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Proposed Rule

Pecans Grown in the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas; Continuance Referendum

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 19152

AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Referendum order.

SUMMARY:

This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible growers of pecans grown in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of pecans produced in the production area.

DATES:

The referendum will be conducted from June 7 through June 28, 2021. Only current pecan growers within the production area that produced a minimum average of 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans over the four years from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2020, or own a minimum of 30 pecan acres 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: https://www.ecfr.gov/​cgi-bin/​ECFR?​page=​browse.

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. 986, as amended (7 CFR part 986), 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 growers. The referendum shall be conducted from June 7 through June 28, 2021, among pecan growers in the fifteen-state production area. To be eligible to participate in the continuance referendum, a grower must have produced a minimum average of 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans during the four-year period from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2020, or must own a minimum of 30 pecan acres.

USDA has determined continuance referenda are an effective means for determining whether growers favor the continuation of marketing order programs. The Order will continue in effect if two-thirds of the growers that cast votes, or growers representing two-thirds of the volume of pecans voted in the referendum, cast ballots in favor of continuance. In evaluating the merits of continuance versus termination of the order, 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 growers, handlers, and consumers in determining 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. 0581-0291, Federal Marketing Order for Pecans. It has been estimated it will take an average of 20 minutes for each of the approximately 4,267 growers of pecans to cast a ballot. Participation is voluntary. Ballots postmarked after June 28, 2021, will not be included in the vote tabulation.

Abigail Campos, Dolores Lowenstine, and Christian D. Nissen of the Southeast Marketing Field Office, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, are hereby designated as the referendum agents for 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 900.400 et seq.).

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

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 986

  • Marketing agreements
  • Pecans
  • 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. 2021-07516 Filed 4-12-21; 8:45 am]

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