Not enough soybean growers ask for new vote

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ST. LOUIS – The USDA will not conduct a referendum on the soybean checkoff.

USDA received 3,206 signed request for referendum forms, which is less than half of 1 percent of all the eligible soybean producers.

To conduct the referendum, the USDA had to hear from 10 percent of the 663,880 eligible producers requesting a referendum.

The Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act requires the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture provide soybean producers the opportunity to request a referendum every five years.

Eligibility. Producers certifying that they paid an assessment for soybeans at any time during a period beginning Jan. 1, 2002, and ending Dec. 31, 2003, were eligible to participate in the petition for a referendum.

Eligible individuals not wanting a referendum did not need to take any action.

Producers not participating in FSA programs were able to request a referendum at the county FSA office serving the area where they own or rent land.

The process took place in May.

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