Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Apple Crop Insurance Provisions

CourtFederal Crop Insurance Corporation
Citation86 FR 71396
Publication Date16 December 2021
Record Number2021-26989
This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER
contains notices to the public of the proposed
issuance of rules and regulations. The
purpose of these notices is to give interested
persons an opportunity to participate in the
rule making prior to the adoption of the final
rules.
Proposed Rules Federal Register
71396
Vol. 86, No. 239
Thursday, December 16, 2021
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation
7 CFR Part 457
[Docket ID FCIC–21–0007]
RIN 0563–AC75
Common Crop Insurance Regulations;
Apple Crop Insurance Provisions
AGENCY
: Federal Crop Insurance
Corporation, U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA).
ACTION
: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY
: The Federal Crop Insurance
Corporation (FCIC) proposes to amend
the Common Crop Insurance
Regulations, Apple Crop Insurance
Provisions. The intended effect of this
action is to provide policy changes to
better meet the needs of the apple
producers, to address program
vulnerabilities that have caused
increased loss ratios and rising premium
costs, and to provide safeguards against
fraud, waste, and abuse. The proposed
changes will be effective for the 2023
and succeeding crop years.
DATES
: Written comments and opinions
on this proposed rule will be accepted
until close of business February 14,
2022 and will be considered when the
rule is to be made final.
ADDRESSES
: We invite you to submit
comments on this rule. You may submit
comments by either of the following
methods, although FCIC prefers that you
submit comments electronically through
the Federal eRulemaking Portal:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to
https://www.regulations.gov and search
for Docket ID FCIC–21–0007. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: Director, Product
Administration and Standards Division,
Risk Management Agency (RMA), U.S.
Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box
419205, Kansas City, MO 64133–6205.
In your comment, specify docket ID
FCIC–21–0007.
Comments will be available for
viewing online at www.regulations.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
:
Francie Tolle; telephone (816) 926–
7829; or email francie.tolle@usda.gov.
Persons with disabilities who require
alternative means for communication
should contact the USDA Target Center
at (202) 720–2600 (voice).
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
:
Background
The FCIC serves America’s
agricultural producers through effective,
market-based risk management tools to
strengthen the economic stability of
agricultural producers and rural
communities. FCIC is committed to
increasing the availability and
effectiveness of Federal crop insurance
as a risk management tool. Approved
Insurance Providers (AIP) sell and
service Federal crop insurance policies
in every state through a public-private
partnership. FCIC reinsures the AIPs
who share the risks associated with
catastrophic losses due to major weather
events. FCIC’s vision is to secure the
future of agriculture by providing world
class risk management tools to rural
America.
FCIC proposes to amend the Common
Crop Insurance Regulations by revising
7 CFR 457.158 Apple Crop Insurance
Provisions to be effective for the 2023
and succeeding crop years.
The proposed changes to 7 CFR
457.158 Apple Crop Insurance
Provisions are as follows:
1. Throughout the Crop Provisions,
FCIC proposes to include a reference to
a type listed in the actuarial documents.
The type name proposed is ‘‘Fresh
(Combined),’’ which is synonymous
with type ‘‘Fresh 111’’ that
policyholders are likely familiar with.
FCIC proposes no changes to what is
insurable under the type; the only
proposed change is to the type name.
2. Section 1—FCIC proposes to add a
definition of ‘‘Apple Supplemental
Report.’’ This term and its definition are
added because of proposed changes in
section 3 and section 6.
FCIC proposes to add a definition of
‘‘block.’’ This term is used in the Crop
Provisions but had not been defined.
FCIC proposes to revise the definition
of ‘‘damaged apple production.’’ The
current definition defines damaged
apple production in two parts: (1) With
respect to production insured under the
base policy, damaged apple production
is fresh or processing apple production
that fails to grade U.S. No. 1 Processing
or better; and (2) with respect to
production insured under the Fresh
Fruit Quality Adjustment (Quality
Option), damaged apple production is
fresh apple production that fails to
grade U.S. Fancy or better. FCIC is
proposing changes in the Quality
Option that require production that
grades U.S. #1 Processing or better but
less than U.S. Fancy to be included in
production to count at a reduced value;
therefore, the proposed revisions to the
definition of ‘‘damaged apple
production’’ had to be the same for
apples insured under the base policy
and apples insured under the Quality
Option. Due to these proposed changes,
the second part of the definition of
‘‘damaged apple production,’’ which
refers to the Quality Option, is proposed
to be removed.
FCIC proposes to revise the definition
of ‘‘direct marketing.’’ Direct marketing
is the sale of the insured crop directly
to consumers without the intervention
of an intermediary such as a wholesaler,
retailer, packer, processor, shipper,
buyer, or broker. The definition is being
revised to provide two clarifications.
The first is to state that production
records are controlled exclusively by the
policyholder. The second is to add a
sentence clarifying that only the portion
of the crop sold directly to consumers
will be considered direct marketed.
FCIC proposes to revise the definition
of ‘‘fresh apple production.’’ FCIC
proposes to move paragraphs (1)(ii),
(1)(iv) and (2) to Section 7, Insured
Crop, because these paragraphs contain
provisions that are more appropriately
placed in that section. FCIC proposes to
redesignate paragraph (1)(i) as (1),
paragraph (1)(iii) as (3), revise
redesignated paragraphs (1) and (3), and
add a new paragraph (2). In
redesignated paragraph (1), the
definition contains a list of actions that
the apples undergo to change them from
their basic form. Even though ‘‘dicing’’
was not included in the list of actions,
one could maintain that it was included
in the catch-all ‘‘etc.’’ at the end of the
list. However, FCIC received questions
regarding whether ‘‘dicing’’ would be
considered in this list of actions. To
provide clarification, FCIC proposes to
add the word ‘‘dicing’’ to the list of
actions that would constitute changing
apples from their basic form.
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In new paragraph (2), FCIC proposes
to clarify that apples sold for the
processing market are not considered
fresh apple production unless they were
sold with a grade of U.S. Fancy or
better. For example, apples sold for the
slicer market or the hard cider market
that are not sold with a grade of U.S.
Fancy or better. According to the
definition, as here pertinent, ‘‘fresh
apple production’’ is apples that do not
undergo any change in basic form.
Slicer apples are, just as their name
suggests, apples that are sliced, which is
a change in basic form. Sales of slicer
apples are currently allowed to be
considered fresh if the sales price was
commensurate with fresh apple sales.
However, slicers are a processed apple,
meaning they undergo a change in basic
form. Similarly, apples sold to the hard
cider market undergo a change in basic
form. A contracted study completed at
FCIC’s request determined that prices
for slicers are more commensurate with
processing apples. Currently, apples
sold as slicers can be insured as Fresh,
thus qualifying for optional coverage
under the Quality Option; however,
they can be sold without a grade of U.S.
Fancy, thus never being included in
production to count, and contributing to
high loss ratios in some areas. Under
this proposed change, records indicating
apples were sold as slicers or for hard
cider will not be used to determine
whether production meets the one-in-
four fresh requirement under the
Quality Option unless the apples were
sold with a grade of U.S. Fancy or
better.
FCIC also proposes to revise
redesignated paragraph (3). The current
provisions require producers to follow
cultural practices generally in use for
fresh apple acreage in the area in a
manner generally recognized by
agricultural experts. FCIC proposes to
revise this paragraph to provide
flexibility through Special Provisions to
include additional cultural practices
that may be required for acreage to meet
the definition of ‘‘fresh apple
production.’’ Examples of cultural
practices may include specific spraying
programs, hail netting, and wind
machines or misting systems.
FCIC proposes to add a definition of
‘‘fresh fruit factor.’’ This term and its
definition are added because of
proposed changes made in section 14.
FCIC proposes to add a definition of
‘‘graft.’’ This term and its definition are
added because of proposed changes
made in section 7(f).
FCIC proposes to add a definition of
‘‘high density.’’ This term and its
definition are added because of a
proposed change in section 6.
FCIC proposes to add definitions of
‘‘maximum additional value price’’ and
‘‘premium price election’’ because of
proposed changes made in section 3.
FCIC proposes to revise the definition
of ‘‘processing apple production.’’ FCIC
proposes to add the word ‘‘dicing’’ to
the list of actions that would constitute
changing apples from their basic form,
to be consistent with the addition in the
definition of ‘‘fresh apple production.’’
