[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 26 (Friday, February 7, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7365-7366]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-02648]

Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 26 / Friday, February 7, 2014 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 7365]]


Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 920

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-13-0071; FV13-920-2 FIR]

Kiwifruit Grown in California; Decreased Assessment Rate

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.


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 Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (Committee) 
for the 2013-14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.035 to $0.025 per 
9-kilo volume-fill container or equivalent of kiwifruit. The Committee 
locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling 
of kiwifruit grown in California. 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 Date: February 10, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathie Notoro, Marketing Specialist, 
or Martin Engeler, Regional Director, California Marketing Field 
Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable 
Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (559) 487-5901, Fax: (559) 487-5906, or 
Email: [email protected], or [email protected]. 
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: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing Order 
No. 920, as amended (7 CFR part 920), regulating the handling of 
kiwifruit grown in California, 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 marketing order, California kiwifruit 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 kiwifruit for the entire fiscal period, and continue 
indefinitely until amended, suspended, or terminated. The Committee's 
fiscal period begins on August 1 and ends on July 31.
    In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on October 23, 
2013, and effective on October 24, 2013 (78 FR 62959, Doc. No. AMS-FV-
13-0071; FV13-920-2 IR), Sec.  920.213 was amended by decreasing the 
assessment rate established for kiwifruit grown in California for the 
2013-14 and subsequent fiscal years from $0.035 to $0.025 per 9-kilo 
volume-fill container or equivalent of kiwifruit. The decrease in 
assessment rate will provide sufficient revenue to meet the Committee's 
expenses while maintaining a financial reserve within the maximum 
amount permitted under the order, which is approximately one fiscal 
period's expense.

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 
    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 approximately 178 kiwifruit growers in the production 
area and approximately 28 handlers subject to regulation under the 
marketing order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small 
Business Administration (13 CFR 121.201) as those having annual 
receipts less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms are 
defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,000,000.
    The California Agricultural Statistics Service, (CASS) reported 
total California kiwifruit production for the 2011-12 season at 37,700 
tons, with an average price of $775 per ton. Based on the average price 
and shipment information provided by the CASS and the Committee, it 
could be concluded that the majority of kiwifruit handlers would be 
considered small businesses under the SBA definition. Based on 
kiwifruit production and price information, as well as the total number 
of California kiwifruit growers, average annual grower revenue is less 
than $750,000. Thus, the majority of California kiwifruit producers may 
also 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 2013-14 and subsequent fiscal years from $0.035 to 
$0.025 per 9-kilo volume-fill container or equivalent of kiwifruit. The 
Committee unanimously recommended 2013-14 expenditures of $113,550 and 
an assessment rate of $0.025 per 9-kilo volume-fill container. The 
assessment rate of $0.025 is $0.010 lower than the 2012-13 rate. The 
quantity of assessable kiwifruit for the 2013-14 fiscal year is 
estimated at 2,600,000 9-kilo volume-fill containers. Thus, the $0.025 
rate should provide $65,000 in assessment income and when combined with 
carry-in funds and interest income, should be adequate to meet this 
year's expenses.
    This rule continues in effect the action that decreased the 

[[Page 7366]]

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 kiwifruit 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 11, 
2013, meeting was a public meeting. 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. 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 California kiwifruit 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 November 22, 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/#!documentDetail;D=AMS--FRDOC--0001-1100.
    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. 
    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 62959, October 23, 2013), will tend to 
effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 920

    Kiwifruit, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping 


    Accordingly, the interim rule amending 7 CFR part 920, which was 
published at 78 FR 62959 on October 23, 2013, is adopted as final 
without change.

    Dated: January 31, 2014.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-02648 Filed 2-6-14; 8:45 am]