[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 55 (Friday, March 21, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 15636-15639]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06181]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 1216

[Document Number AMS-FV-13-0042]


Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Amendment to 
Primary Peanut-Producing States and Adjustment of Membership

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule adds the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut-
producing State under the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information 
Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Peanut Board 
(Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
This rule also adds a seat on the Board for the State of Arkansas. 
Under the Order, primary peanut-producing States must maintain a 3-year 
average production of at least 10,000 tons of peanuts. Arkansas's 
peanut production meets this requirement. Primary peanut-producing 
States also have a seat on the Board. This action was recommended by 
the Board and ensures that the Board's representation reflects changes 
in the geographical distribution of the production of peanuts.

DATES: Effective: March 24, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeanette Palmer, Marketing Specialist, 
Promotion and Economics Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, 
USDA, Stop 0244, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 1406-S, Washington, 
DC 20250-0244; telephone: (202) 720-9915; facsimile: (202) 205-2800; or 
electronic mail: Jeanette.Palmer@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under the Order (7 CFR 
part 1216). The Order is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, 
Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act) (7 U.S.C. 7411-7425).

Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. 
This action has been designated as a ``non-significant regulatory 
action'' under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has waived the review process.

Executive Order 13175

    This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements 
of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation will not 
have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and will not 
have significant Tribal implications.

[[Page 15637]]

Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. Section 
524 of the 1996 Act provides that it shall not affect or preempt any 
other Federal or State law authorizing promotion or research relating 
to an agricultural commodity.
    Under section 519 of the 1996 Act, a person subject to an order may 
file a written petition with USDA stating that an order, any provision 
of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, is 
not established in accordance with the law, and request a modification 
of an order or an exemption from an order. Any petition filed 
challenging an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation 
imposed in connection with an order, shall be filed within two years 
after the effective date of an order, provision, or obligation subject 
to challenge in the petition. The petitioner will have the opportunity 
for a hearing on the petition. Thereafter, USDA will issue a ruling on 
the petition. The 1996 Act provides that the district court of the 
United States for any district in which the petitioner resides or 
conducts business shall have the jurisdiction to review a final ruling 
on the petition, if the petitioner files a complaint for that purpose 
not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of USDA's final 
ruling.

Background

    This rule adds the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing 
State under the Order. The Order is administered by the Board with 
oversight by USDA. This rule also adds a seat on the Board for the 
State of Arkansas. Under the Order, primary peanut-producing States 
must maintain a 3-year average production of at least 10,000 tons of 
peanuts. Arkansas's peanut production meets this requirement. Primary 
peanut-producing States also have a seat on the Board. This action 
ensures that the Board's representation reflects changes in the 
geographical distribution of the production of peanuts covered under 
the Order.
    The Order became effective on July 30, 1999. Under the Order, the 
Board administers a nationally-coordinated program of promotion, 
research, and information designed to strengthen the position of 
peanuts in the market place and to develop, maintain, and expand the 
demand for peanuts in the United States. Under the program, all peanut 
producers pay an assessment of one percent of the total value of all 
farmers' stock peanuts. The assessments are remitted to the Board by 
handlers and, for peanuts under loan, by the Commodity Credit 
Corporation.
    The Order distinguishes between the terms ``minor peanut-producing 
states'' and ``primary peanut-producing states'' for purposes of Board 
representation and voting at meetings. Section 1216.21 defines primary 
peanut-producing States as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New 
Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. 
These States must maintain a 3-year average production of at least 
10,000 tons of peanuts. All other peanut-producing States are defined 
as minor peanut-producing States, pursuant to section 1217.15.
    As specified in section 1216.40(a), the Board is composed of 11 
producer members and their alternates: One member and alternate from 
each primary peanut-producing State, and one at-large member and 
alternate collectively from the minor peanut-producing States. The 
members and alternates are nominated by producers or producer groups.
    Pursuant to section 1216.40(b) of the Order, at least once in each 
five-year period, the Board must review the geographical distribution 
of peanuts in the United States and make a recommendation to the 
Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to continue without change or 
whether changes should be made in the number of representatives on the 
Board to reflect changes in the geographical distribution of the 
production of peanuts.