FCIC also proposes to remove the phrase
‘‘failing to meet the insurability
requirements for fresh apple
production’’ and add similar language to
it in Section 7, Insured Crop, because
this language contains provisions that
are more appropriately placed in that
section.
3. Section 2—FCIC proposes to
designate the undesignated paragraph as
paragraph (a) and revise the lead-in
sentence in that paragraph to make two
proposed changes. First, current
provisions reference section 34(b) of the
Basic Provisions. However, section 34(c)
of the Basic Provisions is a more
appropriate reference. Second, the
current provisions are not clear whether
producers can have optional units in
addition to or instead of the optional
unit offerings under the Basic
Provisions. FCIC proposes to clarify that
optional units by non-contiguous land
or type may be established in addition
to or instead of the optional unit
provisions in the Basic Provisions.
FCIC proposes to redesignate
paragraphs (a) and (b) as paragraphs
(a)(1) and (2). FCIC proposes to revise
redesignated paragraph (a)(2). This
section currently allows optional units
by type ‘‘as specified in the Special
Provisions.’’ Currently, every county
where apples are insured includes a
Special Provisions statement that allows
optional units by type. The ‘‘as specified
in the Special Provisions’’ provided the
flexibility to permit optional units by
type by county. Since optional units by
type are permitted in every county,
FCIC proposes to remove the phrase ‘‘as
specified in the Special Provisions’’ and
simply allow optional units by type
through the Crop Provisions. FCIC also
proposes to add the phrase ‘‘unless
otherwise provided in the Special
Provisions’’ to allow flexibility through
Special Provisions to alter this language
if it is determined optional units by type
should not be allowed in certain
counties.
FCIC also proposes to add a new
paragraph (b). Optional units by type are
allowed in the Crop Provisions.
However, the Crop Provisions do not
address situations where more than one
type is planted on the same acreage. For
example, Granny Smith apples are often
planted with other types of apples on
the same acreage. In section 3, FCIC
proposes to allow separate coverage
levels and percentages of price elections
by type. If optional units by type were
not allowed in this situation, there
would be a chance that AIPs would
have to combine units resulting in
different coverage levels and
percentages of price elections within a
single unit. To address this, FCIC
proposes to add language that states the
requirements of section 34 of the Basic
Provisions that require the crop to be
planted in a manner that results in a
clear and discernable break in the
planting pattern at the boundaries of
each optional unit are not applicable for
optional units by type. This will allow
separate optional units for types that do
not have a clear and discernable
planting pattern, such as situations
where more than one type is planted on
the same acreage. However, it is
important that producers maintain
separate records of production for each
optional unit in accordance with section
12(a) of the Apple Crop Provisions.
4. Section 3—FCIC proposes to revise
paragraph (a) to allow separate coverage
levels by type. The current provisions
allow producers who purchase
additional coverage to only select
separate coverage levels by fresh apple
acreage and processing apple acreage.
Fresh and processing are separate types;
however, in addition to the general
‘‘Fresh (Combined)’’ type, there are
three other fresh types listed in the
actuarial documents that are classified
as fresh: Varietal group A, varietal group
B, and varietal group C. Under the
current provisions, producers who
insure apples under any of the fresh
type must select the same coverage level
for all of their fresh types. The proposed
changes will provide producers the
ability to select a separate coverage level
for each fresh type and will allow
producers, who purchase additional
coverage, to structure their coverage
based on the perceived risk associated
with each fresh type. For example, the
producer could select 90 percent
coverage level for varietal group A and
70 percent coverage level for varietal
group B.
FCIC proposes to revise paragraph (b)
to replace the ‘‘Special Provisions’’
reference in two places with a reference
to the ‘‘actuarial documents’’ because
the provisions refer to the location of
price elections. Actuarial documents are
where the price elections are located, so
actuarial documents are a more
appropriate reference. FCIC also
proposes to revise paragraph (b) to allow
the price election percentage to differ
among each type. The types may have
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different characteristics with different
risks. By allowing producers to select a
different percentage of the price election
by type, this change allows producers to
manage premium costs based on their
risks.
FCIC also proposes to add a sentence
in paragraph (b) clarifying that the
percentage of the price election
producers elect must be in accordance
with FCIC approved procedures based
on the level of coverage elected. For
example, if a producer elected 75
percent coverage level, FCIC approved
procedures allow producers to choose a
percentage of price election between 67
and 100 percent. FCIC also proposes to
add similar to language in paragraph (a)
regarding assigning coverage levels to
acreage that is added after the acreage
reporting date. The language added in
paragraph (b) is added for guidance on
assigning price election percentages to
acreage added after the acreage
reporting date.
FCIC proposes to redesignate
paragraphs (c) and (d) as (d) and (e),
respectively, and add a new paragraph
(c) to provide producers an opportunity
to insure at a price, called the premium
price election, greater than the
published price election for apples that
are sold predominantly to a direct
market or a premium processing market.
Direct markets are often niche markets
that demand higher prices than
wholesale markets. FCIC’s processing
price is historically based upon
standard juice processing prices and
market prices for premium processing is
not generally available to establish
prices. The premium processing prices
generally demand higher prices and
include items such as baby food, which
demands high-quality apples; or hard
ciders, which have similar quality
expectations as wineries. Additionally,
slicers, which are apples often sold for
school lunches, are a premium
processing-priced apple and demand a
price, on average, about 20 percent
higher than the standard processing
prices. This change addresses
producers’ concerns regarding the
higher prices they receive for apples
sold via direct marketing and premium
processing apples (such as slicers). The
premium price election will be based on
the producer’s history reported on the
Apple Supplemental Report and the
maximum additional value price
published in the actuarial documents
and only offered in specific areas, via
Special Provision statements, where
premium processors or direct markets
are prevalent. The premium price
election will be greater than the
published price election for type ‘‘Fresh
(Combined)’’ or type ‘‘Processing,’’ as
applicable, and less than or equal to the
maximum additional value price. In
order to obtain the premium price
election, producers must submit an
Apple Supplemental Report to capture
producers’ production by fresh sales
(including direct marketing sales) and
processing sales. For data-gathering
purposes, FCIC is also requiring
producers to submit their revenue by
fresh sales and processing sales to allow
FCIC to maintain the program (e.g.,
transitional yields and price elections)
in light of data collected and reported
by third-party organizations becoming
scarce.
FCIC proposes to revise redesignated
paragraph (e) to revise for clarity. The
current provisions point back to specific
situations that occur as outlined in
redesignated paragraph (e). However,
other situations, not addressed in
redesignated paragraph (e), could occur
that affect the yield used to establish the
production guarantee. The current
language limits the situations to those in
redesignated paragraph (e). FCIC
proposes to revise the language to refer
to situations not necessarily specific to
redesignated paragraph (e).
FCIC proposes to revise redesignated
paragraph (e)(1). This paragraph
addresses situations where any
circumstance that may reduce the
producer’s yields from previous levels
occurs before the insurance period. It is
silent on the timeframe in which the
producer notifies the AIP. However, in
redesignated paragraph (e)(2), the
producer notifies the AIP by the
production reporting date. For
consistency between the two
paragraphs, FCIC proposes to add the
same language in redesignated
paragraph (e)(2) to (e)(1) regarding
notification by the production reporting
date.
FCIC also proposes to revise
redesignated paragraph (e)(1) to remove
the last sentence. This information is
proposed to be incorporated into
redesignated paragraph (e)(3).
FCIC proposes to revise redesignated
paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3). The first
sentence in each paragraph requires the
producer to notify the AIP if a situation
occurred or may occur after the
beginning of the insurance period.
While redesignated paragraph (e)(2)
refers to situations when the producer
notifies the AIP by the production
reporting date and redesignated
paragraph (e)(3) refers to situations
when the producer fails to notify the
AIP by the production reporting date,
both paragraphs expect the producer to
be aware of circumstances that have not
occurred yet. Therefore, FCIC proposes
to remove the phrase ‘‘or may occur’’ in
both paragraphs.
FCIC also proposes to revise
redesignated paragraph (e)(3) to add
clarifying language in the last sentence.
