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Proposed Rule

Onions Grown in South Texas; Continuance Referendum

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 55388

AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Referendum order.

SUMMARY:

This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of onions grown in South Texas to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of onions produced in the production area.

DATES:

The referendum will be conducted from September 21 through October 13, 2020. Only current producers of South Texas onions within the production area that produced onions during the period August 1, 2018, through July 31, 2019, are eligible to vote in this referendum.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of the marketing order may be obtained from the Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1124 First Street South, Winter Haven, FL 33880; Telephone: (863) 324-3375; or from the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491; or on the internet: http://www.regulations.gov.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Abigail Campos, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1124 First Street South, Winter Haven, FL 33880; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 291-8614, or Email: Abigail.Campos@usda.gov or Christian.Nissen@usda.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to Marketing Agreement and Order No. 959, as amended (7 CFR part 959), hereinafter referred to as the “Order,” and the applicable provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act,” it is hereby directed that a referendum be conducted to ascertain whether continuance of the Order is favored by producers. The referendum shall be conducted from September 21 through October 13, 2020, among onion producers in the production area. Only current Texas onion producers who were also engaged in the production of onions grown in South Texas during the period of August 1, 2018, through July 31, 2019, may participate in the continuance referendum.

USDA has determined that continuance referenda are an effective means for determining whether producers favor the continuation of marketing order programs. The Order will continue in effect if two-thirds or more of the producers voting in the referendum, or producers of more than two-thirds of the volume of onions grown in South Texas represented in the referendum, favor continuance. In evaluating the merits of continuance versus termination, USDA will not exclusively consider the results of the continuance referendum. USDA will also consider all other relevant information regarding the operation of the Order and relative benefits and disadvantages to producers, handlers, and consumers to determine whether continued operation of the Order would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the ballots used in the referendum have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB No. 0581-0178 Vegetable and Specialty Crops. It has been estimated it will take an average of 20 minutes for each of the approximately 100 onion producers to cast a ballot. Participation is voluntary. Ballots postmarked after October 13, 2020, will not be included in the vote tabulation.

Abigail Campos and Christian D. Nissen of the Southeast Marketing Field Office, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, are hereby designated as the referendum agents of the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct this referendum. The procedure applicable to the referendum shall be the “Procedure for the Conduct of Referenda in Connection With Marketing Orders for Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended” (7 CFR part 900.400 et seq.).

Ballots will be mailed to all producers of record and may also be obtained from the referendum agents or from their appointees.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 959

  • Marketing agreements
  • Onions
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
End List of Subjects Start Authority

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601-674.

End Authority Start Signature

Bruce Summers,

Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-17578 Filed 9-4-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P