ST. LOUIS — There won’t be a vote on the soybean checkoff this year. The USDA received requests from only about one-tenth of 1 percent of all U.S. soybean growers to hold a referendum on the soybean checkoff.
USDA received only 759 requests — out of the 589,182 eligible farmers — for referendum forms at county Farm Service Agency offices. It takes requests from 10 percent — with no more than one-fifth of the 10 percent coming from any one state — to trigger a referendum on the soybean checkoff.
USDA requires a soybean checkoff request for referendum every five years. The most recent period took place from May 4 to May 29.
Farmers certifying that they paid the checkoff, which is one-half of one percent of the price per bushel sold, at any time, in 2007 or 2008, were eligible to participate in the petition. Farmers who did not want a referendum did not need to take any action.