The last sentence says, ‘‘We will reduce
the yield used to establish your
production guarantee for the subsequent
crop year.’’ To further clarify the
purpose of the yield reduction in the
subsequent crop year, FCIC proposes to
add language that says the yield
reduction will reflect any reduction in
the productive capacity of the trees or
the yield potential of the insured
acreage. The proposed provisions in
redesignated paragraph (e) consistent
with provisions that FCIC recently
added to other perennial crop policies,
such as the Texas Citrus Fruit Crop
Insurance Provisions. Adding these
provisions is intended to remove
potential ambiguity regarding the
consequences when circumstances
occur that will reduce the yield
potential and to promote consistency
with administration of similar policies.
FCIC proposes to add a new
paragraph (f) to inform producers that
they can insure fresh acreage in
aggregate under type ‘‘Fresh
(Combined)’’ or by other fresh types
identified in the actuarial documents
(e.g., fresh varietal group types), not
both. The type ‘‘Fresh (Combined)’’
includes all fresh varieties insured
under the apple policy and the price
offered for type ‘‘Fresh (Combined)’’ is
an average price of all insurable
varieties. Fresh varieties can also be
insured under other types, either in
groupings of specific varietals identified
in the Special Provisions or individual
varieties, if available in the county’s
actuarial documents. The fresh varieties
insured in groupings of specific
varietals identified in the Special
Provisions or as individual varieties are
insured at prices that are reflective of
those smaller groupings. Under this
proposed change, producers may insure
all of their fresh acreage together under
an umbrella of Fresh for an average
price or they can insure groupings of
fresh varieties and receive better prices
by those groupings, if they have records
to substantiate the separate varieties.
5. Section 6—FCIC proposes to
designate the undesignated paragraph as
paragraph (a). FCIC proposes to revise
newly designated paragraph (a) to
divide the paragraph into subparagraphs
for ease of reading.
In paragraph (a)(1), FCIC proposes to
make two changes. First, the word
‘‘option’’ is removed following
‘‘Optional Coverage for Fresh Fruit
Quality Adjustment’’ because the word
is redundant. Second, the reference to
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‘‘these Crop Provisions’’ is struck for
consistency, whereby only references to
external documents are named by title.
FCIC proposes to revise newly
designated paragraph (a)(2)(i). The
current provisions state if producers
designate fresh acreage on their acreage
report then they are certifying that at
least 50 percent of the production from
fresh apple acreage in each unit was
sold as fresh apples in one or more of
the four most recent crop years in
accordance with the definition of ‘‘fresh
apple production.’’
FCIC also proposes to revise newly-
designated paragraph (a)(2)(i) to replace
the reference to the definition of ‘‘fresh
apple production’’ with the reference to
section 7(d). FCIC is proposing to move
some provisions in the definition of
‘‘fresh apple production’’ to section
7(d). Therefore, the reference in newly-
designated paragraph (a)(2)(i) needs to
be updated to reflect the new location
of the provisions in section 7(d).
FCIC proposes to add a new
paragraph (a)(2)(ii) to require producers
who wish to insure as fresh to submit
an Apple Supplemental Report that
captures their total production by all
fresh types aggregated and the
processing type. This supports the
existing FCIC rule to insure as fresh,
which is that at least one of the prior
four years must have produced at least
50 percent of the fresh guarantee. This
change also allows FCIC to collect data
to assist in determining whether fresh
production requirements under the
policy should be adjusted in the future.
Adjustments could include using the
producer’s historical percent sold as
fresh, replace the one-in-four fresh
requirement with the producer’s
historical percent of fresh sales, etc.
FCIC also proposes to revise newly-
designated paragraph (a) to add a new
paragraph (a)(2)(iii) to complement the
proposed language in new paragraph
(a)(2)(ii) regarding the Apple
Supplemental Report. The language
proposed to be added in new paragraph
(a)(2)(iii) notifies the producer that
failure to submit the Apple
Supplemental Report will result in no
coverage under any fresh types. The
producer will be able to have coverage
under the processing type.
FCIC also proposes to revise newly-
designated paragraph (a) to add a new
paragraph (a)(2)(iv) to an exception to
the fresh apple production requirement
mentioned in the above paragraph for
high density acreage in the first year of
insurability or in other circumstances as
authorized by FCIC. First, high density
acreage is established with the intent of
producing fresh apples and FCIC
recognizes that producers that invest in
high density systems are intending to
grow for fresh, but may not have the
sales records in the first year of
insurability to substantiate sales of fresh
production. Therefore, it is not
necessary to require high density
acreage to meet the fresh apple
production requirement for that first
year of insurability. Second, allowing
exceptions to the fresh apple production
requirement in other circumstances as
authorized by FCIC will provide FCIC to
waive the fresh apple production
requirement on a case-by-case basis if
producers suffer exceptionally bad years
(such as a year in which a natural
disaster or other extreme weather
occurs) which affected the end use of
their apples that they intended to sell as
fresh.
FCIC proposes to add a new
paragraph (b) to require producers to
notify the AIP 15 days prior to harvest
if they intend to sell production via
direct marketing so AIPs can perform
the necessary preharvest inspections.
Producers who sell production via
direct marketing are required to notify
AIPs prior to harvest if there is a loss.
Currently, there is no provision that
requires those producers to notify AIPs
prior to harvest if there is no loss. By
adding this provision, it provides AIPs
an opportunity to conduct a preharvest
appraisal when there is no loss.
6. Section 7—FCIC proposes to revise
paragraph (d) to add language that was
previously contained in the definition of
‘‘fresh apple production.’’ That language
is better suited in this section than in
the definition. Additionally, FCIC is
proposing to revise the language that is
moved to paragraph (d). The first
proposed change is to replace a
reference of ‘‘unit’’ with ‘‘policy or unit,
as applicable’’. Over the years, FCIC
received comments that producers find
it difficult and inappropriate to
maintain separate records by unit after
the apple production has left the field.
Producers pointed out that while they
can and do maintain records of
production by unit, once the apples are
delivered to a warehouse, which is often
a third party, for later sales and
distribution it is virtually impossible
and/or impractical to expect all the
apples to be tracked by unit. In 2011,
FCIC issued a Manager’s Bulletin
(MGR–11–015) that allowed producers
who do not have separate records by
unit of fresh apple production in one of
the last four years but do have records
of total fresh apple production may still
be able to qualify for the fresh apple
production requirement (at least 50
percent of the production from fresh
apple acreage was sold as fresh apples
in one or more of the four most recent
crop years). MGR–11–015 authorized
AIPs to consider records of total
production (e.g., by policy rather than
by unit, if the producer could not
provide records by unit) from one of the
four most recent crop years that reflect
fresh apple sales. FCIC is proposing to
incorporate the guidance in MGR–11–
015 by adding replacing ‘‘unit’’ with
‘‘policy or unit, as applicable’’ in
paragraph (d).
The second proposed change in
paragraph (d) is to add after the phrase
‘‘one or more of the four most recent
crop years’’ the phrase ‘‘preceding the
previous crop year, unless authorized by
FCIC.’’ The proposed phrase aligns the
one-in-four fresh requirement with the
years proposed to be reported on the
Apple Supplemental Report. Under the
current provisions, the one-in-four fresh
requirement is based on the four most
recent crop years. For example, if the
producer is purchasing crop insurance
for the 2023 crop year, then the AIP
would consider records from crop years
2019 through 2022. Under the proposed
provisions, the Apple Supplemental
Report is requesting information for the
crop year prior to the previous crop
year. Therefore, if the producer is
purchasing crop insurance for the 2023
crop year, then producer would report
information based on the 2021 crop
year. The proposed changes in this
paragraph are meant to align the
information the producer reports on the
Apple Supplemental Report with the
last year in the one or more of the four
most recent crop years.
FCIC also proposes to move language
in paragraph (d) regarding ‘‘processing
apple production’’ to a new paragraph
(e) and add language that was
previously contained in the definition of
‘‘processing apple production.’’ That
language is better suited in this section
than in the definitions.
FCIC also proposes to add a new
paragraph (f) to allow for a reduced
premium in certain circumstances.
Currently, producers must report their
acreage by the January 15th acreage
reporting date, which is before they
typically conduct routine orchard
maintenance. Producers typically graft
or remove apple trees after the acreage
reporting date and into March. Those
trees that are grafted or removed will
not produce apples that crop year. This
provision allows producers to either
report the acreage as uninsurable as of
the acreage reporting date; or receive a
reduced premium rate to better reflect
the condition of their orchards if they
submit a revised acreage report by
March 31st that trees were grafted or
removed.
