Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Proposed increase in lamb check-off

A proposed amendment to increase the assessment rate for the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order (American Lamb Checkoff) was published in the June 12 Federal Register. Comments pertaining to the proposed changes should be submitted by August 13, 2012.

The current assessment rate is 0.005 cents per pound of live sheep. First handlers (owners of sheep at the time of slaughter) are assessed an additional 30 cents per head.

All sheep (market lambs, feeder lambs, breeding stock, and cull animals) are subject to the assessment. All producers (and exporters) are obligated to pay the check-off. The check-off is automatically deducted at sale barns, but direct marketers, who are both producer and first handler, are required to submit assessments to the American Lamb Board.

The American Lamb Board has proposed that the assessment be increased to 0.007 cents per pound of live sheep, a 20 percent increase for a 100-lb. lamb. The proposal would increase the first handler fee by 40 percent to 42 cents per head.

All sheep are subject to the check-off.

The check-off funds the activities of the American Lamb Board. The proposed increases to the assessments would increase the Lamb Board's budget by about 40 percent ($700,000).

How to submit comments
Comments must be posted online to www.regulations.gov or sent to Kenneth Payne, Director, Marketing Programs Division, Livestock and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), USDA, Room 2628-S, STOP 0251, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0251; or fax to (202) 720-1125.

All comments should reference the docket number, the date, and the page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Comments will be available for public inspection at the aforementioned address, as well as on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/.

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