The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is terminating the marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in designated counties of Virginia and North Carolina. The marketing order was established in 1948 but has been suspended twice since 2011 and is currently not active.
In 2011, USDA implemented a recommendation from the Southeastern Potato Committee to suspend the marketing order for a three-year period to eliminate the expense of administering the marketing order while determining the effects of not having the marketing order’s grade, size, quality, maturity, inspection and reporting requirements in place. The suspension ended in March 2014.
In December 2013, the Southeastern potato industry requested to extend the suspension for an additional three years, from 2014 to 2017, to allow the industry more time to study changes and evaluate new developments in the industry that could affect the need for the marketing order. The extension included the condition that USDA would propose termination if the industry did not petition USDA to have the marketing order reactivated by the end of the suspension period. USDA has not received a request to reactivate the marketing order.
The final rule for this action was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 19, 2019.
A 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule for this termination closed Sept. 24, 2018. USDA informed Congress of the termination on Oct. 24, 2018, in compliance with the requirement to notify Congress at least 60 days before terminating a federal marketing order.
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 (AMS) provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable and specialty crops marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
More information about federal marketing orders is available on AMS’ Marketing Orders and Agreements web page or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.
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