Agricultural Marketing Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
Document Number: 2017-05785
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-03-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing a meeting of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Committee). The meeting is being convened to examine the full spectrum of fruit and vegetable industry issues and provide recommendations and ideas to the Secretary of Agriculture on how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can tailor programs and services to better meet the needs of the U.S. produce industry. The meeting is open to the public. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting.
U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and Walnuts in the Shell
Document Number: 2017-04805
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-03-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reopening the comment period on the proposed rule that invited comments on the revision of the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and U.S. Standards for Grades of Walnuts in the Shell published in the Federal Register on November 25, 2016. The comment period for this proposed rule closed on January 24, 2017. The changes are intended to modernize the standards, and meet consumer demands by providing greater marketing flexibility.
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2016-17 Crop Year for Tart Cherries
Document Number: 2017-05484
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-03-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to establish free and restricted percentages for the 2016-17 crop year under the marketing order for tart cherries grown in the states of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin (order). The Board locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of producers and handlers of tart cherries operating within the production area, and a public member. This action would establish the proportion of tart cherries from the 2016 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets at 71 percent free and 29 percent restricted. These percentages should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2017-05482
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-03-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Potato Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2017-2018 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0025 to $0.002 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 would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
National Organic Program: USDA Organic Regulations
Document Number: 2017-05480
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-03-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document addresses the 2017 sunset review submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) through the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following the NOSB's April 2015 and October 2015 meetings. The 2017 sunset review pertains to the NOSB's sunset review of 198 substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the NOSB's sunset review, this publication provides notice on the renewal of 187 substances on the National List, and completes the 2017 National List sunset review for these renewed substances.
Tobacco Report: Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2017-05297
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-03-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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 an extension of the currently approved information collection for Tobacco Report (OMB No. 0581-0004).
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2017-04979
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-03-15
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) for an increase in the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.03 to $0.035 per 25-pound carton of tomatoes handled under the marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers of tomatoes operating within the area of production. Assessments upon Florida tomato 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.
Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2017-04667
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-03-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection used in support of the voluntary grading and certification of poultry products, rabbit products, shell eggs, meat, meat products, and Quality Systems Verification Programs (OMB 0581-0128).
Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2017-04665
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-03-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this document announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). AMS requests an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection 0581-0268 the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order).
Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico (Marketing Order No. 983)
Document Number: 2017-04545
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-03-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
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 Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, pursuant to Federal Marketing Order No. 983.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2017-04463
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-03-07
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension without change of a currently approved information collection titled Data Collection for Container Availability.
Peanut Standards Board
Document Number: 2017-04080
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-03-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) requires the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) 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, 2020. Selected nominees would replace three producer and three industry representatives who currently serve on the Board and have terms of office that end on June 30, 2017. 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.
United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions
Document Number: 2017-04079
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-03-03
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reopening the comment period for the document inviting comments on a proposal to create new United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions and request for comments published in the Federal Register on November 23, 2016. The comment period for this document closed on January 23, 2017. The grade standards would provide a common language for trade, a means of measuring value in the marketing of frozen onions, and guidance on the effective use of frozen onions.
Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order
Document Number: 2017-03825
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is extending the comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017 (82 FR 5746), until April 19, 2017. The proposed rule invited comments on the proposed establishment of an industry-funded research, promotion, and information program for certified organic products. The proposed rule also announced the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program. This document extends the comment period for the proposed rule by 30 days.
Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order; Referendum Procedures
Document Number: 2017-03824
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is extending the comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017 (82 FR 5438), until April 19, 2017. The proposed rule invited comments on the proposed procedures for conducting a referendum to determine whether the issuance of a proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order (proposed Order) is favored by certified organic producers, certified organic handlers, and importers of certified organic products. The procedures would also be used for any subsequent referendum under the proposed Order. This proposed rule also announced the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program. The proposed Order was published separately in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017 (82 FR 5746).
Notice of Request for a Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection: Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery
Document Number: 2017-03812
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-02-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for a revision to and an extension of approval of an information collection associated with qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback on service delivery by the AMS.
Sweet Onions Grown in the Walla Walla Valley of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2017-03714
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-02-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee (Committee) for a decrease in the assessment rate established for the 2017 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.22 to $0.10 per 50-pound bag or equivalent of sweet onions handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of producers and handlers of sweet onions operating within the area of production along with one public member. Assessments upon sweet onion handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Cotton Research and Promotion Program: Request for Comments To Be Used in a Review of 1990 Amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act
Document Number: 2017-03709
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-02-27
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
As provided for by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act Amendments of 1990, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing its intention to conduct a review to ascertain whether a referendum is needed to determine whether producers and importers favor continuation of amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (Order). This notice invites all interested parties to submit written comments to the Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA will consider these comments in determining whether a referendum is warranted.
