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Notice

Notice of Request for an Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection Cotton Classification and Market News Service.

DATES:

Comments received by October 14, 2003, will be considered.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR COMMENTS:

Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposal to John Stevens, Management Analyst, Cotton Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, STOP 0224. Comments should be submitted in triplicate. Comments may also be submitted electronically to cottoncomments@usda.gov. All comments should reference the docket number and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments received will be made available for public inspection at Cotton Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2641-S, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250 during regular business hours. A copy of this notice may be found at www.ams.usda.gov/​cotton/​rulemaking.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Stevens, Management Analyst, Cotton Program, AMS, USDA, STOP 0224, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-0224, telephone (202) 720-3193, facsimile (202) 690-1718, or e-mail at johnc.stevens@usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Cotton Classification and Market News Service.

OMB Number: 0581-0009.

Expiration Date of Approval: May 31, 2004.

Type of Request: Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection.

Abstract: The Cotton Classification and Market News Service program provides market information on Cotton prices, quality, stocks, demand and supply to growers, ginners, merchandisers, textile mills and the public for their use in making sound business decisions. The Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act, U.S.C. 471-476, authorizes and directs the Secretary of Agriculture to: (a) Collect and publish annually, statistics or estimates concerning the grades and staple lengths of stocks of cotton, known as the carryover, on hand on the 1st of August each year in warehouses and other establishments of every character in the continental U.S., and following such publication each year, to publish at intervals, in his/her discretion, his/her estimate of the grades and staple length of cotton of the current crop (7 U.S.C. 471); (b) Collect, authenticate, publish and distribute by radio, mail, or otherwise, timely information of the market supply, demand, location, and market prices of cotton (7 U.S.C. 473b). The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627, authorizes and directs the Secretary of Agriculture to collect and disseminate marketing information, including adequate outlook information on a market-area basis, for the purpose of anticipating and meeting consumer requirements, aiding in the maintenance of farm income, and bringing about a balance between production and utilization of agricultural products.

The information collection requirements in this request are essential to carry out the intent of the Acts and to provide the cotton industry the type of information they need to make sound business decisions. The information collected is the minimum required. Information is requested from growers, cooperatives, merchants, manufacturers, and other government agencies. This includes information on cotton, cottonseed and cotton linters.

The information collected is used only by authorized employees of the USDA, AMS. The Cotton Industry is the primary user of the compiled information and AMS and other government agencies are secondary users.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.11 hours per response.

Respondents: Cotton Merchandisers, Textile Mills, Ginners.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 956.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 6.94.

Estimated Number of Responses: 6,634

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 740.

Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to John Stevens, Management Analyst, Cotton Programs, AMS, USDA 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 0224, Room 2641-S, Washington, DC 20250. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: August 8, 2003.

A.J. Yates,

Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-20693 Filed 8-13-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P