USDA has opened the door for another potential producer referendum on the soybean checkoff if enough producers call for it. In a Federal Register notice, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service says producers have from May 6-May 31 to request a referendum. If 10 percent of the over 515,000 eligible producers call for a vote on whether or not the checkoff should be continued, USDA will hold a referendum vote within one year. Requests are to be submitted at local Farm Service Agency offices. According to AMS, the most recent referendum request — conducted every five years — resulted in 324 producers completing “valid requests,” well short of the requisite figure just shy of 57,000. According to the United Soybean Board, annual assessments resulted in more than $100 million in research and promotion funds in 2017.
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