Responding to a request from the California Walnut Board, the Agriculture Marketing Service proposes to increase the assessment on walnuts grown in the state by $00.0001 per pound for 2011-12, which is projected to generate about $7.4 million.

The proposal published in the Federal Register on Aug. 16 includes a comment period through Sept. 15. Instructions for commenting are included in the proposal notice. The current assessment is $00.0174 per pound, which funded the board’s promotions and projects of $6.8 million for 2010-11.

The notice states there are about 4,500 walnut growers and 74 handlers subject to the assessment. The board estimates the 2011-12 crop will be about 470,000 tons inshell or 423 million pounds kernelweight.