(a)Announcement of program. On or before November 30 of each crop year, the committee shall hold a meeting to review production data, supply data, demand data, including anticipated demand to all potential market outlets, desirable carryout inventory, and other matters relating to the quantity of raisins of all varietal types. When the committee determines that raisins exist in the reserve pool in excess of projected market needs for any varietal type, it may announce the amount of such tonnage eligible for diversion during the subsequent crop year. At the same time, the committee shall determine and announce to producers, handlers, and the cooperative bargaining association(s) the allowable harvest cost to be applicable to such diversion tonnage. A production cap of 2.75 tons of raisins per acre shall be established for any production unit approved for participation in a diversion program. The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may recommend, at the same time that the diversion tonnage for that season is announced, a change in the production cap for that season's diversion program of less than 2.75 tons per acre for any production unit approved for the diversion program.
(b)Voluntary diversion. No producer shall be required to participate in any raisin diversion program.
(c)Issuance of diversion certificates. After the committee announces a raisin diversion program, any producer may divert grapes of the producer's own production and receive from the committee a diversion certificate in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations. Such certificates may only be submitted by producers to handlers in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. Diversion certificates issued by the committee shall apply to a specific production unit and shall be equal to the creditable fruit weight, not to exceed the production cap established pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, of such raisins produced on such unit during the prior crop year or the last prior crop year eligible for such diversion: Provided, That in the case of a production unit, or partial production unit, removed from production through vine removal or other means established by the committee, the committee may issue a diversion certificate in an amount greater than the creditable fruit weight of the raisins produced therein or the production cap applicable.
(d)Redemption of diversion certificates.Handlers may redeem diversion certificates for reserve pool raisins. To redeem a certificate, a handler must present the diversion certificate to the Committee and pay the Committee an amount equal to the harvest cost it has established, plus an amount equal to the payment for receiving, storing, fumigating, handling, and inspecting reserve tonnage raisins specified in § 989.401 for the entire tonnage represented on the certificate. Upon receipt of the diversion certificate, the Committee shall note on the certificate that it is cancelled.
(e)Implementation of the program. The Committee shall establish, with the approval of the Secretary, such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the implementation and operation of a raisin diversion program.