Regulations Issued Under Authority of the Export Apple Act and Export Grapes and Plums; Changes to Export Reporting Requirements
Document Number: 2017-03555
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reopening the comment period on the proposed rule to change the reporting of export certificate information under regulations issued pursuant to the Export Apple Act (7 CFR part 33) and the Export Grape and Plum Act (7 CFR part 35). The proposed rule would require shippers of apples and grapes exported from the United States to electronically enter an Export Form Certificate number or a USDA- defined exemption code into the Automated Export System (AES). This rule would also define ``shipper,'' shift the current file retention requirement from carriers to shippers, and require shippers to provide, upon request, copies of the certificates to AMS. The proposed rule would also remove obsolete regulations and make clarifying changes. It also announced AMS' intention to request revision to a currently approved information collection for exported apples and grapes.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Assessment Exemption for Organic Commodities
Document Number: 2017-03341
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-02-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (``AMS'') intention to request an extension for the form currently used by marketers to apply for exemption from market promotion assessments under 23 marketing order programs.
Revisions to Inspection Application Requirements
Document Number: 2017-03256
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-02-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period for the interim rule on revisions to inspection application requirements is extended until March 23, 2017. The rule invited comments on amendments to the inspection requirements for fresh and processed fruits, vegetables, and other products that added an option for electronic inspection application submissions. The rule also updated terminology in the regulations to reflect the use of modern technology in common use by the industry.
Addition of Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling Requirements for Venison
Document Number: 2017-03255
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017 (82 FR 4198), is extended until April 13, 2017. The proposed rule invited comments on proposed amendments to the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulation to add muscle cuts of venison and ground venison to mandatory COOL requirements.
National Organic Program: Notice of Draft Guidance for Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products; Extension of Comment Period
Document Number: 2017-03254
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-02-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is extending the comment period for the notice of availability of draft guidance that appeared in the Federal Register on December 6, 2016 (81 FR 87902). The draft guidance document is entitled: Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products (NOP 5037). This notice extends the comment period for 60 days from February 6, 2017 to April 7, 2017. The Agency is taking this action in response to a request for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments.
Regulations Under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA): Growers' Trust Protection Eligibility and Clarification of “Written Notification”
Document Number: 2017-03252
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on December 14, 2016 (81 FR 90255), is extended until March 15, 2017. The rule invited comments on proposed amendments to the regulations under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) that would clarify how growers and other principals may preserve their PACA trust rights. The proposed amendments would also provide guidance on the type of notification required to initiate U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigations of alleged PACA violations.
Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment
Document Number: 2017-03251
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017 (82 FR 4203), is extended until April 13, 2017. The proposed rule invited comments on proposed adjustments to representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board) to reflect recent changes in domestic cattle inventories and levels of imported cattle, beef, and beef products. The proposed adjustment would decrease Board membership from 100 to 99.
National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2017 Amendments to the National List
Document Number: 2017-03250
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-17
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017, is extended until April 19, 2017. The rule invited comments on recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their October 2015 meeting. The proposed rule would remove eleven substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) for use in organic production and handling.
Sweet Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Continuance Referendum
Document Number: 2017-02904
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible Washington sweet cherry growers to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of sweet cherries grown in designated counties in Washington.
Milk in California; Recommended Decision and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions on Proposal To Establish a Federal Milk Marketing Order
Document Number: 2017-02732
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-02-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This Recommended Decision proposes the issuance of a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California. The proposed FMMO incorporates the entire state of California and would adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions used throughout the current FMMO system. The proposed FMMO provides for the recognition of producer quota as administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This proposed rule also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the order.
National Organic Program (NOP); Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices
Document Number: 2017-02608
Type: Rule
Date: 2017-02-09
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Consistent with the Memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled, ``Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,'' this action delays the effective date for 60 days for the rule, Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. This rule, published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017, amends the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by adding new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter and avian living conditions; and expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions. The rule was originally set to take effect on March 20, 2017.
Regulations Issued Under Authority of the Export Apple Act and Export Grapes and Plums; Changes to Export Reporting Requirements
Document Number: 2017-01417
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-01-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is reopening the comment period on the proposed rule to change the reporting of export certificate information under regulations issued pursuant to the Export Apple Act and the Export Grape and Plum Act until March 24, 2017. The proposed rule would require shippers of apples and grapes exported from the United States to electronically enter an Export Form Certificate number or a USDA-defined exemption code into the Automated Export System (AES). This rule would also define ``shipper,'' shift the current file retention requirement from carriers to shippers, and require shippers to provide, upon request, copies of the certificates to AMS. The proposed rule would also remove obsolete regulations and make clarifying changes. It also announced AMS' intention to request revision to a currently approved information collection for exported apples and grapes.
