[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 241 (Monday, December 16, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76031-76032]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29674]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 76031]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 923

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-13-0055; FV13-923-1 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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

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 2013-2014 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.18 to $0.15 per 
ton of sweet cherries handled. The Committee locally administers the 
marketing order for sweet cherries grown in designated counties in 
Washington. The Committee's fiscal period begins on April 1, and ends 
March 31. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to 
reduce its monetary reserve while still providing adequate funding to 
meet program expenses.

DATES: Effective December 17, 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. 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 Orders 12866 and 13563.
    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 March 31.
    In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on August 8, 
2013, and effective on August 9, 2013, (78 FR 48283, Doc. No. AMS-FV-
13-0055, FV13-923-1 IR), Sec.  923.236 was amended by decreasing the 
assessment rate established for the Committee for the 2013-2014 and 
subsequent fiscal periods from $0.18 to $0.15 per ton of sweet cherries 
handled. The Committee recommended the lower assessment rate for the 
purpose of reducing its monetary 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 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 has prepared a 
preliminary report for the 2012 shipping season showing that prices for 
the 210,000 tons of sweet cherries that entered the fresh market 
averaged $2,140 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 2012 can therefore be estimated at approximately 
$299,600 per year. In addition, the Committee reports that most of the 
industry's 53 handlers reported gross receipts of less than $7,000,000 
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 for the 2013-2014 and 
subsequent fiscal periods from $0.18 to $0.15 per ton of sweet 
cherries. The Committee also unanimously recommended 2013-2014 fiscal 
period expenditures of $65,900. The quantity of assessable sweet 
cherries for the 2013-2014 fiscal period is estimated by the Committee 
to be 160,000 tons. Thus, the $0.15 per ton rate should provide $24,000 
in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, along 
with funds from the Committee's authorized reserve, should be adequate 
to cover budgeted expenses. The Committee recommended the assessment 
rate decrease to reduce its monetary reserve to a level that is less 
than approximately

[[Page 76032]]

one fiscal period's operating expenses, the maximum permitted by the 
order.
    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. All interested persons 
were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee 
deliberations. Like all Committee meetings, the May 21, 2013, meeting 
was a public meeting and 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. 0581-0189, 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, 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 October 7, 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-13-0055-0001.
    This action also affirms information contained in the interim rule 
concerning Executive Orders 12866, 12988, and 13563; the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35); 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 48283, August 8, 2013) 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 78 FR 48283 on August 8, 2013, is adopted as a final rule, 
without change.

    Dated: December 9, 2013.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-29674 Filed 12-13-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P