The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a final rule suspending the California Walnut Board’s authority for placing excess walnuts in reserve. Because it has not recommended this volume regulation measure since the late 1980’s, the board proposed suspension of the marketing order authority that requires it to consider ways to regulate the volume of walnuts placed into commercial channels. This action will streamline management of the marketing order and allow the board to focus on building demand for California walnuts.
The final rule was published in the Federal Register on May 7, 2020, and will take effect June 8, 2020. The proposed rule for this action was published Jan. 22, 2020, and provided a 30-day public comment period.
The California walnut industry partners with USDA to administer a federal marketing order. The marketing order enables the board to conduct initiatives that benefit walnut producers and enhance the marketability of their crop. Among the initiatives are minimum size and quality requirements and promotion and research projects.
More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of walnuts grown in California is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 984 California Walnuts webpage. More information about federal marketing orders is available on the AMS Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.
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 crop marketing orders and agreements to ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
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