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7. Section 9—FCIC proposes to revise
paragraph (b)(3) to insert the following
phrase at the beginning of the
paragraph: ‘‘Except as provided in
section 28 of the Basic Provisions.’’
Paragraph (b)(3) of the Apple Crop
Provisions speaks only to relinquishing
the producer’s insurable share after the
acreage reporting date and is silent on
whether a transfer of coverage occurred
to relinquish the insurable share. This
paragraph implies that coverage ends on
the date the producer relinquishes their
share. It is not clear, as it is written,
whether a transfer of coverage and right
to indemnity was submitted and
approved in accordance with section 28
of the Basic Provisions. To clarify that
this provision only addresses situations
when a transfer of coverage and right to
indemnity is not approved, FCIC
proposes to add the aforementioned
phrase.
8. Section 11—FCIC proposes to
revise paragraph (b)(2). This paragraph
outlines the requirements for producers
when any portion of the crop is direct
marketed. FCIC proposes to revise this
paragraph to make a few changes. First,
the phrase ‘‘15 days’’ is proposed to be
clarified to ‘‘15 calendar days.’’ Next,
FCIC proposes to require, in the event
any portion of the crop will be direct
marketed, the producer to notify the AIP
at least 15 calendar days before the crop
is harvested. The current provisions
require notification prior to when the
crop is sold. The proposed revision
allows for the AIPs to conduct pre-
harvest appraisals. Lastly, FCIC
proposes to make other changes within
the paragraph for clarification purposes.
9. Section 12—FCIC also proposes to
revise the claim example following
paragraph (b).
FCIC also proposes to redesignate
paragraph (c)(2) as (c)(3) and add a new
paragraph (c)(2) to state that when 65
percent or more of a unit’s processing
apple production is damaged apple
production, the processing apple
production from the unit will not be
considered production to count
provided none of the processing apple
production from the unit will be sold.
Based on engagement with apple
producers, FCIC was made aware that at
certain thresholds of damage, processors
will not accept apple production. In
response to this feedback, FCIC
proposes to allow for adjustments to
processing production that reflect
current industry standards.
10. Section 14—FCIC proposes to
revise paragraph (b). The phrase ‘‘this
option provides for quality adjustment
of fresh apple production’’ reads more
clearly when the word ‘‘coverage’’ is
added between the words ‘‘provides’’
and ‘‘for.’’
FCIC proposes to revise paragraph
(b)(1) to replace the phrase
‘‘Catastrophic Risk Protection (CAT)’’
with the acronym ‘‘CAT.’’ The acronym
is spelled out earlier in the Crop
Provisions, so it is only necessary here
to use the acronym.
FCIC proposes to revise paragraph
(b)(3). The current provisions say that
apple acreage designated on your
acreage report qualifies for the Optional
Coverage for Fresh Apple Quality
Adjustment. FCIC proposes to clarify
that only fresh apple acreage qualifies
for the option.
FCIC proposes to revise paragraph
(b)(5) to make several changes. Where
available, the Quality Option allows
apple producers the option to purchase
additional coverage that compensates
them when their fresh apple production
fails to grade U.S. Fancy or better due
to an insurable cause of loss. The
revisions to this paragraph clarify that
production to count for apples is the
greater of sold production adjusted
according to the sliding scale in
paragraph (b)(5) or adjusted for quality
in paragraph (b)(6), instead of basing the
determination on the sliding scale
alone.
In paragraph (b)(5), FCIC also
proposes to revise the sliding scale
under which production to count is
adjusted due to damage so that it is
linear. A linear sliding scale is more
appropriate than the current sliding
scale which alternates from linear to
non-linear back to linear again. The
current sliding scale adjusts production
in increments beginning at 21 percent
damage and zeroing at 65 percent
damage:
The first increment is between 21
percent and 40 percent with a reduction
of 2 percent for each full percent of
damage in that range,
The second 41 percent to 50 percent
with a reduction of 3 percent for each
full percent of damage in that range, and
The third 51 percent to 64 percent
with a reduction of 2 percent for each
full percent of damage in excess of 50
percent.
The current sliding scale is not
regionally appropriate. As proposed, the
revised sliding scale would begin
adjustments at 15 percent and reduce
production to count by two percent for
each full percent more than 15 percent.
FCIC received producer feedback that
the sliding scale should start at a lesser
threshold of damage (15 percent rather
than 20 percent). The only difference
between the current sliding scale and
the proposed one is when the range of
production not grading U.S. Fancy or
better is greater than 15 percent but less
than 50 percent. After 50 percent, the
current sliding scale and the proposed
sliding scales are identical.
In paragraph (b)(6), the following
proposed changes are necessary to
address concerns regarding the high loss
ratios and rising premium costs under
the Quality Option. The high loss ratios
are a result of producers’ inability to
maintain records to meet the
requirements to qualify for the Quality
Option and to settle claims, and climate
and growing conditions in certain
regions may limit the ability of
producers in these areas to consistently
produce U.S. Fancy grade.
Production sold with a grade of U.S.
Fancy or better will continue to be
counted on a one-for-one basis.
Production that grades U.S. #1
Processing or better but less than U.S.
Fancy will be included in production to
count at a reduced value by multiplying
a fresh fruit factor to the sold marketable
production as follows:
ÆThe fresh fruit factor applies to
production sold:
DAs fresh without a grade that
exceeds what appraised as U.S. Fancy or
better (prior to adjustments under the
sliding scale);
DAny production sold for fresh
without a grade will be counted on a
one-to-one basis not to exceed the
production that appraised as U.S. Fancy
or better (prior to adjustments under the
sliding scale).
DAny production sold for a grade
below U.S. Fancy;
DAny production sold as processing,
excluding any production that grades
less than U.S. #1 Processing.
ÆFor the basic coverage, all apples
that are U.S. #1 Processing or better are
included in production to count,
without any further discounts for
quality adjustment. Currently, for the
Quality Option, all apples that are sold
as U.S. Fancy or better are included as
production to count. Not all sales
indicate a grading standard and
therefore a producer could claim that no
fresh apples were sold as U.S. Fancy or
better, even if the apples were sold as
fresh. Therefore, a producer could
‘‘double-dip’’ on indemnity and sales
from these apples. Adjustments to
production under the Quality Option
are not reflected in the producer’s actual
production history (APH); therefore, the
guarantee does not accurately reflect
expected production of fresh apples.
The intent of the fresh fruit factor is to
capture the reduced value of apples sold
for other than U.S. Fancy or better so
that the APH will more accurately
reflect the producer’s guarantee.
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ÆThe fresh fruit factor will not be
applied to any production that grades
less than U.S. #1 Processing or better.
ÆThe fresh fruit factor will be
published in the actuarial documents to
account for regional differences.
FCIC proposes to revise paragraph (c).
The current provisions state any
production not graded or appraised
prior to the earlier of the time apples are
placed in storage or the date the apples
are delivered to a packer, processor, or
other handler will not be considered
damaged apple production. According
to the current definition of ‘‘damaged
apple production,’’ damaged apple
production under the Quality Option is
anything that fails to grade U.S. Fancy
or better. In other words, the
aforementioned production will be
considered U.S. Fancy or better. As
stated earlier, FCIC is proposing to
remove the portion of the definition that
refers to the Quality Option. Therefore,
paragraph (c) needs to be revised so that
the provision has the same meaning as
before: Any production not graded or
appraised prior to the earlier of the time
apples are placed in storage or the date
the apples are delivered will be
considered U.S. Fancy or better.
FCIC proposes to add a new
paragraph (e) to address written
agreements. The Quality Option is
contained within the Crop Provisions,
which confuses whether written
agreements should apply to the Quality
Option when written agreements are
written on the Crop Provisions. The
proposed language allows written
agreements to apply to the Quality
Option with three requirements: (1) The
option may apply to a written agreement
for apples when this option is contained
in the actuarial documents for the
county and crop; (2) the option may
apply to apples in a county which does
not have actuarial documents for the
crop when a written agreement
specifically allows this option; and (3)
FCIC has the right to not allow this
option on a written agreement in
accordance with the provisions in
section 18 of the Basic Provisions. This
requirement also allows the producer to
have coverage by written agreement on
apple production insured under the
Crop Provisions if the requirements for
written agreement are not met on the
Quality Option.
