Montana Administrative Register Notice 4-14-200 No. 24   12/23/2010    
Prev Next





In the matter of the amendment of ARM 4.12.3503 and 4.12.3504 relating to certified seed potatoes







TO: All Concerned Persons


            1. On January 13, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. the Montana Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of the Scott Hart Building, 302 N. Roberts at Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.


            2. The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process and need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Agriculture no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 6, 2011, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Cort Jensen at the Montana Department of Agriculture, 302 North Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201; phone: (406) 444-3144; fax: (406) 444-5409; or e-mail: agr@mt.gov.


3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows:


4.12.3503 BLUE TAGS (1) through (1)(i) remain the same.

            (j) freezing injury other than the condition of being frozen or affected by soft rot or wet breakdown shall be scored when removal of the affected area causes a loss of more than 10% of the total weight of the tuber. The tolerance is 3% or less for freezing injury.

            (k) the tolerance shall be not more than is1% or less for potatoes which are affected by late blight tuber rot., soft rot or wet breakdown.


AUTH: 80-3-110, MCA

IMP: 80-3-104, 80-3-105, MCA


REASON: Montana seed potato grade standards are established by standards set by USDA for table stock potatoes, except that the department and the industry have established state exemptions for certain tolerances for Montana Blue Tag and Red Tag seed potato grade inspections. Montana's seed potato industry is more than 40 years old and has always graded to the 3% tolerance for freezing injury in seed potatoes without complaints from customers. In 2008, the federal grade standard was changed from 3% to 1% for freezing injury in table stock potatoes. Without an exemption to the federal standards, Montana growers will have to grade to a more stringent standard that is not required for seed potatoes. Reestablishing the freezing injury tolerance back to 3% will allow Montana growers to continue providing a quality product to satisfied customers with a reasonable limit of defects. Adding the language in (k) clarifies that the tolerance remains at 1% for the condition of soft rot and wet breakdown that are not a result of freezing injury of Blue Tag seed potatoes.


FINANCIAL IMPACT: No financial impact is anticipated from the rule making.


            4.12.3504 RED TAGS (1) through (1)(e) remain the same.

(f) the following blue tag exceptions shall also apply to red tags: air cracks, sunburn (greening), stem-end discoloration, immaturity, sprouts, oversize, undersize, hollow heart, hollow heart with discoloration, light brown discoloration, brown center, freezing injury, and the tolerance for late blight tuber rot., soft rot or wet breakdown. 


AUTH: 80-3-110, MCA

IMP: 80-3-104, 80-3-105, MCA


            REASONThis language is added to be consistent with the new language in 4.12.3503.


FINANCIAL IMPACT: No financial impact is anticipated from the rule making.


4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Cort Jensen at the Montana Department of Agriculture, 302 North Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax: (406) 444-5409; or e-mail: agr@mt.gov and must be received no later than January 20, 2011.


            5. The Department of Agriculture maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request which includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to Montana Department of Agriculture, 302 North Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201; fax: (406) 444-5409; or e-mail: agr@mt.gov or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the Department of Agriculture.


6. An electronic copy of this Notice of Proposed Amendment is available through the department's web site at www.agr.mt.gov, under the Administrative Rules section. The department strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the department strives to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


            7. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply




/s/ Ron de Yong_                                               /s/ Cort Jensen                                       

Ron de Yong, Director                                      Cort Jensen, Rule Reviewer


Certified to the Secretary of State, December 13, 2010.

Home  |   Search  |   About Us  |   Contact Us  |   Help  |   Disclaimer  |   Privacy & Security