Board Recommendation

    As required by the Order, the Board met on April 9-10, 2013, and 
reviewed the geographical distribution of peanuts. According to data 
from the USDA's Federal State Inspection Service, for the years 2010, 
2011, and 2012, 1,357, 6,092, and 38,866 tons of peanuts were inspected 
in Arkansas, respectively. Based on this data, the 3-year average 
annual peanut production for Arkansas totals 15,438 tons per year 
(46,315 divided by 3) which exceeds the requirement set in the Order of 
maintaining a 3-year rolling average of 10,000 tons per year to become 
a major peanut-producing State. (Data from USDA's National Agricultural 
Statistics Service (NASS) was not available at the time of the Board's 
review because Arkansas had not produced enough peanuts annually to be 
recorded. NASS plans to record peanut production for Arkansas in the 
near future.)
    Based on Federal State Inspection Service data, the Board voted, 
with one member opposed, to add Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing 
State under the Order. The member opposed expressed concern that 
Arkansas did not produce 10,000 tons per year for three consecutive 
years, similar to when the Order was amended to add Mississippi as a 
primary peanut-producing State (73 FR 39214; July 9, 2008). However, 
the Order does not require that a State produce 10,000 tons per year 
for three consecutive years to be a primary peanut-producing State. The 
Order provides that a primary peanut-producing State shall maintain a 
three-year average production of at least 10,000 tons of peanuts 
(section 1216.21)
    In addition, USDA's Federal State Inspection Service reports that 
22,947 tons of peanuts were inspected in 2013. This indicates that 
Arkansas peanut production has maintained its production levels above 
10,000 tons.
    This action also adds a producer member and alternate on the Board 
from the State of Arkansas. Pursuant to section 1216.40(a), primary 
peanut-producing states have a seat on the Board.
    These changes will help ensure that the Board's representation 
reflect changes in the geographical distribution of the production of 
peanuts. Accordingly, this rule amends sections 1216.15 and 1216.21 of 
the Order to classify the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut-
producing State. This rule also revises sections 1216.40(a) and 
1216.40(a)(1) of the Order to specify that the Board will be composed 
of 12 peanut producer members and their alternates rather than 11.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 
601-612), AMS is required to examine the impact of this rule on small 
entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered the economic impact of this 
action on small entities.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be 
disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration (SBA) 
defines small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of 
no more than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms (handlers) 
as those having annual receipts of no more than $7.0 million (13 CFR 
Sec.  121.201).
    According to the Board, there were approximately 9,208 producers 
and 29 handlers of peanuts who were subject to the program in 2012.
    Most producers would be classified as small businesses under the 
criteria established by the SBA. USDA's NASS

[[Page 15638]]

reports that the farm value of the peanuts produced in the top 10 
States in the years 2010, 2011, and 2012 was $939 million, $1.169 
billion, and $2.309 billion, respectively; the 3-year average crop 
value was $1.472 billion. With a 2012 crop value of $2.309 billion, 
average peanut sales per producer were approximately $251,000. With a 
2010-2012 average crop value of $1.472 billion, average peanut sales 
per producer was approximately $160,000.
    The average peanut crop value per handler for 2010-2012 ranged from 
about $32 million to $80 million. This is many times larger than the $7 
million SBA threshold and is thus an indication that most of the 
handlers would not be classified as small businesses.
    The quantity of U.S. peanut production from the 10 major peanut-
producing States for 2010, 2011, and 2012 was 4.157 billion pounds, 
3.659 billion pounds, and 6.741 billion pounds, respectively; the 3-
year average crop quantity was 4.852 billion pounds. NASS reports that 
Georgia was the largest producer (48 percent of the 3-year average 
quantity), followed by Alabama (13 percent), Florida (12 percent), 
Texas (9 percent), North Carolina (7 percent), South Carolina (6 
percent), Mississippi (2 percent), Virginia (1 percent), Oklahoma (1 
percent) and New Mexico (less than 1 percent). According to the 2007 
Census of Agriculture, small amounts of peanuts were also grown in six 
other States.
    If the number of peanut producers (9,208) is divided into the total 
U.S. production for 2012 (6.741 billion), the resulting average peanut 
production per producer is approximately 732,000 pounds. If divided by 
the 3-year average production for 2010-2012 (4.852 billion), the 
resulting average is approximately 527,000 pounds per producer.
    This rule amends sections 1216.15 and 1216.21 of the Order to 
classify the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing State. The 
Order is administered by the Board with oversight by USDA. This rule 
also amends section 1216.40(a)(1) to add a seat on the Board for the 
State of Arkansas. Under the Order, primary peanut-producing States 
must maintain a 3-year average production of at least 10,000 tons of 
peanuts. Arkansas's peanut production meets this requirement. Primary 
peanut-producing States also have a seat on the Board. This action will 
ensure that the Board's representation reflects changes in the 
geographical distribution of the production of peanuts covered under 
the Order. This action is authorized under section 1216.40(b) of the 
Order and Section 515(b)(3) of the 1996 Act.
    Regarding the economic impact of this rule on affected entities, 
this action imposes no costs on producers and handlers. This rule 
includes the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing State 
based on recent production data and adds a seat on the Board for the 
State of Arkansas.
    With regard to alternatives, the Board reviewed the peanut 
distribution for all the minor peanut-producing States, and determined 
that Arkansas was the only current minor State that met the Order's 
requirement for a 3-year average peanut production of at least 10,000 
tons.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), the background form, which represents the information 
collection and recordkeeping requirements imposed by this rule, was 
previously approved under OMB control number 0505-0001.
    Adding a producer member and alternate member representing the 
State of Arkansas for the Board means that four additional producers 
will be required to submit background forms to USDA in order to be 
considered for appointment to the Board. Four producers will be 
affected because two names must be submitted to the Secretary for 
consideration for each position on the Board (two members and two 
alternates). The public reporting burden is estimated to increase by an 
average 0.5 hours per response for each of the four producers. This 
additional burden is included in the existing information collections 
approved for use under OMB control number 0505-0001. The estimated 
annual cost of providing the information by the four producers is 
$66.00 or $16.50 per producer. However, serving on the Board is 
optional, and the burden of submitting the background form will be 
offset by the benefits of serving on the Board.
    As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are 
periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sector agencies. Finally, USDA has 
not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or 
conflict with this rule.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services, and for other purposes.
    In regards to outreach efforts, the Board discussed the state of 
Arkansas peanut production level at its November 27-30, 2012, meeting. 
The Board notified the major peanut-producing States (Georgia, Alabama, 
Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, 
Oklahoma, and New Mexico) of Arkansas's production numbers by 
disseminating information through the Board's weekly newsletter which 
is titled News in a Nutshell. The Board also sent out notification 
about Arkansas's increased production numbers to the peanut industry 
through its Peanut Quarterly newsletter. In addition, Arkansas's 
increased production numbers in the year 2012 to present date were 
widely published in trade publications. The Board met in April 2013 and 
recommended adding the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing 
State. All of the Board's meetings where this issue was discussed were 
open to the public and interested persons were invited to participate 
and express their views.
    A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal 
Register on December 23, 2013 (78 FR 77368). The Board issued a press 
release about the proposed rule and sent it to the trade media, all 
known state peanut organizations, and all Board members and alternates. 
The Board also included notifications about the proposal in its 
newsletters and on its Web site at nationalpeanutboard.org. Finally, 
the proposal was made available through the Internet by USDA and the 
Office of the Federal Register. A 30-day comment period ending January 
22, 2014, was provided to allow interested persons to submit comments.

