Information provided courtesy of the Federal Register
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the 2023/2024 rates it will charge for voluntary grading, inspection, certification, auditing, and laboratory services for a variety of agricultural commodities including meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, rice, and cotton and tobacco. The 2023/2024 regular, overtime, holiday, and laboratory services rates will be applied at the beginning of the crop year, fiscal year or as required by law depending on the commodity. Other starting dates are added to this notice based on cotton industry practices. This action establishes the rates for user-funded programs based on costs incurred by AMS. This year, cost-based analyses indicated the need to increase user fee rates when current rates are insufficient to cover the costs of providing the service. While cost-saving measures have and will continue to be implemented, user fee rate increases are necessary to offset rising operational costs. In cases where current rates are sufficient to cover the costs of providing the service, user fee rates remain unchanged.