USDA Sets Date for Soybean Request for Referendum

USDA Sets Date for
Soybean Request for Referendum

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it
will offer soybean producers the opportunity to request a referendum on the
Soybean Promotion and Research Order (Order), as authorized under the Soybean
Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Act).

The act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to
conduct a Request for Referendum every 5 years

after the initial referendum, which was conducted in
1994. The last Request for Referendum was

conducted in 2004. Soybean producers who are
interested in having a referendum to determine

whether to continue the soybean checkoff program are
invited to participate.

The Request for Referendum will be conducted at USDA’s
county Farm Service Agency offices.

To be eligible to participate, producers must certify
and provide documentation that shows that

they produced soybeans and paid an assessment on the
soybeans during the period of Jan. 1, 2007,

through Dec. 31, 2008.

Beginning May 4, 2009, and continuing through May 29,
2009, producers may obtain a form by

mail, fax, or in person from the Farm Service Agency
county offices. Forms may also be obtained

via the internet at
http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsmarketingprograms during the same time period.

Individual producers and other producer entities may
request a referendum at the county FSA

office where their administrative farm records are
maintained. For the producer not participating

in FSA programs, the opportunity to request a
referendum will be provided at the county FSA

office where the producer owns or rents land.
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 29, 2009; or if returned by mail, must be
postmarked by midnight May 29, 2009,

and received in the county FSA office by close of
business on June 5, 2009.

USDA will conduct a referendum if at least 10 percent
of the nation’s 589,182 soybean producers

support a referendum. Not more than one-fifth of the
producers who support having a referendum

can be from any one state.

The soybean checkoff program is administered by a
68-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 percent of the net market price of

soybeans.

Notice of the Request for Referendum will be published
in the March 4, 2009, Federal Register.

For more information, contact the Marketing Programs
Branch; Livestock and Seed Program,

AMS, USDA; STOP 0251 – Room 2628-S; 1400 Independence
Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C.

20250-0251; tel. (202)
720-1115; or via the Internet at www.ams.usda.gov/lsmarketingprograms.