Analysis of Comments

    Fourteen comments were received in response to the proposed rule. 
Thirteen comments supported the proposal and one expressed concern 
about the peanut program and taxpayer dollars.
    The comments supporting the proposal concurred that Arkansas meets 
the Order's requirement of having maintained a three-year average 
production of at least 10,000 tons of peanuts. Further, designating 
Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing State would ensure that the 
Board's representation reflect the geographical distribution of the 
production of peanuts.
    One comment expressed concern about the peanut program and the use 
of taxpayer dollars. The national peanut promotion program is 
authorized under the 1996 Act and is funded through assessments paid by 
peanut producers. It does not receive taxpayer funds. The comment went 
on to suggest that the proposed rule did not appear on

[[Page 15639]]

regulations.gov. However, that is not the case. The proposed rule was 
made available on the Web site the day it was published in the Federal 
Register. As well, comments received on the proposed rule were posted 
to the Web site following posting of the rule. Accordingly, no changes 
have been made to the rule based on this comment.
    After consideration of all relevant matters presented, including 
the information and recommendation submitted by the Board and other 
available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as 
hereinafter set forth, is consistent with and will effectuate the 
purposes of the 1996 Act.
    It is further found that good cause exists for not postponing the 
effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the 
Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 553) because this action should be in effect 
as soon as possible so that the changes may be implemented for the next 
nomination process which begins in the spring of 2014. Additionally, a 
30-day comment period was provided for in the proposed rule, and the 
majority of comments supported the changes.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1216

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Consumer 
information, Marketing agreements, Peanut promotion, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR Part 1216 is 
amended as follows:

PART 1216--PEANUT PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION ORDER

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1216 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7411-7425; 7 U.S.C. 7401.


0
2. Section 1216.15 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1216.15  Minor peanut-producing states.

    Minor peanut-producing states means all peanut-producing states 
with the exception of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, 
New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and 
Virginia.

0
3. Section 1216.21 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1216.21  Primary peanut-producing states.

    Primary peanut-producing states means Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, 
Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South 
Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, Provided, these states maintain a 3-year 
average production of at least 10,000 tons of peanuts.

0
4. Section 1216.40, paragraph (a) introductory text and (a)(1) are 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1216.40  Establishment and membership.

    (a) Establishment of a National Peanut Board. There is hereby 
established a National Peanut Board, hereinafter called the Board, 
composed of no more than 12 peanut producers and alternates, appointed 
by the Secretary from nominations as follows:
    (1) Eleven members and alternates. One member and one alternate 
shall be appointed from each primary peanut-producing state, who are 
producers and whose nominations have been submitted by certified peanut 
producer organizations within a primary peanut-producing state.
* * * * *

    Dated: March 6, 2014.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-06181 Filed 3-20-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P