U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products
Document Number: 2017-01413
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-01-23
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This Notice informs the public that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will not proceed with the development of voluntary U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products at this time.
Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order
Document Number: 2017-00601
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-01-18
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rulemaking proposes the establishment of an industry- funded promotion, research, and information program for certified organic products. The purpose of the program would be to strengthen the position of certified organic products in the marketplace, support research to benefit the organic industry, and improve access to information and data across the organic sector. The proposed program, the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order (proposed Order), was submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Under the proposed Order, certified producers (producers) and certified handlers (handlers) with gross sales in excess of $250,000 for the previous marketing year of certified organic agricultural commodities would pay an assessment of one-tenth of one percent of net organic sales. Importers importing greater than $250,000 in transaction value of organic products for the previous marketing year would pay an assessment of one-tenth of one percent of the transaction value of certified organic products reported to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs or CBP). Producers, handlers, and importers that fall below these thresholds could choose to pay assessments into the program as a ``voluntarily assessed'' entity. The proposed program would be implemented under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (the Act) and would be administered by a board of assessment payers and one public member appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary). An initial referendum would be held among mandatorily and voluntarily assessed entities (i.e. domestic producers, handlers, and importers) to determine whether they favor implementation of the program prior to it going into effect. This proposed rule also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program.
Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order; Referendum Procedures
Document Number: 2017-00599
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-01-18
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule invites comments on procedures for conducting a referendum to determine whether the issuance of a proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order (proposed Order) is favored by certified organic producers, certified organic handlers, and importers of certified organic products. The organic market includes a range of agricultural commodities such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, breads, grains, snack foods, condiments, beverages, and packaged and prepared foods, as well as non-food items such as fiber (linen and clothing), personal care products, pet food, and flowers. The procedures would also be used for any subsequent referendum under the proposed Order. The proposed Order is being published separately in this issue of the Federal Register. This document also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program.
National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2017 Amendments to the National List
Document Number: 2017-00586
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-01-18
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their October 2015 meeting. These recommendations pertain to the 2017 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would remove eleven substances from the National List for use in organic production and handling.
Addition of Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling Requirements for Venison
Document Number: 2017-00588
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-01-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the country of origin labeling (COOL) regulation to add muscle cuts of venison and ground venison to mandatory COOL requirements. AMS is issuing this proposed rule to conform to amendments to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (Act) as mandated by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), that added muscle cuts of venison and ground venison to the list of covered commodities subject to mandatory COOL.
Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment
Document Number: 2017-00587
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2017-01-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would adjust representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act), to reflect changes in domestic cattle inventories since January 1, 2013, as well as changes in levels of imported cattle, beef, and beef products that have occurred since December 31, 2012, which were the cut-off dates for data used by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) when the Board was last reapportioned in July 2014. These adjustments are required by the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) and, if adopted, would result in a decrease in Board membership from 100 to 99, effective with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) appointments for terms beginning early in the year 2018.
Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-31532
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-30
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that implemented a recommendation from the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for pistachios grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico for the 2016-2017 and subsequent production years from $0.0035 to $0.0010 per pound of assessed weight pistachios handled under the marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of pistachios operating within the area of production. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
United States Standards for Grades of Canned Vegetables
Document Number: 2016-30619
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is revising 18 U.S. grade standards for canned vegetables issued on or before August 3, 1998. AMS is replacing the two-term grading system (dual nomenclature) with a single term to describe each quality level for the grade standards identified in this document. Terms using the letter grade will be retained and the descriptive term will be eliminated. For example, grade standards using the term ``U.S. Grade A'' or ``U.S. Fancy'' will be revised to use only the term ``U.S. Grade A.'' Likewise, grade standards using the term ``U.S. Grade B'' or ``U.S. Extra Standard'' will be revised to use the single term ``U.S. Grade B.'' These changes will bring the grade standards in line with the present quality levels being marketed today and provide guidance in the effective use of these products. Editorial changes will also be made to the grade standards that conform to recent changes made in other grade standards.
Cranberries Grown in the States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island in the State of New York; Proposed Amendment to Marketing Order 929 and Referendum Order
Document Number: 2016-30571
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule proposes an amendment to Marketing Order No. 929 (order), which regulates the handling of cranberries grown in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island in the State of New York. The amendment is based on a proposal made by the Cranberry Marketing Committee (Committee), which is responsible for the local administration of the order. The amendment would authorize the Committee to receive and expend voluntary contributions from domestic sources. Contributed funds would be used solely for research and development activities authorized under the order and would be free from any encumbrances as to their usage by the donor.
