WSR 07-01-106

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed December 19, 2006, 3:39 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-22-068.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department of agriculture is proposing to amend chapter 16-409 WAC, Standards for asparagus.

Hearing Location(s): Educational Service District 123, 3918 West Court Street, Pasco, WA 99301, on Friday, January 26, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: March 1, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: Maryann Connell, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, e-mail mconnell@agr.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2085, by 5:00 p.m., January 26, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact the Washington state department of agriculture receptionist by January 19, 2007, TDD (360) 902-1996 or (360) 902-1976.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Amend chapter 16-409 WAC, Standards for asparagus, by making changes relevant to grades, size requirements, and fresh asparagus containers, in order to increase marketing opportunities for asparagus growers.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These amendments will allow asparagus growers, packers and shippers to market asparagus in accordance with U.S.D.A. grade standards and sizes. Additionally, entities would be allowed to pack and market in various types of containers that may be requested or required by buyers and the consuming public.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 15.17 RCW, Standards of grades and packs and chapter 34.05 RCW, Administrative Procedure Act.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 15.17 RCW, Standards of grades and packs.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: The Washington asparagus commission and Washington state department of agriculture, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Jim Quigley, Olympia, (360) 902-1833.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. There is no economic impact associated with these rule amendments.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Washington state department of agriculture is not a listed agency in RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).

December 19, 2006

Dennis Hannapel

Assistant Director

OTS-9441.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-10-092, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05)

WAC 16-409-020   ((What)) Standards that apply to all asparagus marketed within Washington state((?)).   Any lot of fresh asparagus, including "culls," marketed within Washington state must have no more than ten percent of the stalks that((:

(1))) have white in excess of two inches((; and

(2) Are less than 4/16 inch in diameter)).

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17 and 34.05 RCW. 05-10-092, 16-409-020, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.17 RCW. 97-05-054 (Order 6015), 16-409-020, filed 2/19/97, effective 3/22/97; 97-01-081 (Order 6008), 16-409-020, filed 12/17/96, effective 1/17/97; 85-07-028 (Order 1848), 16-409-020, filed 3/15/85; 83-06-049 (Order 1787), 16-409-020, filed 3/1/83; Order 795, Regulation 2(1), (2), effective 2/16/60.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-10-092, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05)

WAC 16-409-022   ((What grades are used to identify asparagus in Washington state?)) Asparagus grades.   (1) The following table identifies and describes the asparagus grades used in Washington state:


Washington Asparagus Grades:
Stalk Characteristics: "Extra Fancy Grade Asparagus" "Extra Fancy Grade Asparagus Tips" "Fancy Grade Asparagus" "Consumer Pack Asparagus" "Culls"
Stalks must be:
(a) Clean; Yes Yes Yes Yes No
(b) Fresh; Yes Yes Yes Yes No
(c) Fairly uniform in length; Yes Yes Yes Yes No
(d) Well trimmed; Yes Yes No No No
(e) Fairly well trimmed; No No Yes Yes No
(f) Fairly straight; Yes Yes No Yes No
(g) Not wilted; Yes Yes Yes Yes No
(h) Not badly misshapen; No No Yes No No
(i) Free from decay; Yes Yes Yes Yes No
(j) Free from damage caused by spreading or broken tips, dirt, disease, insects, or mechanical or other means; Yes Yes Yes Yes No
(k) At least eighty-five percent green in color; Yes No Yes Yes No
(l) All green. No Yes No No No

(2) "Culls" describes asparagus that:

(a) Is not graded in conformity with Washington extra fancy, Washington extra fancy tips, Washington fancy, Washington consumer pack, or U.S. No. 1, or U.S. No. 2; and

(b) Must not be marketed if more than ten percent by count of the stalks show white in excess of two inches.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17 and 34.05 RCW. 05-10-092, 16-409-022, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-10-092, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05)

WAC 16-409-024   ((What are the)) Size requirements for Washington asparagus grades((?)).   The following ((table identifies asparagus)) size ((requirements by Washington grades:)) designations apply to all grades of asparagus in Washington state.


