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Proposed Rule

Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Extra Long Staple Cotton Crop Provisions

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AGENCY:

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) proposes to amend the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Extra Long Staple (ELS) Cotton Crop Insurance Provisions to make the ELS Cotton Crop Insurance Provisions consistent with the Upland Cotton Crop Insurance Provisions and to allow a late planting period. The intended effect of this action is to provide policy changes and to better meet the needs of the producers. The changes will apply for the 2014 and succeeding crop years.

DATES:

Written comments and opinions on this proposed rule will be accepted until close of business September 4, 2013 and will be considered when the rule is to be made final.

ADDRESSES:

FCIC prefers that comments be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. You may submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. FCIC-13-0002 by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Director, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64133-6205. All comments received, including those received by mail, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, and can be accessed by the public.

All comments must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rule. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information, see http://www.regulations.gov. If you are submitting comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal and want to attach a document, we ask that it be in a text-based format. If you want to attach a document that is a scanned Adobe PDF file, it must be scanned as text and not as an image, thus allowing FCIC to search and copy certain portions of your submissions. For questions regarding attaching a document that is a scanned Adobe PDF file, please contact the RMA Web Content Team at (816) 823-4694 or by email at rmaweb.content@rma.usda.gov.

Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received for any dockets by the name of the person submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the complete User Notice and Privacy Notice for Regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!privacyNotice.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Claire White, Economist, Product Management, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, at the Kansas City, MO, address listed above, telephone (816) 926-7730.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Order 12866

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this rule is not-significant for the purpose of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, it has not been reviewed by OMB.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

Pursuant to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the collections of information in this rule have been approved by OMB under control number 0563-0053.

E-Government Act Compliance

FCIC is committed to complying with the E-Government Act of 2002, 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.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. This rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of title II of the UMRA) for State, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of UMRA.

Executive Order 13132

It has been determined under section 1(a) of Executive Order 13132, Federalism, that this rule does not have sufficient implications to warrant consultation with the States. The provisions contained in this rule will not have a substantial direct effect on States, or on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

Executive Order 13175

This rule 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.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

FCIC certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Program requirements for the Federal crop insurance program are the same for all producers regardless of the size of their farming operation. For instance, all producers are required to submit an application and acreage report to establish their insurance guarantees and compute premium amounts, and all producers are required to submit a notice of loss and production information to determine the amount of an indemnity payment in the event of an insured cause of crop loss. Whether a producer has 10 acres or Start Printed Page 472151000 acres, there is no difference in the kind of information collected. To ensure crop insurance is available to small entities, the Federal Crop Insurance Act authorizes FCIC to waive collection of administrative fees from limited resource farmers. FCIC believes this waiver helps to ensure that small entities are given the same opportunities as large entities to manage their risks through the use of crop insurance. A Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has not been prepared since this regulation does not have an impact on small entities, and therefore, this regulation is exempt from the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605).

Federal Assistance Program

This program is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.450.

Executive Order 12372

This program is not subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which require intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. See the Notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, published at 48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983.

Executive Order 12988

This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12988 on civil justice reform. The provisions of this rule will not have a retroactive effect. The provisions of this rule will preempt State and local laws to the extent such State and local laws are inconsistent herewith. With respect to any direct action taken by FCIC or action by FCIC to require the insurance provider to take specific action under the terms of the crop insurance policy, the administrative appeal provisions published at 7 CFR part 11 must be exhausted before any action against FCIC for judicial review may be brought.

Environmental Evaluation

This action is not expected to have a significant economic impact on the quality of the human environment, health, or safety. Therefore, neither an Environmental Assessment nor an Environmental Impact Statement is needed.

Background

FCIC proposes to amend the Common Crop Insurance Regulations (7 CFR part 457) by revising § 457.105 Extra Long Staple Cotton Crop Insurance Provisions to be effective for the 2014 and succeeding crop years. Requests from the public have been made for changes to improve the coverage offered, address program integrity issues, and simplify program administration. The provisions will be effective for the 2014 and succeeding crop years.

The proposed changes to § 457.105 are as follows:

1. Section 9—FCIC proposes to revise section 9 to make it more consistent with the language currently in the Cotton Crop Provisions (§ 457.104). The ELS Crop Provisions currently include language that is already contained in the Basic Provisions. By making the language in certain sections of the ELS Cotton Crop Provisions more consistent with the Cotton Crop Provisions, both Crop Provisions will be the same and duplicative language between the ELS Cotton Crop Provisions and the Basic Provisions can be removed.

2. Section 11—FCIC proposes to allow for a late planting period if permitted by the Special Provisions. FCIC received inquiries from cotton producers and producer groups requesting a late planting provision. A late planting provision is available for Upland cotton which is insured under the Cotton Crop Provisions, but not for ELS cotton. The cotton industry requested a late planting option be available for both Upland cotton and ELS cotton. Based on research data of producers' planting practices and yields information from the University of California Cooperative Extension, a late planting period that extends from the April 30 final planting date to early May has minor impact to yields given historically favorable weather conditions in May. FCIC also proposes to revise section 11 to remove language that is contained in the Basic Provisions regarding late planting because it is duplicative and no longer needed.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 457

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Proposed Rule

Accordingly, as set forth in the preamble, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation proposes to amend 7 CFR part 457 effective for the 2014 and succeeding crop years to read as follows:

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PART 457—COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1506(1), 1506(o).

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2. Amend § 457.105 as follows:

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a. Amend the introductory text by removing “2012” and adding “2014” in its place;

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b. Revise section 9; and

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c. Revise section 11.

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The revisions read as follows:

Extra long staple cotton crop insurance provisions.
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9. Duties in the Event of Loss or Damage.

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(a) In addition to your duties under section 14 of the Basic Provisions, in the event of damage or loss:

(1) You must give us notice if you intend to replant any acreage originally planted to ELS cotton to AUP cotton; and

(2) The cotton stalks must remain intact for our inspection. The stalks must not be destroyed, and required samples must not be harvested, until the earlier of our inspection or 15 days after harvest of the balance of the unit is completed and written notice of probable loss given to us.

(b) Representative samples are required in accordance with section 14 of the Basic Provisions.

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11. Late Planting.

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(a) A late planting period is applicable to ELS cotton, if allowed by the Special Provisions.

(b) If the Special Provisions do not provide for a late planting period, any ELS cotton that is planted after the final planting date will not be insured unless you were prevented from planting it by the final planting date. Such acreage will be insurable, and the production guarantee and premium for the acreage will be determined in accordance with section 16 of the Basic Provisions.

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Start Signature

Signed in Washington, DC, on July 29, 2013.

Michael Alston,

Acting Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.

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[FR Doc. 2013-18821 Filed 8-2-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-08-P