FCIC proposes to revise the claim
example following new paragraph (e) to
align with the proposed changes made
throughout section 14.
Notice and Comment, and Exemptions
The Administrative Procedure Act
(APA, 5 U.S.C. 553) provides that the
notice and comment and 30-day delay
in the effective date provisions do not
apply when the rule involves specified
actions, including matters relating to
contracts. This rule governs contracts
for crop insurance policies and therefore
falls within that exemption. Although
not required by APA or any other law,
FCIC has chosen to propose the
regulatory changes and request
comments on the changes prior to
issuing a final rule.
This rule is exempt from the
regulatory analysis requirements of the
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C.
601–612), as amended by the Small
Business Regulatory Enforcement
Fairness Act of 1996.
Executive Orders 12866 and 13563
Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory
Planning and Review,’’ and Executive
Order 13563, ‘‘Improving Regulation
and Regulatory Review,’’ direct agencies
to assess all costs and benefits of
available regulatory alternatives and, if
regulation is necessary, to select
regulatory approaches that maximize
net benefits (including potential
economic, environmental, public health
and safety effects, distributive impacts,
and equity). Executive Order 13563
emphasized the importance of
quantifying both costs and benefits, of
reducing costs, of harmonizing rules,
and of promoting flexibility. The
requirements in Executive Orders 12866
and 13563 for the analysis of costs and
benefits apply to rules that are
determined to be significant.
The Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) designated this rule as not
significant under Executive Order
12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and
Review,’’ and therefore, OMB has not
reviewed this rule and analysis of the
costs and benefits is not required under
either Executive Order 12866 or 13563.
Clarity of the Regulation
Executive Order 12866, as
supplemented by Executive Order
13563, requires each agency to write all
rules in plain language. In addition to
your substantive comments on this rule,
we invite your comments on how to
make the rule easier to understand. For
example:
Are the requirements in the rule
clearly stated? Are the scope and intent
of the rule clear?
Does the rule contain technical
language or jargon that is not clear?
Is the material logically organized?
Would changing the grouping or
order of sections or adding headings
make the rule easier to understand?
Could we improve clarity by adding
tables, lists, or diagrams?
Would more, but shorter, sections
be better? Are there specific sections
that are too long or confusing?
What else could we do to make the
rule easier to understand?
Environmental Review
In general, the environmental impacts
of rules are to be considered in a
manner consistent with the provisions
of the National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321–4347) and
the regulations of the Council on
Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts
1500–1508). FCIC conducts programs
and activities that have been determined
to have no individual or cumulative
effect on the human environment. As
specified in 7 CFR 1b.4, FCIC is
categorically excluded from the
preparation of an Environmental
Analysis or Environmental Impact
Statement unless the FCIC Manager
(agency head) determines that an action
may have a significant environmental
effect. The FCIC Manager has
determined this rule will not have a
significant environmental effect.
Therefore, FCIC will not prepare an
environmental assessment or
environmental impact statement for this
action and this rule serves as
documentation of the programmatic
environmental compliance decision.
Executive Order 12988
This rule has been reviewed under
Executive Order 12988, ‘‘Civil Justice
Reform.’’ This rule will not preempt
State or local laws, regulations, or
policies unless they represent an
irreconcilable conflict with this rule.
Before any judicial actions may be
brought regarding the provisions of this
rule, the administrative appeal
provisions of 7 CFR part 11 are to be
exhausted.
Executive Order 13175
This rule has been reviewed in
accordance with the requirements of
Executive Order 13175, ‘‘Consultation
and Coordination with Indian Tribal
Governments.’’ Executive Order 13175
requires Federal agencies to consult and
coordinate with Tribes on a
government-to-government basis on
policies that have Tribal implications,
including regulations, legislative
comments or proposed legislation, and
other policy statements or actions that
have substantial direct effects on one or
more Indian Tribes, on the relationship
between the Federal Government and
Indian Tribes or on the distribution of
power and responsibilities between the
Federal Government and Indian Tribes.
RMA has assessed the impact of this
rule on Indian Tribes and determined
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that this rule does not, to our
knowledge, have Tribal implications
that require Tribal consultation under
E.O. 13175. The regulation changes do
not have Tribal implications that
preempt Tribal law and are not expected
have a substantial direct effect on one or
more Indian Tribes. If a Tribe requests
consultation, RMA will work with the
USDA Office of Tribal Relations to
ensure meaningful consultation is
provided where changes, additions and
modifications identified in this rule are
not expressly mandated by Congress.
The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of
1995
Title II of the Unfunded Mandates
Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA, Pub. L.
104–4) requires Federal agencies to
assess the effects of their regulatory
actions of State, local, and Tribal
governments, or the private sector.
Agencies generally must prepare a
written statement, including cost
benefits analysis, for proposed and final
rules with Federal mandates that may
result in expenditures of $100 million or
more in any 1 year for State, local or
Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or
to the private sector. UMRA generally
requires agencies to consider
alternatives and adopt the more cost
effective or least burdensome alternative
that achieves the objectives of the rule.
This rule contains no Federal mandates,
as defined in Title II of UMRA, for State,
local, and Tribal governments, or the
private sector. Therefore, this rule is not
subject to the requirements of sections
202 and 205 of UMRA.
Federal Assistance Program
The title and number of the Federal
Domestic Assistance Program listed in
the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance to which this rule applies is
No. 10.450—Crop Insurance.
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
In accordance with the provisions of
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
(44 U.S.C. chapter 35, subchapter I), the
rule does not change the information
collection approved by OMB under
control numbers 0563–0053.
USDA Non-Discrimination Policy
In accordance with Federal civil
rights law and USDA civil rights
regulations and policies, USDA, its
Agencies, offices, and employees, and
institutions participating in or
administering USDA programs are
prohibited from discriminating based on
race, color, national origin, religion, sex,
gender identity (including gender
expression), sexual orientation,
disability, age, marital status, family or
parental status, income derived from a
public assistance program, political
beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior
civil rights activity, in any program or
activity conducted or funded by USDA
(not all bases apply to all programs).
Remedies and complaint filing
deadlines vary by program or incident.
Persons with disabilities who require
alternative means of communication for
program information (for example,
braille, large print, audiotape, American
Sign Language, etc.) should contact the
responsible Agency or USDA TARGET
Center at (202) 720–2600 or 844–433–
2774 (toll-free nationwide).
Additionally, program information may
be made available in languages other
than English. To file a program
discrimination complaint, complete the
USDA Program Discrimination
Complaint Form, AD–3027, found
online at https://www.usda.gov/oascr/
how-to-file-a-program-discrimination-
complaint and at any USDA office or
write a letter addressed to USDA and
provide in the letter all the information
requested in the form. To request a copy
of the complaint form, call (866) 632–
9992. Submit your completed form or
letter to USDA by mail to: U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Office of the
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights,
1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250–9410 or email:
OAC@usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity
provider, employer, and lender.
List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 457
Acreage allotments, Crop insurance,
Reporting and recordkeeping
requirements.
Proposed Rule
For the reasons discussed above, FCIC
proposes to amend 7 CFR part 457 to
read as follows:
PART 457—COMMON CROP
INSURANCE REGULATIONS
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR
part 457 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1506(l), 1506(o).
2. Amend § 457.158 by:
a. Revising the introductory text;
b. In section 1:
i. Adding in alphabetical order the
definitions for ‘‘Apple Supplemental
Report,’’ ‘‘block,’’ ‘‘fresh fruit factor,’’
‘‘graft,’’ ‘‘high density,’’ ‘‘maximum
additional value price,’’ and ‘‘premium
price election’’;
ii. Adding in the definition of ‘‘Area
A’’, a comma after the words ‘‘New
Mexico’’; and
iii. Revising the definitions for
‘‘damaged apple production,’’ ‘‘direct
marketing,’’ ‘‘fresh apple production,’’
and ‘‘processing apple production’’;
c. Revising section 2;
d. Revising section 3;
e. Revising section 6;
f. In section 7:
i. Removing in paragraph (c), the word
‘‘and’’ at the end of the sentence;
ii. Revising paragraph (d); and
iii. Adding new paragraphs (e) and (f);
g. In section 9:
i. Removing in paragraph (b)(3), the
word ‘‘If’’ at the beginning of the
paragraph and adding the words
‘‘Except as provided in section 28 of the
Basic Provisions, if’’ in its place;
h. Revising section 11 paragraph
(b)(2);
i. In section 12:
i. Revising the example following
paragraph (b) titled ‘‘Basic Coverage
Example’’;
ii. Removing in paragraph (c)(1)(iv),
the word ‘‘; and’’ at the end of the
sentence and adding ‘‘.’’ in its place;
iii. Redesignating paragraph (c)(2) as
(3), and adding a new paragraph (c)(2);
and
j. Revising section 14.
