[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 70 (Thursday, April 11, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 21521-21522]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08475]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 927

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-12-0031; FV12-927-2 FIR]


Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Assessment Rate Decrease 
for Processed Pears

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 Processed Pear Committee (Committee) for the 2012-
2013 and subsequent fiscal periods from $7.73 to $7.00 per ton of 
summer/fall processed pears. The Committee locally administers the 
marketing order that regulates the handling of processed pears grown in 
Oregon and Washington. The Committee recommended the assessment rate 
decrease because the summer/fall processed pear promotion budget for 
the 2012-2013 fiscal period was reduced.

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.Smutny@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing Order 
No. 927, as amended (7 CFR part 927), regulating the handling of pears 
grown in Oregon and 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, processed pear 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 processed pears for the entire fiscal period, and continue 
indefinitely until amended, suspended, or terminated. The Committee's 
fiscal period begins on July 1, and ends on June 30.
    In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on December 5, 
2012, and effective on December 6, 2012 (77 FR 72197, Doc. No. AMS-FV-
12-0031, FV12-927-2 IR), Sec.  927.237 was amended by decreasing the 
assessment rate established for Oregon-Washington processed pears for 
the 2012-2013 and subsequent fiscal periods from $7.73 to $7.00 per ton 
of summer/fall processed pears handled. The Committee recommended the 
assessment rate decrease because the 2012-2013 summer/fall processed 
pear promotion budget was reduced.

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 approximately 1,500 producers of processed pears in the 
regulated production area and approximately 50 handlers of processed 
pears subject to regulation under the order. Small agricultural 
producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as 
those having annual receipts of less than $750,000, and small 
agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts 
are less than $7,000,000. (13 CFR 121.201)
    According to the Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2011 Preliminary Summary 
issued in March 2012 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, 
the total farm-gate value of summer/fall processed pears grown in 
Oregon and Washington for 2011 was $35,315,000. Based on the number of 
processed pear producers in Oregon and Washington, the average gross 
revenue for each producer can be estimated at approximately $23,543. 
Furthermore, based on Committee records, the Committee has estimated 
that each of the Oregon-Washington pear handlers currently ship less 
than $7,000,000 worth of processed pears all on an annual basis. From 
this information, it is concluded that the majority of producers and 
handlers of Oregon and Washington processed pears may be classified as 
small entities.

[[Page 21522]]

    There are three pear processing plants in the production area, all 
located in Washington. All three pear processors would be considered 
large entities under the SBA's definition of small businesses.
    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 $7.73 to 
$7.00 per ton of processed pears handled. The Committee also 
unanimously recommended 2012-2013 expenditures of $842,137. The 
assessment rate of $7.00 is $0.73 lower than the rate previously in 
effect.
    The quantity of assessable summer/fall processed pears for the 
2012-2013 fiscal period is estimated at 120,000 tons. Thus, the $7.00 
rate should provide $840,000 in assessment income. Income derived from 
summer/fall processed pear handler assessments, monetary reserve, 
interest, and other income will be adequate to cover the budgeted 
expenses. The Committee recommended the assessment rate decrease 
because the 2012-2013 summer/fall processed pear promotion budget was 
reduced.
    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 Oregon-Washington pear industry. All interested persons 
were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee 
deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the May 30, 
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 Oregon-Washington processed pear 
handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, 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 the 
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/#!docketDetail;D=AMS-FV-12-0031
    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 72197, December 5, 2012) will tend to 
effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 927

    Marketing agreements, Pears, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

PART 927--PEARS GROWN IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON

    Accordingly, the interim rule amending 7 CFR part 927, which was 
published at 77 FR 72197 on December 5, 2012, is adopted as a final 
rule, without change.

    Dated: April 5, 2013.
David R. Shipman,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-08475 Filed 4-10-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P