USDA will conduct a request for referendum on the soybean checkoff starting from May 5 through May 30, 2014. This referendum is authorised under the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act which gives soybean producers the opportunity to call for a referendum every five years.
The request for referendum will determine whether US soybean producers want a referendum on the Soybean Promotion and Research Programme. The Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act requires that the secretary of agriculture provide soybean producers the opportunity to petition for a referendum every five years.
To be eligible to participate, producers must certify they or the entity they are authorised to represent paid an assessment at some time between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013. Documentation for that assessment, such as sales receipts showing that the checkoff was collected, will be required up front when submitting the request form.
The process requires eligible producers who want to indicate their support for a referendum to complete and sign form LS-51-1. Producers may obtain this form online, in person at their nearest Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, by mail or by fax from May 5 through May 30, 2014.
FSA is then responsible for determining a producer's eligibility. If FSA cannot determine the producer's eligibility or if the producer fails to submit documentation, then FSA will notify the ineligible person in writing. Producers who do not participate in FSA programmes may obtain a Form LS-51-1 at the county FSA office where the producer owns or rents land. This form may also be obtained online.
If the USDA determines that at least 10%^ of the nation's 569,998 soybean producers have requested a referendum, a referendum will then be held within one year from that determination. No more than one-fifth of the producers who support having a referendum can be from any one state.
United Soybean Board
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