((Washington Asparagus Grades Stalks within individual containers must meet one of the following designated sizes: Grade lots must be designated as: Ninety percent, by count, of the stalks in any lot must conform to the diameters for such designations:
"Extra Fancy Grade Asparagus" Jumbo Washington extra fancy jumbo or Washington jumbo Washington extra fancy jumbo or Washington jumbo must have stalks at least 13/16 inch in diameter.
Large Washington extra fancy large or Washington large Washington extra fancy large or Washington large must have stalks at least 7/16 inch in diameter.
Standard Washington extra fancy standard or Washington standard Washington extra fancy standard or Washington standard must have stalks at least 6/16 inch in diameter.
"Extra Fancy Grade Asparagus Tips" Jumbo Washington extra fancy tips jumbo Washington extra fancy tips jumbo must be 13/16 inch in diameter or larger.
Large Washington extra fancy tips large Washington extra fancy tips large must be 7/16 inch in diameter or larger.
Standard Washington extra fancy tips standard Washington extra fancy tips standard must be 6/16 inch in diameter or larger.
Small Washington extra fancy tips small Washington extra fancy tips small must have a diameter of at least 4/16 inch.
"Fancy Grade Asparagus" Small Minimum diameter; or Washington fancy small or Washington small Washington fancy grade asparagus lots must be designated by minimum diameter: However, when at least ninety percent, by count, of the stalks in any lot are at least 4/16 inch in diameter, the lot may be designated as Washington fancy small or Washington small.
"Washington consumer pack" N/A Washington consumer pack Washington consumer pack lots must be designated by minimum diameter and stalks must be at least 4/16 inch in diameter.
"U.S. No. 1 grade" N/A Minimum diameter; or N/A
Jumbo Washington jumbo U.S. No. 1 grade jumbo must have stalks at least 13/16 inch in diameter.
Large Washington large U.S. No. 1 grade large must have stalks at least 7/16 inch in diameter.
Standard Washington standard U.S. No. 1 grade standard must have stalks at least 6/16 inch in diameter.
"U.S. No. 2 grade" N/A Minimum diameter; or N/A
Small Washington small U.S. No. 2 grade small must have stalks at least 4/16 inch in diameter.))

(1) Jumbo: Stalks at least 13/16 inch in diameter.

(2) Extra large: Stalks at least 10/16 inch in diameter.

(3) Large: Stalks at least 7/16 inch in diameter.

(4) Standard: Stalks at least 5/16 inch in diameter.

(5) Small: Stalks less than 5/16 inch in diameter.

(6) All size designations, as defined in WAC 16-409-024, may be packed in all grades and in all containers.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17 and 34.05 RCW. 05-10-092, 16-409-024, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-10-092, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05)

WAC 16-409-026   ((Does the department adopt)) Adoption of U.S. standards for fresh asparagus as Washington state standards((?)).   (1) In addition to the Washington state fresh asparagus standards contained in this chapter, the Washington state department of agriculture has adopted, as Washington state standards, modified United States fresh asparagus standards for U.S. grades No. 1 and No. 2.

(2) The department's modifications to the U.S. standards are as follows:

(a) U.S. No. 1 must ((be at least 6/16 inch in diameter and must)) meet or exceed Washington extra fancy grade requirements.

(b) U.S. No. 2 must ((be at least 4/16 inch in diameter and must)) meet or exceed Washington fancy grade requirements.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17 and 34.05 RCW. 05-10-092, 16-409-026, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-10-092, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05)

WAC 16-409-030   ((What)) Tolerances ((are adopted for Washington asparagus?)).   The following table identifies and explains the tolerances adopted for Washington asparagus:


Washington Asparagus Grades to Which Tolerances Apply Defect, color and trim tolerances adopted for Washington asparagus Diameter and length tolerances adopted for Washington asparagus
Washington extra fancy

Washington extra fancy tips

Washington fancy

Washington consumer pack

To allow for variations incident to proper grading and handling, the following tolerances are adopted: To allow for variations in diameter and length incident to proper sizing, the following tolerances are adopted:
(1) Ten percent, by count, for stalks failing to meet grade requirements other than for trim and color, including no more than one percent for decayed stalks. (1) Ten percent, by count, for stalks failing to meet the required minimum and maximum diameter defined in WAC 16-409-015 ("fairly uniform in length").
(2) An additional ten percent, by count, for stalks having less than the required amount of green color. (2) Ten percent, by count, for stalks failing to meet the required length as established in WAC 16-409-022.
(3) An additional ten percent, by count, for stalks not meeting trim requirements.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17 and 34.05 RCW. 05-10-092, 16-409-030, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.17 RCW. 97-01-081 (Order 6008), 16-409-030, filed 12/17/96, effective 1/17/97; 85-07-028 (Order 1848), 16-409-030, filed 3/15/85; 83-06-049 (Order 1787), 16-409-030, filed 3/1/83; Order 795, Regulation 2(3), (4), effective 2/16/60.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-10-092, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05)

WAC 16-409-035   ((How does the department apply its)) Application of asparagus tolerances during an inspection((?)).   (1) If the averages for an entire lot are within the tolerances specified in WAC 16-409-030, the limitations in this section, based upon sample inspections, apply to the contents of individual containers in the lot.