Revisions to Inspection Application Requirements
Document Number: 2016-30570
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-21
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule amends the inspection, certification and standards requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables and other products and processed fruits and vegetables, processed products and certain other processed food products (7 CFR parts 51 and 52) by adding an option to allow for electronic submissions of inspection applications. This rule also eliminates outdated terminology referencing submission of inspection applications by telegraph.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30303
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that implemented a recommendation from the California Date Administrative Committee (committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the committee for the 2016-17 and subsequent crop years from $0.10 to $0.05 per hundredweight of dates handled under the marketing order (order). The committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of dates operating within the area of production. The interim rule was necessary to allow the committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30302
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-2017 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.15 to $0.25 per ton of Washington cherries handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of growers and handlers of cherries operating within the production area. Assessments upon cherry handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the marketing order. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Almonds Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30264
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Almond Board of California (Board) for an increase of 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) is available as credit-back for handlers who conduct their own promotional activities. The assessment rate will return to $0.03 for the 2019-20 and subsequent crop years, and the amount available for handler credit- back will 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 began on August 1 and ends on July 31. The $0.04 assessment rate will remain in effect until July 31, 2019. Beginning August 1, 2019, the assessment rate will return to $0.03 and will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Two comments period were provided to interested individuals. Comments will be addressed later in this document.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30307
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-19
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the California Walnut Board (Board) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0379 to $0.0465 per kernelweight pound of assessable walnuts. The Board locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of growers and handlers of walnuts operating within the area of production. Assessments upon walnut handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The marketing year began on September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Amendment to the Egg Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations To Update Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, and Information Provisions
Document Number: 2016-29988
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This final rule amends the Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, Publications, and Product Formulations (IP) language of the Egg Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations (Regulations) to conform with commodity research and promotion program orders created under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act).
Regulations Under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA): Growers' Trust Protection Eligibility and Clarification of “Written Notification”
Document Number: 2016-29983
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-14
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is proposing to amend the regulations under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA or Act) to enhance clarity and improve the administration and enforcement of the PACA. The proposed revisions to the regulations would provide greater direction to the industry of how growers and other principals that employ selling agents may preserve their PACA trust rights. The proposed revisions would further provide greater direction to the industry on the definition of ``written notification'' and the jurisdiction of USDA to investigate alleged PACA violations.
Provisions for Removing Commodity Research and Promotion Board Members and Staff
Document Number: 2016-29852
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the comment period on proposed amendments to the provisions for removal of board and council members or staff of the research and promotion ordersor the regulations under the ordersoverseen by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is extended to December 23, 2016. The proposed rule would provide uniform authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to initiate action to remove board members and staff who fail to perform their duties or who engage in dishonest actions or willful misconduct. Such action is necessary to ensure the boards can continue to fulfill their intended purposes with minimal disruption.
National Organic Program: Notice of Draft Guidance for Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products
Document Number: 2016-29173
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-06
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified handling operations. The draft guidance document is entitled as follows: Calculating Percentage Organic in Multi-Ingredient Products (NOP 5037). This draft guidance document is intended to inform the public of AMS' current thinking on this topic. AMS invites organic producers, handlers, certifying agents, material evaluation programs, consumers and other interested parties to submit comments.
Changes to Reporting Requirements-Vegetable and Specialty Crop Import Regulations; and Other Clarifying Changes-Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crop Import Regulations
Document Number: 2016-29016
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-06
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposed rule would change the reporting requirements for certain Irish potatoes, tomatoes, and onions regulated under Sec. 608(e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (section 8e of the Act) by requiring importers of those regulated commodities that have been certified by a designated governmental inspection service other than the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service as meeting 8e requirements to provide the inspection certificate number and a copy of the certificate to AMS (currently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the only entity so designated). In addition, the pistachio import regulations would be changed to provide for the electronic filing of aflatoxin test results and to eliminate a requirement to report the disposition of reworked or failed lots of pistachios. Other changes would be made to several of the 8e regulations to remove or replace outdated information. These changes would allow AMS to confirm that section 8e regulatory requirements are being met and would also support the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that will automate the filing of import and export information by the trade.
Changes to Reporting and Notification Requirements and Other Clarifying Changes for Imported Fruits, Vegetables, and Specialty Crops
Document Number: 2016-29022
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-05
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule updates reporting and notification requirements associated with, and makes clarifying changes to, the fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop import regulations for certain commodities regulated under section 608(e) (hereinafter referred to as ``8e'') of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. The updates include shifting the exempt reporting requirement for imported tomatoes destined for noncommercial outlets for experimental purposes from the tomato import regulations to the safeguard procedures section of the vegetable import regulations. In addition, the pistachio import regulations will be updated by removing reference to a paper-based notification of entry process. Other administrative changes will be made to several of the 8e regulations to replace outdated information. These changes to the import regulations support the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that will streamline and automate the filing of import and export information by the trade.