The revisions and additions read as
follows:
§ 457.158 Apple crop insurance
provisions.
The apple crop insurance provisions
for the 2023 and succeeding crop years
are as follows:
* * * * *
1. Definitions
* * * * *
Apple Supplemental Report. A
written report, supported by acceptable
records, submitted as required on our
form and in accordance with section 3
and section 6, as applicable. The
information contained on the report will
be based on your sales history, as
applicable, from the crop year prior to
the previous crop year (e.g., on the
production reporting date for the 2023
crop year, the Apple Supplement Report
reflects total revenue from the 2021 crop
year).
* * * * *
Block. Trees in an orchard of a single
or mixed age and density, distinguished
by applicable practice, type, T-Yield
Map Areas, or other characteristics
shown in the actuarial documents.
* * * * *
Damaged apple production. Fresh or
processing apple production that fails to
grade U.S. No. 1 Processing or better in
accordance with the applicable grade
standards due to an insurable cause of
loss.
Direct marketing. The sale of the
insured crop directly to consumers
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without the intervention of an
intermediary such as a wholesaler,
retailer, packer, processor, shipper,
buyer, or broker. Production records are
controlled exclusively by the
policyholder. Examples of direct
marketing include selling through an
on-farm or roadside stand, a farmer’s
market, or permitting the general public
to enter the field for the purpose of
picking all or a portion of the crop. Only
the portion of the crop sold directly to
consumers will be considered direct
marketed.
Fresh apple production. Apples:
(1) That are sold, or could be sold, for
human consumption without
undergoing any change in the basic
form, such as peeling, juicing, crushing,
dicing, etc.;
(2) That are not sold for the
processing market (e.g., slicer or hard
cider market) except for apples sold
with a grade of U.S. Fancy or better
(unless another grade is specified in the
Special Provisions); and
(3) That follow the recommended
cultural practices generally in use for
fresh apple acreage in the area in a
manner generally recognized by
agricultural experts and any other
practices specified in the Special
Provisions.
Fresh fruit factor. A factor contained
in the actuarial documents that is used
to account for the salvage value of sold
apples for production insured under the
Optional Coverage for Fresh Fruit
Quality Adjustment contained in
section 14.
* * * * *
Graft. To unite a shoot or bud with a
rootstock in accordance with
recommended practices to form a living
union.
* * * * *
High density. The number of trees per
acre and any other characteristics
specified in the Special Provisions.
* * * * *
Maximum additional value price. A
price established by type by FCIC and
published in the actuarial documents
when authorized by the Special
Provisions. It is used to compute the
premium price election.
* * * * *
Premium price election. A price
calculated using your sales history
reported on the Apple Supplemental
Report and the maximum additional
value price. The premium price election
will be no less than the published price
election for type ‘‘Fresh (Combined)’’ or
type ‘‘Processing,’’ as applicable, and no
greater than the maximum additional
value price.
Processing apple production. Apples
from insurable acreage that are sold, or
could be sold for the purpose of
undergoing a change to the basic
structure such as peeling, juicing,
crushing, dicing, etc.
* * * * *
2. Unit Division
(a) In addition to, or instead of,
establishing optional units as provided
in section 34(c) of the Basic Provisions,
optional units may be established if
each optional unit is:
(1) Located on non-contiguous land;
or
(2) By type, unless otherwise
provided in the Special Provisions.
(b) The requirements of section 34 of
the Basic Provisions that require the
crop to be planted in a manner that
results in a clear and discernable break
in the planting pattern at the boundaries
of each optional unit are not applicable
for optional units by type.
3. Insurance Guarantees, Coverage
Levels, and Prices for Determining
Indemnities
In addition to the requirements of
section 3 of the Basic Provisions:
(a) You may select only one coverage
level for each type. For example, if you
choose the 55 percent coverage level for
one type, you may choose the 75
percent coverage level for another type.
However, if you elect the Catastrophic
Risk Protection (CAT) level of coverage
for any of your apple acreage, the CAT
level of coverage will be applicable to
all insured apple acreage in the county.
If you only have fresh apple acreage
designated on your acreage report and
processing apple acreage is added after
the sales closing date, we will assign a
coverage level equal to the lowest
coverage level you selected for your
fresh apple acreage. If you only have
processing apple acreage designated on
your acreage report and fresh apple
acreage is added after the sales closing
date, we will assign a coverage level
equal to the coverage level you selected
for your processing apple acreage.
(b) You may select only one price
election for all the apples in the county
insured under this policy unless the
actuarial documents provide different
price elections by type, in which case
you may select one price election for
each apple type designated in the
actuarial documents. The price elections
you choose for each type are not
required to have the same percentage
relationship to the maximum price
election offered by us for each type.
However, the percentage of the
maximum price election must be in
accordance with FCIC approved
procedures. For example, if you choose
100 percent of the maximum price
election for one type, you may choose
a different percentage of the maximum
price election for all other types. If you
only have fresh apple acreage
designated on your acreage report and
processing apple acreage is added after
the sales closing date, we will assign a
price election percentage equal to the
lowest price election percentage you
selected for your fresh apple acreage. If
you only have processing apple acreage
designated on your acreage report and
fresh apple acreage is added after the
sales closing date, we will assign a price
election percentage equal to the price
election percentage you selected for
your processing apple acreage.
(c) If you elect an additional level of
coverage, you may insure your type
‘‘Fresh (Combined),’’ type ‘‘Processing,’’
or both, at the premium price election
if:
(1) Authorized in the Special
Provisions;
(2) You submit an Apple
Supplemental Report, by policy by the
production reporting date, containing
your total sales (including production
and revenue), differentiated by the
following, as applicable:
(i) Fresh and direct marketing; and
(ii) Processing;
(3) Upon initial election of the
premium price election, you provide
three years of production and revenue
as indicated in section 3(c)(2); and
(4) You meet any additional
requirements specified in the Special
Provisions.
(d) We will reduce the yield used to
establish your production guarantee, as
necessary, based on our estimate of the
effect of any situation listed in sections
3(c)(1) through (4). If the situation
occurred:
(1) Before the beginning of the
insurance period, the yield used to
establish your production guarantee will
be reduced for the current crop year
regardless of whether the situation was
due to an insured or uninsured cause of
loss. If you fail to notify us of any
circumstance that may reduce your
yields from previous levels, we will
reduce the yield used to establish your
production guarantee at any time we
become aware of the circumstance;
(2) Or may occur after the beginning
of the insurance period and you notify
us by the production reporting date, the
yield used to establish your production
guarantee will be reduced for the
current crop year only if the potential
reduction in the yield used to establish
your production guarantee is due to an
uninsured cause of loss; or
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(3) Or may occur after the beginning
of the insurance period and you fail to
notify us by the production reporting
date, production lost due to uninsured
causes equal to the amount of the
reduction in the yield used to establish
your production guarantee will be
applied in determining any indemnity
(see section 12(c)(1)(ii)). We will reduce
the yield used to establish your
production guarantee for the subsequent
crop year.
(e) We will reduce the yield used to
establish your production guarantee, as
necessary, based on our estimate of the
effect of any circumstance that may
reduce your yields from previous levels.
If the circumstance occurred:
(1) Before the beginning of the
insurance period and you notify us by
the production reporting date, the yield
used to establish your production
guarantee will be reduced for the
current crop year regardless of whether
the circumstance was due to an insured
or uninsured cause of loss;
(2) After the beginning of the
insurance period and you notify us by
the production reporting date, the yield
used to establish your production
guarantee will be reduced for the
current crop year only if the potential
reduction in the yield used to establish
your production guarantee is due to an
uninsured cause of loss; or
(3) Before or after the beginning of the
insurance period and you fail to notify
us by the production reporting date, an
amount equal to the reduction in the
yield will be added to the production to
count calculated in section 12(c) due to
uninsured causes. We will reduce the
yield used to establish your production
guarantee for the subsequent crop year
to reflect any reduction in the
productive capacity of the trees or in the
yield potential of the insured acreage.