(2) Individual containers:

(a) May contain one decayed or otherwise defective stalk, one poorly trimmed stalk, one poorly colored, and one off-size stalk.

(b) Must have no more than one and one-half times the tolerance specified when a tolerance is ten percent or more.

(c) Must have no more than double the tolerance specified when a tolerance is less than ten percent.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17 and 34.05 RCW. 05-10-092, 16-409-035, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.17 RCW. 85-07-028 (Order 1848), 16-409-035, filed 3/15/85; 83-06-049 (Order 1787), 16-409-035, filed 3/1/83.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-10-092, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05)

WAC 16-409-065   ((What)) Container requirements ((apply to the containers used to market fresh asparagus?)).   ((The following table identifies and explains the requirements that apply to the containers used to market fresh asparagus:


((Asparagus Grades: Container Requirements:
(1) All fresh asparagus: Must be marketed in containers that are clean and free from dirt, trash, and visible contaminates.
(2) All fresh asparagus: Must not be marketed in field containers.
(3) For testing or trial marketing purposes, the director: May allow the use of any experimental containers not specified in this table.
(4) Washington extra fancy, Washington extra fancy tips, Washington fancy, U.S. No. 1, and U.S. No. 2 grades of fresh asparagus: Must be marketed in containers with moisture pads.
(5) Washington consumer pack grade of fresh asparagus: Must be marketed either in:
(a) Pyramid type containers with moisture pads; or
(b) Fiberboard or wooden "western lug" containers with:
(i) Inside dimensions of approximately seven inches, by eleven and one-half inches, by eighteen inches; or
(ii) A capacity of thirteen hundred and fifty to fifteen hundred and fifty cubic inches.
(iii) Western lugs must contain at least twenty pounds net weight.
(6) Culls; Must be marketed in wooden pyramid containers with moisture pads.))

(1) All fresh asparagus must be marketed in containers that are clean and free from dirt, trash, and visible contaminates.

(2) All fresh asparagus must not be marketed in field containers.

(3) For testing or trial marketing purposes, the director may allow the use of any experimental container.

(4) Culls must be marketed in wooden pyramid containers with moisture pads.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17 and 34.05 RCW. 05-10-092, 16-409-065, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.17 RCW. 97-01-081 (Order 6008), 16-409-065, filed 12/17/96, effective 1/17/97; 85-07-028 (Order 1848), 16-409-065, filed 3/15/85; 83-06-049 (Order 1787), 16-409-065, filed 3/1/83.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-10-092, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05)

WAC 16-409-070   ((What)) Container marking requirements ((apply to fresh asparagus containers?)).   (1) All required markings must be placed on one end of the container, but may be duplicated on the opposite end.

(2) Containers must be conspicuously and legibly marked with the:

(a) Name and address of the grower, packer, or distributor;

(b) Grade;

(c) Net weight; and

(d) Size designation or diameter size as defined in WAC 16-409-024.

(3) The grade and size designation required in subsection (2) of this section must be marked in letters at least 3/8 inch in height.

(4) The following abbreviations of grade and size designation are acceptable:

(a) Washington as Wash. or WA.

(b) Extra fancy as ex fcy or extra fcy.

(c) Fancy as fcy.

(d) Jumbo as jbo.

(e) Extra large as ex lge.

(f) Large as lge.

(((e))) (g) Standard as std.

(h) Small as sm.

(5) The use of U.S. No. 1 or U.S. No. 2 grade markings is permissible subject to the requirements in WAC 16-409-026.

(6) If culls are marketed:

(((a))) The word "culls" must be:

(((i))) (a) Conspicuously and legibly marked in letters at least one inch in height; and

(((ii))) (b) Predominant in size over any other markings on the container.

(((b) They must be marketed only in wooden pyramid containers with moisture pads.))

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17 and 34.05 RCW. 05-10-092, 16-409-070, filed 5/4/05, effective 6/4/05. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.17 RCW. 97-01-081 (Order 6008), 16-409-070, filed 12/17/96, effective 1/17/97; 85-07-028 (Order 1848), 16-409-070, filed 3/15/85; 83-06-049 (Order 1787), 16-409-070, filed 3/1/83; Order 795, Regulation 3, effective 2/16/60.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office