[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 153 (Thursday, August 8, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 48285-48286]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19011]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 946

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-13-0010; FV13-946-1 FIR]


Irish Potatoes Grown 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 State of Washington Potato Committee (Committee) 
for the 2013-2014 fiscal year and all subsequent fiscal periods from 
$0.003 to $0.0025 per hundredweight of potatoes handled. The Committee 
locally administers the marketing order for Irish potatoes grown in 
Washington. Decreasing the assessment rate was necessary to allow the 
Committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing 
adequate funding to meet program expenses.

DATES: Effective August 9, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Teresa Hutchinson, Marketing 
Specialist, or Gary Olson, Regional Director, 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. 946, as amended (7 CFR part 946), regulating the handling of Irish 
potatoes grown 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 potato 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 potatoes for the entire fiscal period, and 
continue indefinitely until amended, suspended, or terminated. The 
Committee's fiscal

[[Page 48286]]

period begins on July 1, and ends on June 30.
    In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on April 29, 
2013, and effective on April 30, 2013 (78 FR 24981, Doc. No. AMS-FV-13-
0010, FV13-946-1 IR), Sec.  946.248 was amended by decreasing the 
assessment rate established for Washington potatoes for the 2013-2014 
fiscal year and all subsequent fiscal periods from $0.003 to $0.0025 
per hundredweight of potatoes handled. The decrease in the per 
hundredweight assessment rate allows the Committee to reduce its 
financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet 
program expenses.

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 
businesses 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 43 handlers of Washington potatoes subject to regulation 
under the order and approximately 267 producers in the regulated 
production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the 
Small Business Administration 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. (13 CFR 121.201)
    During the 2011-2012 marketing year, the Committee reports that 
11,018,670 hundredweight of Washington potatoes were shipped into the 
fresh market. Based on average f.o.b. prices estimated by the USDA's 
Economic Research Service and Committee data on individual handler 
shipments, the Committee estimates that 42, or approximately 98 
percent, of the handlers had annual receipts of less than $7,000,000.
    In addition, based on information provided by the National 
Agricultural Statistics Service, the average producer price for 
Washington potatoes for 2011 was $7.90 per hundredweight. The average 
gross annual revenue for the 267 Washington potato producers is 
therefore calculated to be approximately $326,021. In view of the 
foregoing, the majority of Washington potato producers and handlers 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 2013-2014 fiscal year and all subsequent fiscal 
periods from $0.003 to $0.0025 per hundredweight of potatoes. The 
Committee also unanimously recommended 2013-2014 expenditures of 
$37,400. This action will allow the Committee to reduce its financial 
reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program 
expenses.
    The quantity of assessable potatoes for the 2013-2014 fiscal period 
is estimated at 10,000,000 hundredweight. Thus, the $0.0025 rate should 
provide $25,000 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 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 potato industry. All interested persons were 
invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee 
deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the January 
30, 2013, meeting was a public meeting. All entities, both large and 
small, were able to express their 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. 0581-0178, Vegetable and Specialty Crops Generic 
Package. No changes in those requirements as a result of this action 
are necessary. 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 potato 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 June 28, 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-13-0010-0001.
    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 (78 FR 24981, April 29, 2013) will tend to effectuate 
the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 946

    Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

PART 946--IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN WASHINGTON

    Accordingly, the interim rule amending 7 CFR part 946, which was 
published at 78 FR 24981 on April 29, 2013, is adopted as a final rule, 
without change.

    Dated: August 1, 2013.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-19011 Filed 8-7-13; 8:45 am]
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