[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 70 (Thursday, April 11, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 21520-21521]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08463]



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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 923

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-12-0026; FV12-923-1 FIR]


Sweet Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; 
Decreased Assessment Rate

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, 
without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment rate 
established for the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) 
for the 2012-2013 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.40 to $0.18 per 
ton of sweet cherries handled. The Committee locally administers the 
marketing order for sweet cherries grown in designated counties in 
Washington. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to 
reduce its monetary reserve.

DATES: Effective April 12, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Teresa Hutchinson or Gary Olson, 
Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement 
Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-
2724, Fax: (503) 326-7440, or Email: Teresa.Hutchinson@ams.usda.gov or 
GaryD.Olson@ams.usda.gov.
    Small businesses may obtain information on complying with this and 
other marketing order regulations by viewing a guide at the following 
Web site: http://www.ams.usda.gov/MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide; or 
by contacting Jeffrey Smutny, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, 
Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: 
(202) 720-8938, or Email: Jeffrey.Smutney@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing Order 
No. 923, as amended (7 CFR part 923), regulating the handling of sweet 
cherries grown in designated counties in Washington, hereinafter 
referred to as the ``order.'' The order is effective under the 
Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-
674), hereinafter referred to as the ``Act.''
    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in 
conformance with Executive Order 12866.
    Under the order, Washington sweet cherry handlers are subject to 
assessments, which provide funds to administer the order. Assessment 
rates issued under the order are intended to be applicable to all 
assessable Washington sweet cherries for the entire fiscal period, and 
continue indefinitely until amended, suspended, or terminated. The 
Committee's fiscal period begins on April 1, and ends on March 31.
    In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on December 6, 
2012, and effective on December 7, 2012 (77 FR 72683, Doc. No. AMS-FV-
12-0026, FV12-923-1 IR), Sec.  923.236 was amended by decreasing the 
assessment rate established for Washington sweet cherries for the 2012-
2013 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.40 to $0.18 per ton of sweet 
cherries handled. The decrease in the per ton assessment rate allows 
the Committee to reduce its monetary reserve.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 
has considered the economic impact of this rule on small entities. 
Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility 
analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in 
that they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf.
    There are 53 handlers of Washington sweet cherries subject to 
regulation under the order and approximately 1,500 producers in the 
regulated production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined 
by the Small Business Administration (13 CFR 121.201) as those having 
annual receipts of less than $7,000,000, and small agricultural 
producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than 
$750,000.
    The National Agricultural Statistics Service prepared a preliminary 
report for the 2011 shipping season showing that the sweet cherry fresh 
market utilization of 165,000 tons sold for an average of $2,300 per 
ton. Based on the number of producers in the production area (1,500), 
the average producer revenue from the sale of sweet cherries in 2011 
can therefore be estimated at approximately $253,000 per year. In 
addition, the Committee reports that most of the industry's 53 handlers 
would have each averaged gross receipts of less than $7,500,000 from 
the sale of fresh sweet cherries last season. Thus, the majority of 
producers and handlers of Washington sweet cherries may be classified 
as small entities.
    This rule continues in effect the action that decreased the 
assessment rate established for the Committee and collected from 
handlers for the 2012-2013 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.40 to 
$0.18 per ton of sweet cherries. The Committee also unanimously 
recommended 2012-2013 expenditures of $64,400. The assessment rate of 
$0.18 is $0.22 lower than the rate previously in effect. The quantity 
of assessable sweet cherries for the 2012-2013 fiscal period is 
estimated at 120,000 tons. Thus, the $0.18 rate should provide $21,600 
in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, along 
with interest income and funds from the Committee's authorized reserve, 
will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. This action will allow the 
Committee to reduce its monetary reserve.
    This rule continues in effect the action that decreased the 
assessment obligation imposed on handlers. Assessments are applied 
uniformly on all handlers, and some of the costs may be passed on to 
producers. However, decreasing the assessment rate reduces the burden 
on handlers, and may reduce the burden on producers.
    In addition, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized 
throughout the Washington sweet cherry industry and all interested 
persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee 
deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the May 15, 
2012, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and 
small, were able to express views on this issue.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been 
previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
assigned OMB No. 0581-0189, Generic Fruit Crops. No changes in those 
requirements as a result of this action are anticipated. Should any 
changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.
    This action imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large Washington sweet cherry handlers. 
As with all Federal marketing order programs,

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reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information 
requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies.
    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with this rule.
    Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or 
before February 4, 2013. No comments were received. Therefore, for 
reasons given in the interim rule, we are adopting the interim rule as 
a final rule, without change.
    To view the interim rule, go to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=AMS-FV-12-0026-0001.
    This action also affirms information contained in the interim rule 
concerning Executive Orders 12866 and 12988, and the E-Gov Act (44 
U.S.C. 101).
    After consideration of all relevant material presented, it is found 
that finalizing the interim rule, without change, as published in the 
Federal Register (77 FR 72683, December 6, 2012) will tend to 
effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 923

    Cherries, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

PART 923--SWEET CHERRIES GROWN IN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN WASHINGTON

    Accordingly, the interim rule amending 7 CFR part 923, which was 
published at 77 FR 72683 on December 6, 2012, is adopted as a final 
rule, without change.

    Dated: April 5, 2013.
David R. Shipman,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-08463 Filed 4-10-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P