in scope and provide free advertising for producers of local agricultural products. The directories also assist customers to locate local food enterprises.
National Organic Program: Notice of Final Guidance for Accredited Certifying Agents and Certified Operations on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation
The National Organic Program (NOP) is announcing the availability of a final guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified operations. The guidance document is entitled: Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation (NOP 5020). This guidance document is intended to inform the public of NOP's current thinking on this topic.
Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Marketed in the United States; Change to the Quality and Handling Requirements
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Peanut Standards Board (Board) to revise the minimum quality and handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States (Standards). The Board advises the Secretary of Agriculture regarding potential changes to the Standards and is comprised of producers and industry representatives. This proposed rule would revise the minimum quality, positive lot identification, and reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the Standards. It would also make numerous other changes to better reflect current industry practices and to revise outdated language. The Board believes these changes would make additional peanuts available for sale, help increase efficiencies, and reduce costs to the industry.
National Organic Program: Notice of Final Guidance on Substances Used in Post-Harvest Handling of Organic Products
The National Organic Program (NOP) is announcing the availability of a final guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents, and certified and exempt organic operations. 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 NOP's current thinking on this topic.
Revision To Incorporate the Electronic Submission of the Import Request of Shell Eggs
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is revising the regulations governing the inspection of eggs to streamline the importation process for table eggs, hatching eggs, and inedible liquid egg by allowing the import request to be filed electronically through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) International Trade Data System.
Withdrawal of United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims
This Notice informs the public that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is withdrawing the U.S. Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims. Specifically, AMS is withdrawing: (1) The Grass (Forage) Fed Claim for Ruminant Livestock and the Meat Products Derived from Such Livestock (Grass (Forage) Fed Marketing Claim Standard); and (2) the Naturally Raised Claim for Livestock and the Meat and Meat Products Derived From Such Livestock (Naturally Raised Marketing Claim Standard).
United States Standards for Grades of Pecans
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Shelled Pecans and the United States Standards for Grades of Pecans in the Shell. AMS is proposing to replace the term ``midget'' with ``extra small'' in the Shelled Pecan standards. AMS is also proposing to remove from both standards references to plastic models of pecan kernels, and information on where the color standards may be examined. These changes would modernize the terminology and information in the standards.