(f) If the actuarial documents contain
type ‘‘Fresh (Combined),’’ you can elect
to insure your fresh acreage in aggregate
under type ‘‘Fresh (Combined)’’ or by
other fresh types identified in the
actuarial documents, but not both.
* * * * *
6. Report of Acreage
(a) In addition to the requirements
contained in section 6 of the Basic
Provisions, you must report and
designate all acreage by type by the
acreage reporting date.
(1) Any acreage not qualifying for
fresh apple production is not eligible for
the Optional Coverage for Fresh Fruit
Quality Adjustment contained in
section 14.
(2) If you designate fresh apple
acreage on the acreage report:
(i) You are certifying that your fresh
apple acreage meets the requirements in
section 7(d), unless otherwise
authorized by FCIC.
(ii) You must submit an Apple
Supplemental Report on the same basis
you certify your acreage in section
6(a)(2)(i) by the production reporting
date, containing the following, as
applicable.
(A) Production sold as fresh;
(B) Production sold by direct
marketing;
(C) Production sold as processing; and
(D) Production in storage.
(iii) And you fail to submit an Apple
Supplemental Report in accordance
with section 6(a)(2)(ii), you will not
have coverage under any fresh type
listed in the actuarial documents.
(iv) And you have high density
acreage, the requirement in section
6(a)(2)(i) does not apply to high density
acreage in the first year of insurability
or as authorized by FCIC procedure.
(b) If any portion of your crop will be
direct marketed, you must notify us at
least 15 calendar days before any
production will be harvested. We will
conduct an appraisal that will be used
to verify your production records in
accordance with FCIC procedures.
7. Insured Crop
* * * * *
(d) That are grown for fresh apple
production on acreage:
(1) That is designated as fresh apples
on the acreage report; and
(2) That you certify and, if requested
by us, provide verifiable records to
support, that at least 50 percent of the
production from all acreage reported as
fresh apple acreage by policy or unit, as
applicable, was sold as fresh apples in
one or more of the four most recent crop
years preceding the previous crop year
(e.g., for the 2023 crop year, the four
most recent crop years preceding the
previous crop year end in the 2021 crop
year), unless authorized by FCIC
procedures;
(e) That are grown on acreage
designated as processing apple
production on the acreage report. Any
production from acreage not meeting the
requirements in section 7(d) must be
designated on the acreage report as
processing apple production; and
(f) If you anticipate performing any
action that will reduce the productive
capacity of the trees or the yield
potential of the insured acreage (e.g.,
removing or grafting trees) after the
acreage reporting date you:
(1) May report all apple acreage when
you report your acreage for the crop year
and specify any affected acreage as
uninsurable acreage (By doing so, no
coverage will be considered to have
attached on the specified acreage and no
premium will be due for such acreage.
If you do not perform any action that
will reduce the productive capacity of
the trees or the yield potential of the
insured acreage, you will be subject to
the under-reporting provisions
contained in section 6 of the Basic
Provisions); or
(2) May report all apple acreage as
insurable when you report your acreage
for the crop year. Premium will be due
on all the acreage except as set forth
herein.
(i) On acreage for which you perform
actions that will reduce the productive
capacity of the trees or the yield
potential of the insured acreage, you
may qualify for a reduction in premium
only if you notify us in writing on a
revised acreage report on or before
March 31st or the date designated in the
Special Provisions, and do not claim an
indemnity on the acreage. No reduction
in premium will be allowed if the
required notice is not given or if you
claim an indemnity for the acreage.
(ii) Upon receiving timely notice,
insurance coverage on such acreage will
cease and we will process your revised
acreage report to indicate the applicable
reduction in premium. If you do not
perform the actions to the apple acreage
as intended, you will be subject to the
under-reporting provisions contained in
section 6 of the Basic Provisions.
* * * * *
11. Duties in the Event of Damage or
Loss
* * * * *
(b) * * *
* * * * *
(2) If any portion of your crop will be
direct marketed, you must notify us at
least 15 calendar days before any
production will be harvested. We will
conduct an appraisal that will be used
to verify your production records in
accordance with FCIC procedures. If
damage occurs after this appraisal, we
will conduct an additional appraisal.
These appraisals, and any other
acceptable records required to be
provided by you, will be used to
determine your production to count.
Failure to give timely notice that
production will be sold by direct
marketing will result in an appraised
amount of production to count of not
less than the production guarantee per
acre if such failure results in our
inability to make the required appraisal.
* * * * *
12. Settlement of Claim
* * * * *
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(b) * * *
Basic Coverage Example:
You have a 100 percent share in one
basic unit with 10 acres of fresh apples
and 5 acres of processing apples
designated on your acreage report, with
a 600-bushel per acre production
guarantee for both fresh and processing
apples, and you select 100 percent of
the price election on a price election of
$9.10 per bushel for fresh apples and
$2.50 per bushel for processing apples.
You harvest 5,000 bushels of fresh
apples and 1,000 bushels of processing
apples, all grading U.S. No. 1 Processing
or better. Your indemnity will be
calculated as follows:
(A) 10 acres × 600 bushels = 6,000-
bushel production guarantee of fresh
apples;
5 acres × 600 bushels = 3,000-bushel
production guarantee of processing
apples;
(B) 6,000-bushel production guarantee
× $9.10 price election × 100 percent of
price election = $54,600 value of
production guarantee for fresh apples;
3,000-bushel production guarantee ×
$2.50 price election × 100 percent of
price election = $7,500 value of
production guarantee for processing
apples;
(C) $54,600 value of production
guarantee for fresh apples + $7,500
value of production guarantee for
processing apples = $62,100.00 total
value of the production guarantee;
(D) 5,000 bushels of fresh apples are
harvested and 1,000 bushels of
processing apples are harvested.
(E) 5,000 bushels of fresh apple
production to count × $9.10 price
election × 100 percent of price election
= $45,500 value of fresh apple
production to count;
1,000 bushels of processing apple
production to count × $2.50 price
election × 100 percent of price election
= $2,500 value of processing apple
production to count;
(F) $45,500 value of fresh apple
production to count + $2,500 value of
processing apple production to count =
$48,000 total value of production to
count;
(G) $62,100 total value of the
production guarantee¥$48,000 total
value of production to count =
$14,100.00 value of loss; and
(H) $14,100 value of loss × 100
percent share = $14,100 indemnity
payment.
(c) * * *
* * * * *
(2) Notwithstanding section 12(c)(1),
when 65 percent or more of a unit’s
processing apple production is damaged
apple production, the processing apple
production from the unit will not be
considered production to count
provided none of the processing apple
production from the unit will be sold.
* * * * *
14. Optional Coverage for Fresh Fruit
Quality Adjustment
(a) In the event of a conflict between
the Apple Crop Insurance Provisions
and this option, this option will control.
Insureds who select this option cannot
receive less than the indemnity due
under section 12.
(b) In return for payment of the
additional premium designated in the
actuarial documents, this option
provides coverage for quality
adjustment of fresh apple production as
follows:
(1) To be eligible for this option, you
must have elected to insure your apples
at the additional coverage level. If you
elect CAT after this option is effective,
it will be considered as notice of
cancellation of this option by you.
(2) You must elect this option on or
before the sales closing date for the
initial crop year for which you wish to
insure your apples under this option.
This option will continue in effect until
canceled by either you or us for any
succeeding crop year by written notice
to the other party on or before the
cancellation date. (3) This option will
apply to all your fresh apple acreage
designated on your acreage report and
that meets the insurability requirements
specified in the Apple Crop Insurance
Provisions, except any acreage
specifically excluded by the actuarial
documents. Any acreage designated in
your acreage report as grown for
processing apple production is not
eligible for coverage under this option.
(4) In lieu of sections 12(c)(1)(iii), (iv)
and (2), the production to count will
include all appraised and harvested
production from all of the fresh apple
acreage in the unit, adjusted in
accordance with this option.
