Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection for Tart Cherries Grown in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin, pursuant to Marketing Order No. 930.
Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Withdrawal for a Continuance Referendum
On February 23, 2016, a document directing that a referendum be conducted in August 2016 among eligible domestic manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber to determine whether they favor continuance of the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order) was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 8822). The document is hereby withdrawn. The referendum has been postponed until a future date to be determined by the Secretary.
Almonds Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Almond Board of California (Board) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 through the 2018-19 crop years from $0.03 to $0.04 per pound of almonds handled under the marketing order (order). Of the $0.04 per pound assessment, 60 percent (or $0.024 per pound) would be available as credit-back for handlers who conduct their own promotional activities. The assessment rate would return to $0.03 for the 2019-20 and subsequent crop years, and the amount available for handler credit-back would return to $0.018 per pound (60 percent). The Board locally administers the order and is comprised of growers and handlers of almonds grown in California. Assessments upon almond handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The crop year begins August 1 and ends July 31. The $0.04 assessment rate would remain in effect until July 31, 2019. Beginning August 1, 2019, the assessment rate would return to $0.03 and would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Olives Grown in California; Suspension and Revision of Incoming Size-Grade Requirements
This rule implements a recommendation from the California Olive Committee (Committee) to suspend the incoming size-grade authority under the California olive marketing order (order), which regulates the handling of olives in California. The rule also makes conforming changes to the corresponding size-grade requirements in the order's rules and regulations to adapt them to the suspension. The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of California olive producers and handlers operating within the production area. The suspension and revisions are intended to allow the Committee time to develop new incoming size-grade authority that will reflect currently- available technology and meet the industry's future needs.
Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information; Beef Promotion and Research; Amendments To Allow Redirection of State Assessments to the National Program; Technical Amendments
This proposed rule would amend the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (Soybean Order) and the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Beef Order) to add provisions allowing soybean and beef producers to request, under certain circumstances, that their assessments paid to a State board or council authorized under their respective statutes, be redirected to the national program. The proposed rule also would make technical amendments to the Beef Order.
U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites catfish producers, suppliers, processors, retailers, foodservice operators, and other interested stakeholders to provide background information, comments, and data to assist in the development of voluntary U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products. AMS is requesting comments concerning, but not limited to, the catfish quality standard that is currently implemented by the Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Order Amending Marketing Order 989
This final rule amends Marketing Order No. 989 (order), which regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California. The amendments approved by producers in the referendum were proposed by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee) which is comprised of producers and handlers of raisins and responsible for the local administration of the order. The changes will allow the Committee to borrow from a commercial lending institution and authorize the establishment of a monetary reserve equal to up to one year's budgeted expenses. Allowing the Committee to utilize these customary business practices will help improve administration of the order.
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California; Order Amending Marketing Order 925
This final rule amends Marketing Agreement and Order No. 925 (order), which regulates the handling of table grapes grown in a designated area of southeastern California. The amendments approved by producers in the referendum were proposed by the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee (Committee), which is responsible for the local administration of the order. The new amendments to the order will increase term lengths for Committee members and alternates from one to four fiscal periods and allow new members and alternates to agree to accept their nominations prior to selection by the Secretary. These amendments are intended to increase the Committee's effectiveness and bolster industry participation in Committee activities. The amendment proposed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) that would add authority for periodic continuance referenda was not approved in the referendum.