Nov 11, 2011
USDA seeks comments on revisions to tart cherry marketing order

USDA is accepting comments on a proposed rule to amend the federal marketing order regulating tart cherries grown in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. The recommended decision was published in the Nov. 9 Federal Register.

The proposed rule, recommended by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board and based on evidence presented at USDA public hearings held April 20 and April 21 in Grand Rapids, Mich., and April 26 in Provo, Utah, would revise the:

* Term “handle” within the order, so that the acquisition of grower diversion certificates is not considered handling.

* Marketing policy provisions of the order so that grower-diverted cherries are not counted as production in the volume control formula.

* Grower diversion privilege provisions of the order so that grower diverted cherries are not treated as actual harvested cherries.

USDA will review and evaluate written comments received by Nov. 25 to determine if a referendum is warranted. If a referendum is held, either two-thirds of the eligible growers voting or producers accounting for at least two-thirds of the volume of tart cherries represented must vote to approve the proposed rule. In addition, the referendum must be supported by processors who have processed over 50 percent of the total volume of tart cherries during the representative period.

Written comments should be sent to Hearing Clerk, Office of Administrative Law Judges, Room 1031-S/USDA Mail Stop 9203, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9203; fax 202-720-9776. To send comments online or see a copy of the proposed rule, visit, or email [email protected].

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