(5) Except as provided in section
14(b)(6), if the block or unit, as
applicable, is damaged due to an
insurable cause of loss to the extent that
more than 15 percent of the apple
production does not grade U.S. Fancy or
better (unless another grade is specified
in the Special Provisions) the following
adjustments to the production to count
will apply:
(i) When 16 percent through 64
percent of the apple production does
not grade U.S. Fancy or better (unless
another grade is specified in the Special
Provisions), the production to count
will be reduced two percent for each
full one percent in excess of 15 percent.
(ii) When 65 percent or more of the
apple production does not grade U.S.
Fancy or better (unless another grade is
specified in the Special Provisions), the
production will not be considered
production to count.
(6) If you sell any of your fresh apple
production from the block or unit, as
applicable, your production to count
will be the greater of the amount
determined in section 14(b)(5) or the
sum of the amount determined as
follows:
(i) All apples sold with a grade of U.S.
Fancy or better (unless another grade is
specified in the Special Provisions);
(ii) All marketable apple production
sold with a grade of less than U.S. Fancy
(unless another grade is specified in the
Special Provisions) multiplied by the
fresh fruit factor;
(iii) All marketable apple production
sold as fresh without a grade. This
amount is not to exceed what appraised
or graded as U.S. Fancy or better (unless
another grade is specified in the Special
Provisions) prior to the adjustments
under section 14(b)(5);
(iv) All marketable apple production
sold as fresh without a grade that
exceeds what appraised or graded as
U.S. Fancy or better (unless another
grade is specified in the Special
Provisions) prior to the adjustments
under section 14(b)(5) multiplied by the
fresh fruit factor; and
(v) All marketable apple production
sold as processing without a grade
multiplied by the fresh fruit factor.
(7) The grade standards used in
accordance with section 14(b)(6) and
applied during the appraisal process
with be the applicable grade standards
used when evaluating the final
disposition of the apple production.
(c) Any apple production not graded
or appraised prior to the earlier of the
time apples are placed in storage or the
date the apples are delivered to a
packer, processor, or other handler, will
be considered U.S. Fancy or better
(unless another grade is specified in the
Special Provisions) and included in
production to count under this option.
(d) Any adjustments that reduce your
production to count under this option
will not be applicable when
determining production to count for
APH purposes.
(e) Regarding written agreements
under this option:
(1) This option may apply to a written
agreement for apples when this option
is contained in the actuarial documents
for the county and crop.
(2) This option may apply to apples
in a county which does not have
actuarial documents for the crop when
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a written agreement specifically allows
this option.
(3) FCIC has the right to not allow this
option on a written agreement in
accordance with the provisions in
section 18 of the Basic Provisions.
Optional Coverage for Fresh Fruit
Quality Adjustment Example:
You have a 100 percent share in 10
acres of fresh apples designated on your
acreage report, with a 600 bushel per
acre guarantee, and you select 100
percent of the price election on a price
election of $9.10 per bushel. You
harvest 5,000 marketable bushels of
apples from your designated fresh apple
acreage, but only 2,650 of those bushels
grade U.S. Fancy or better. Assuming
you do not sell any of your fresh apple
production, your indemnity would be
calculated as follows:
(A) 10 acres × 600 bushels per acre =
6,000-bushel production guarantee of
fresh apples;
(B) 6,000-bushel production guarantee
of fresh apples × $9.10 price election ×
100 percent of price election = $54,600
value of production guarantee for fresh
apple acreage;
(C) The value of the fresh apple
production to count is determined as
follows:
(i) 5,000 bushels harvested¥2,650
bushels that graded U.S. Fancy or better
= 2,350 bushels of fresh apple
production not grading U.S. Fancy or
better;
(ii) 2,350/5,000 = 47 percent of fresh
apple production not grading U.S.
Fancy or better;
(iii) In accordance with section
14(b)(5)(i): 47 percent¥15 percent = 32
percent in excess of 15 percent;
(iv) 32 percent × 2 = 64 percent;
(v) 5,000 bushels harvested × .64 (64
percent)¥3,200 bushels of fresh apple
production not grading U.S. Fancy or
better;
(vi) 5,000 bushels harvested¥3,200
bushels of fresh apple production not
grading U.S. Fancy or better = 1,800
bushels of adjusted fresh apple
production to count;
(vii) 1,800 bushels of adjusted fresh
apples production to count × $9.10 price
election × 100 percent of price election
= $16,380 value of fresh apple
production to count;
(D) $54,600 value of production
guarantee for fresh apples¥$16,380
value of fresh apple production to count
= $38,220 value of loss;
(E) $38,220 value of loss × 100 percent
share = $38,220 indemnity payment.
Richard Flournoy,
Acting Manager, Federal Crop Insurance
Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2021–26989 Filed 12–14–21; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 3410–08–P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
10 CFR Part 430
[EERE–2021–BT–TP–0023]
RIN 1904–AF18
Energy Conservation Program: Test
Procedures for Cooking Products
AGENCY
: Office of Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy, Department of
Energy.
ACTION
: Notice of proposed rulemaking;
extension of public comment period and
notification of data availability (NODA).
SUMMARY
: The U.S. Department of
Energy (DOE) is extending the public
comment period for the notice of
proposed rulemaking (‘‘NOPR’’) that
DOE published on November 4, 2021
regarding a proposal for a new test
procedure for conventional cooking
tops, a category of cooking products,
that would replace the procedure that
DOE withdrew on August 18, 2020. DOE
is also publishing a NODA regarding the
results of DOE’s recently completed test
program assessing the repeatability and
reproducibility of the proposed test
procedure. DOE is publishing the results
of its testing and requests comment,
data, and information regarding the
results.
DATES
: The comment period for the
NOPR which published on November 4,
2021 (86 FR 60974), is extended. DOE
will accept comments, data, and
information regarding the NOPR and
NODA on or before January 18, 2022.
ADDRESSES
: Interested persons are
encouraged to submit comments using
the Federal eRulemaking Portal at
www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
Alternatively, interested persons may
submit comments, identified by docket
number EERE–2021–BT–TP–0023, by
any of the following methods:
1. Federal eRulemaking Portal:
www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
2. Email: CookingProducts2021@
ee.doe.gov. Include the docket number
EERE–2021–BT–TP–0023 in the subject
line of the message.
No telefacsimilies (‘‘faxes’’) will be
accepted. For detailed instructions on
submitting comments and additional
information on this process, see section
III of this document.
Although DOE has routinely accepted
public comment submissions through a
variety of mechanisms, including postal
mail and hand delivery/courier, the
Department has found it necessary to
make temporary modifications to the
comment submission process in light of
the ongoing coronavirus 2019 (‘‘COVID–
19’’) pandemic. DOE is currently
suspending receipt of public comments
via postal mail and hand delivery/
courier. If a commenter finds that this
change poses an undue hardship, please
contact Appliance Standards Program
staff at (202) 586–1445 to discuss the
need for alternative arrangements. Once
the COVID–19 pandemic health
emergency is resolved, DOE anticipates
resuming all of its regular options for
public comment submission, including
postal mail and hand delivery/courier.
Docket: The docket for this activity,
which includes Federal Register
notices, public meeting attendee lists
and transcripts (if a public meeting is
held), comments, and other supporting
documents/materials, is available for
review at www.regulations.gov. All
documents in the docket are listed in
the www.regulations.gov index.
However, some documents listed in the
index, such as those containing
information that is exempt from public
disclosure, may not be publicly
available.
The docket web page can be found at
www.regulations.gov/docket/EERE-
2021-BT-TP-0023. The docket web page
contains instructions on how to access
all documents, including public
comments, in the docket. See section III
for information on how to submit
comments through
www.regulations.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
: Dr.
Stephanie Johnson, U.S. Department of
Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy, Building
Technologies Office, EE–2J, 1000
Independence Avenue SW, Washington,
DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 287–
1943. Email:
ApplianceStandardsQuestions@
ee.doe.gov.
Ms. Celia Sher, U.S. Department of
Energy, Office of the General Counsel,
GC–33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20585–0121.
Telephone: (202) 287–6122. Email:
Celia.Sher@hq.doe.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
:
Table of Contents
I. Background
II. Summary of Additional Testing Performed
by DOE
III. Extension of the Comment Period
I. Background
DOE originally established test
procedures for cooking products in a
final rule published in the Federal
Register on May 10, 1978. 43 FR 20108,
20120–20128. In the years following,
DOE amended the test procedure for
conventional cooking tops on several
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