U.S. soybean growers may request a referendum now through May 31, 2019.
I thought there was a soybean checkoff, what’s this about?
Yes, there is a soybean checkoff. It is administered by a 73-member producer board and is designed to expand uses of soybeans and soybean products in domestic and foreign markets. The national program is financed by a mandatory assessment of one-half of 1% of the net market price of soybeans.
The Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act requires USDA to conduct a Request for Referendum every five years to determine if producers want to vote on continuation of the soybean checkoff program. The last Request for Referendum was conducted in 2014. The Soybean Request for Referendum runs May 6 through May 31, 2019, in county Farm Service Agency offices.
Who can request a referendum?
Individual producers and other producer entities may request a referendum at the county FSA office where their administrative farm records are maintained. Producers who do not participate in FSA programs may request a referendum through the county FSA office where they own or rent land.
To be eligible to participate, producers must certify and provide documentation that they produced soybeans and paid an assessment on the soybeans during the period of Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2018. Producers may obtain Form LS–51–1, Soybean Promotion and Research Order Request for Referendum, by postal mail, fax or in person from their FSA county office. The form will be available on the United Soybean Board page of the AMS website from May 6 to May 31, 2019.
I’ve got the form filled out. Now what?
Completed forms and supporting documentation must be returned to the appropriate county FSA office by fax or in person no later than close of business May 31, 2019. Mailed forms must be postmarked by midnight May 31, 2019, and received in the county FSA office by close of business June 6, 2019.
What needs to happen for a referendum to occur?
USDA will conduct a referendum if a least 10% of the nation’s 515,008 soybean producers support a referendum. Not more than one-fifth of the producers who support having a referendum can be from any one state.
Where can I learn more?
Notice of the opportunity to request a referendum was published in the Federal Register March 18, 2019.
More information is available on the United Soybean Board page and on the board’s website, unitedsoybean.org. You may also contact Agricultural Marketing Specialist Sarah Aswegan at (515) 201-5190 or Sarah.Aswegan@usda.gov; or Kenneth Payne at (202) 720-1118 or Kenneth.Payne@usda.gov. You may also send postal mail to:
Research and Promotion Division
Livestock and Poultry Program
STOP 0251 - Room 2610-S
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0251