BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On October 29, 2009, the Montana Department of Agriculture published MAR Notice No. 4-14-190 relating to the public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules at page 1829 of the 2009 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 20.
2. On November 23, 2009, the Montana Department of Agriculture held a public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.
3. The department has thoroughly considered the comments received. A summary of the comments received and the department's responses follow. All comments came from the Montana Potato Improvement Association (representing their industry):
COMMENT #1: They support the fee increase.
RESPONSE #1: No response necessary.
COMMENT #2: They think a more reasonable trigger for actual cost recovery is 400cwt/hour instead of 500 cwt/hour as the higher number is too tough on smaller producers.
RESPONSE #2: The department agrees and amended the final rule to reflect the 400 cwt/hour trigger.
COMMENT #3: They requested a change to the freeze tolerance from 1% back to 3%. The 1% is not a realistic measure for seed potatoes.
RESPONSE #3: The department agrees, but it is outside the scope of this rule and will be addressed with a rule change in the near future.
4. The department has amended ARM 4.12.1428 and 4.12.1429 exactly as proposed.
5. The department has amended ARM 4.12.1427 as proposed based on comment #2, but with the following changes from the original proposal, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:
4.12.1427 INSPECTION FEES (1) through (2)(a) remain as proposed.
(i) shipping point inspections of seed potatoes when the volume of work is less than 400
500 cwt per hour;
(ii) through (5) remain as proposed.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
/s/ Ron de Yong /s/ Cort Jensen
Ron de Yong, Director Cort Jensen, Rule Reviewer
Certified to the Secretary of State, November 30, 2009.