Hearing on Walnut Marketing Order Amendments Postponed

March 13, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the public hearing on proposed amendments to the federal marketing order regulating walnuts grown and handled in California is postponed. The presiding administrative law judge postponed the hearing due to concern regarding the availability of adequate resources.

The formal rulemaking hearing had been set to take place March 16-17, 2020, at the Marriott Rancho Cordova in Sacramento, California. The hearing would enable the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to hear evidence on the California Walnut Board’s recommendation to amend the marketing order to add authority for the board to provide credit for market promotion expenses paid by handlers against their annual assessments.

AMS will provide revised hearing details in the near future.

The California Walnut Board locally administers the marketing order that maintains minimum grade and size regulations for walnuts grown in California. The marketing order also authorizes promotion, and research and development projects.

Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. The Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight to 29 fruit vegetable and specialty crops marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

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