The public comment period on the proposed increase in the California almond assessment is now open and feedback will be accepted until Aug. 2.
The proposal is posted in the Federal Register.
The Almond Board of California (ABC) recently petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a one-cent hike from $0.03 to $0.04 per pound of almonds handled under the marketing order – for a period of three marketing years.
The ABC board of directors recently requested the fee increase, saying the board needs additional income to enhance marketing opportunities ahead of predicted record crop yields in the next few years.
Of the $0.04 per pound assessment, 60 percent (or $0.024 per pound) would be available as credit-back for handlers who conduct their own promotional activities. After the 2019-20 marketing year, the handler credit-back will return to $0.018 per pound (60 percent).
The crop year begins Aug. 1 and ends July 31. The $0.04 assessment rate would remain in effect until July 31, 2019. Beginning Aug. 1, 2019, the assessment rate would return to $0.03 and would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Written comments concerning this proposed rule may be submitted as follows:
- Comments may be mailed to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237;
- Comments may also be submitted by fax to (202) 720-8938; or,
- Via the internet.
Comments should reference the document number – Docket Number: AMS-SC-16-0045 – and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Comments will be available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed online.
All comments on the proposed rule will be included in the record and will be available to the public.
Further information can be obtained by contacting Andrea Ricci, Marketing Specialist or Jeffery Smutny, Regional Director, California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (559) 487-5901, Fax: (559) 487-5906, or by email at [email protected] or [email protected].
Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Antoinette Carter, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or email:[email protected].