United States Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins. AMS is proposing to remove five references to the term ``midget'' throughout the standards. These changes would modernize and clarify the standards by removing dual terminology for the same requirement.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil for the 2014-2015 Marketing Year
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule recommended by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) that further revised the quantity of Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2014-2015 marketing year under the Far West spearmint oil marketing order. The salable quantity and allotment percentage for Native spearmint oil was initially established at 1,090,821 pounds and 46 percent, respectively, and was subsequently increased to 1,280,561 pounds and 54 percent in a separate rulemaking action. This action further increases the Native spearmint oil salable quantity to 1,351,704 pounds and the allotment percentage to 57 percent for the 2014-2015 marketing year. This change is expected to help maintain orderly marketing conditions in the Far West spearmint oil market.
United States Standards for Grades of Canned Baked Beans
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise the United States Standards for Grades of Canned Baked Beans. AMS is proposing to replace process- specific language ``Product description'' in the standard with language reflective of current canned baked bean manufacturing practices. Additionally, AMS proposes separating the canned dried beans, canned pork and beans, and canned baked beans grade standards from one shared standard document into three separate standard documents. These changes would bring the grade standards for canned baked beans in line with the present quality levels being marketed today and would provide guidance in the effective use of these products.
Onions Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule implements a recommendation from the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee (Committee) for a decrease in the assessment rate established for the 2015-2016 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.10 to $0.05 per hundredweight of onions handled under the marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of onions operating within the area of production. Assessments upon onion handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins July 1 and ends June 30. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States; Suspension of Marketing Order Provisions
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that continued the previous suspension of the marketing order for Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states (order). The interim rule continued the suspension of all provisions of the order, and the rules and regulations implemented thereunder, through March 1, 2017, as requested by representatives of the Virginia/North Carolina Irish potato industry. This provides the industry more time to consider changes which could affect the need for the order. If the industry does not petition to have the order reactivated by the end of the suspension period, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will propose to terminate the order.
Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and 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 Paper and Paper- Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Paper and Packaging Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from manufacturers and importers and used for projects to promote paper and paper-based packaging. This proposal would implement authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Two additional changes are proposed to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program and was unanimously recommended by the Board.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) for a decrease in 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 producers and handlers of apricots grown in designated counties in Washington. Assessments upon apricot handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The new assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the California Walnut Board (Board) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2015-16 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0189 to $0.0379 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 begins September 1 and ends August 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Farmers' Market Promotion Program Regulation; Withdrawal of a Proposed Rule
This document withdraws a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2011 to establish a regulation for the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) Farmers' Market Promotion Program (FMPP). The FMPP is a competitive grant program that makes funds available to eligible entities for projects to establish, expand, and promote farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities. The proposed rule would have established eligibility and application requirements, the review and approval process, and grant administration procedures for the FMPP. Additionally, the proposed rule announced AMS's intent to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a new information collection for the FMPP. AMS is consolidating the procedures for all of its grant programs, including the FMPP, into one regulation. Thus, a separate regulation for the FMPP is no longer needed and the 2011 proposed rule is withdrawn.
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
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 to 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.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection for Export Certificate Request Forms
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 and revision to the currently approved information collection Export Certificate Request Forms OMB No. 0581-0283.
International Trade Data System Test Concerning the Electronic Submission Through the Automated Commercial Environment of Notification of Importation of Fruits, Vegetables, and Specialty Crops Required by the Agricultural Marketing Service Using the Partner Government Agency Message Set
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces a pilot test of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) involving the electronic submission of data related to importations of fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops regulated by AMS, using the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set component of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The submission of this information is required under Sec. 608e (section 8e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. The pilot program will test the electronic transmission of AMS data through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) program known as the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set. This data will be transmitted for review by AMS' Compliance and Enforcement Management System (CEMS). CBP's PGA Message Set enables importers and brokers to electronically transmit data required by AMS directly to ACE. This electronic process will replace the paper-based process currently used. This notice also invites importers and brokers who are importing commodities subject to section 8e regulations to request participation in this AMS pilot and invites public comment on any aspects of the pilot.
Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments
This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Processed Raspberry Council (Council) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for processed raspberries. This rule implements authority contained in the Order that allows the Council to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Three additional changes are being made to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. The changes will contribute to effective administration of the program and were unanimously recommended by the Council.
Milk in California; Notice of Hearing on a Proposal To Establish a Federal Milk Marketing Order
A public hearing is being held to consider and take evidence on a proposal that would establish a Federal milk marketing order to regulate the handling of milk in California. The proposed marketing area would incorporate the entire state of California. USDA received four proposals from interested parties, some that include certain milk pricing and pooling provisions not found in current Federal milk orders. The proposals incorporate the same dairy product classification system used throughout the Federal milk marketing order system. Additional features would recognize California quota premium and fluid milk fortification values. The proposals noticed herein would not modify any existing Federal milk marketing orders.