[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 36 (Monday, February 24, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 9986-9987]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-03848]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 948

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-13-0072; FV13-948-2 FIR]


Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Decreased Assessment Rate for 
Area No. 2

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final 
rule, without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment 
rate established for the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area 
No. 2 (Committee) for the 2013-2014 and subsequent fiscal periods from 
$0.0051 to $0.0033 per hundredweight of potatoes handled. The Committee 
locally administers the marketing order for Irish potatoes grown in 
Colorado. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to 
reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to 
meet program expenses.

DATES: Effective February 25, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sue Coleman or Gary D. 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: Sue.Coleman@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 
Agreement No. 97 and Marketing Order No. 948, both as amended (7 CFR 
part 948), regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Colorado, 
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 and Executive Order 13563.
    Under the order, Colorado Area No. 2 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 Colorado Area No. 2 potatoes for the entire fiscal period 
and continue indefinitely until amended, suspended, or terminated. The 
Committee's fiscal period begins on September 1 and ends on August 31.
    In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on November 
22, 2013, and effective on November 23, 2013 (78 FR 69985, Doc. No. 
AMS-FV-13-0072, FV13-948-2 IR), Sec.  948.216 was amended by decreasing 
the assessment rate established for Colorado Area No. 2 potatoes for 
the 2013-2014 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0051

[[Page 9987]]

to $0.0033 per hundredweight. 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 80 handlers of Colorado Area No. 2 potatoes subject to 
regulation under the order and approximately 180 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.
    During the 2011-2012 fiscal period, the most recent for which 
statistics are available, 15,072,963 hundredweight of Colorado Area No. 
2 potatoes were inspected under the order and sold into the fresh 
market. Based on an estimated average f.o.b. price of $12.60 per 
hundredweight, the Committee estimates that 66 Area No. 2 handlers, or 
about 83 percent, had annual receipts of less than $7,000,000. In view 
of the foregoing, the majority of Colorado Area No. 2 potato handlers 
may be classified as small entities.
    In addition, based on information provided by the National 
Agricultural Statistics Service, the average producer price for the 
2011 Colorado fall potato crop was $10.70 per hundredweight. 
Multiplying $10.70 by the shipment quantity of 15,072,963 hundredweight 
yields an annual crop revenue estimate of $161,280,704. The average 
annual fresh potato revenue for each of the 180 Colorado Area No. 2 
potato producers is therefore calculated to be approximately $896,000 
($161,280,704 divided by 180), which is greater than the SBA threshold 
of $750,000. Consequently, on average, many of the Colorado Area No. 2 
potato producers may not 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 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0051 
to $0.0033 per hundredweight of potatoes. The Committee unanimously 
recommended 2013-2014 expenditures of $55,745 and an assessment rate of 
$0.0033. The assessment rate of $0.0033 is $0.0018 lower than the 2012-
2013 rate. The quantity of assessable potatoes for the 2013-2014 fiscal 
period is estimated at 14,360,000. Thus, the $0.0033 rate should 
provide $47,388 in assessment income. Income derived from handler 
assessments 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 Colorado Area No. 2 potato industry and all interested 
persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee 
deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the July 18, 
2013, 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. 0581-0178, Generic Vegetable and Specialty 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 Colorado Area No. 2 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 January 21, 2014. 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:[sol][sol]www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=AMS-FV-13-0072-
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 69985, November 22, 2013) will tend to 
effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 948

    Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

PART 948--IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN COLORADO

0
Accordingly, the interim rule amending 7 CFR part 948, which was 
published at 78 FR 69985 on November 22, 2013, is adopted as a final 
rule, without change.

    Dated: February 18, 2014.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-03848 Filed 2-21-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P