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Rule

Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil for the 2010-2011 Marketing Year

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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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 revised the quantity of Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2010-2011 marketing year. The interim rule increased the Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 980,220 pounds to 1,118,639 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 43 percent to 50 percent. This change is expected to balance the supply of Native spearmint oil produced in the Far West with market needs and to promote market stability.

DATES:

Effective June 13, 2011.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Barry Broadbent, Marketing Specialist or Gary Olson, Regional Manager, Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-2724, Fax: (503) 326-7440, or E-mail: Barry.Broadbent@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 Laurel May, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or E-mail: Laurel.May@ams.usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule is issued under Marketing Order No. 985 (7 CFR part 985), as amended, regulating the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West (Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and designated parts of Nevada and Utah), 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.”

USDA is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Order 12866.

Salable quantities and allotment percentages for Scotch and Native spearmint oil for the 2010-2011 marketing year were established in a final rule published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2010 (75 FR 27631). The rule set salable quantities of 566,962 pounds and 980,265 pounds, and allotment percentages of 28 percent and 43 percent, respectively, for Scotch and Native spearmint oil. The salable quantities and allotment percentages were established prior to the start of the marketing year and were based on the Committee's projection of the supply and demand for spearmint oil for the forthcoming year.

Early in the 2010-2011 marketing year, however, the spearmint industry reported to the Committee that the real demand for Native spearmint oil was greater than the level that was initially projected. The Committee subsequently recommended revising the salable quantity and allotment percentage for Native spearmint to allow the market to satisfy the increased demand.

In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2011, and effective June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011, (76 FR 4204, Doc. No. AMS-FV-09-0082, FV10-985-1A IR), the salable quantity and allotment percentage for Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil for the 2010-2011 marketing year was increased 138,419 pounds and 7 percent, respectively. The aforementioned rule contains an extensive discussion of the volume regulation process.

This final rule continues in effect the action that revised the quantity of Native spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2010-2011 marketing year, which ends on May 31, 2011. Therefore, the Native spearmint oil salable quantity of 1,118,639 pounds and the allotment percentage of 50 percent remains in effect through the end of the 2010-2011 marketing year.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.Start Printed Page 33970

The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of business 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 8 spearmint oil handlers subject to regulation under the order, and approximately 38 producers of Scotch spearmint oil and approximately 84 producers of Native spearmint oil in the regulated production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) (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.

Based on the SBA's definition of small entities, the Committee estimates that two of the eight handlers regulated by the order could be considered small entities. Most of the handlers are large corporations involved in the international trading of essential oils and the products of essential oils. In addition, the Committee estimates that 19 of the 38 Scotch spearmint oil producers and 29 of the 84 Native spearmint oil producers could be classified as small entities under the SBA definition. Thus, a majority of handlers and producers of Far West spearmint oil may not be classified as small entities.

The Far West spearmint oil industry is characterized by producers whose farming operations generally involve more than one commodity, and whose income from farming operations is not exclusively dependent on the production of spearmint oil. A typical spearmint oil-producing operation has enough acreage for rotation such that the total acreage required to produce the crop is about one-third spearmint and two-thirds rotational crops. Thus, the typical spearmint oil producer has to have considerably more acreage than is planted to spearmint during any given season. Crop rotation is an essential cultural practice in the production of spearmint oil for weed, insect, and disease control. To remain economically viable with the added costs associated with spearmint oil production, most spearmint oil-producing farms fall into the SBA category of large businesses.

Small spearmint oil producers generally are not as extensively diversified as larger ones and as such are more at risk to market fluctuations. Such small producers generally need to market their entire annual crop and do not have the luxury of having other crops to cushion seasons with poor spearmint oil returns. Conversely, large diversified producers have the potential to endure one or more seasons of poor spearmint oil markets because income from alternate crops could support the operation for a period of time. Being reasonably assured of a stable price and market provides small producing entities with the ability to maintain proper cash flow and to meet annual expenses. Thus, the market and price stability provided by the order potentially benefit the small producer more than such provisions benefit large producers. Even though a majority of handlers and producers of spearmint oil may not be classified as small entities, the volume control feature of this order has small entity orientation.

This rule continues in effect the action that revised the quantity of Native spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2010-2011 marketing year, which ends on May 31, 2011. The Native spearmint oil salable quantity and allotment percentage is increased to 1,118,639 pounds and 50 percent, respectively, for the 2010-2011 marketing year.

The use of volume control regulation allows the industry to fully supply spearmint oil markets while avoiding the negative consequences of over-supplying these markets. Volume control is believed to have little or no effect on consumer prices of products containing spearmint oil and likely does not result in fewer retail sales of such products. The marketing order's volume control provisions have been successfully implemented in the domestic spearmint oil industry for nearly three decades and provide benefits for producers, handlers, manufacturers, and consumers.

This rule will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large spearmint oil 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. In addition, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap or conflict with this rule.

Further, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the spearmint industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations. Like all Committee meetings, the November 19, 2010, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express their views on this issue.

Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or before March 28, 2011. 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-FV-09-0082-0002.

This action also affirms information contained in the interim rule concerning Executive Orders 12866 and 12988, 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 (76 FR 4204, January 25, 2011) will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 985

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PART 985—[AMENDED]

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Accordingly, the interim rule amending

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[Note:

The affected section of part 985 does not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.]

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Dated: June 6, 2011.

Ellen King,

Acting Administrator,Agricultural Marketing Service.

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[FR Doc. 2011-14430 Filed 6-9-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P