USDA sets date for soybean request for referendum

Published 10:04 am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that 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 five years after the initial referendum, which was conducted in 1994.

The last Request for Referendum was conducted in 2009. 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 (FSA) 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, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2013.

From Monday, May 5, through Friday, May 30, producers may obtain a form by mail, fax, or in person from the FSA county offices. Forms may also be obtained via the Internet at 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 on May 30; or if returned by mail, must be postmarked by midnight May 30, and received in the county FSA office by close of business on Thursday, June 5.

USDA will conduct a referendum if at least 10 percent of the nation’s 569,998 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 70-member producer board and is designed to expand uses of soybeans and soybean products in domestic and foreign markets.

The National Soybean Checkoff Program is financed by a mandatory assessment of one-half of 1 percent of the net market price of soybeans.

For more information, contact James Brow, Research and Promotions Branch; Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program, AMS, USDA; STOP 0251 – Room 2610-S; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C. 20250-0251; tel. 202-720-0633; or via the Internet at: