USDA Sets Date for Soybean Request for Referendum

March 20, 2019

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

The Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a Request for Referendum every five years after the initial referendum to determine whether to continue the soybean checkoff program. The last Request for Referendum was conducted in 2014.

The Request for Referendum will be conducted at USDA Farm Service Agency county offices May 6 through May 31, 2019. Individual producers and other producer entities may request a referendum at the county FSA office where their administrative farm records are maintained. Producers who do not participate in FSA programs may request a referendum through the county FSA office where they own or rent land.

To be eligible to participate, producers must certify and provide documentation that they produced soybeans and paid an assessment on the soybeans during the period of Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2018. Producers may obtain Form LS–51–1, Soybean Promotion and Research Order Request for Referendum, by postal mail, fax or in person from their FSA county office. The form will be available on the United Soybean Board page of the AMS website from May 6 to May 31, 2019.

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 31, 2019. Mailed forms must be postmarked by midnight May 31, 2019, and received in the county FSA office by close of business June 6, 2019.

USDA will conduct a referendum if a least 10 percent of the nation’s 515,008 soybean producers support a referendum. Not more than one-fifth of the producers who support having a referendum can be from any one state.

Notice of the opportunity to request a referendum was published in the Federal Register March 18, 2019.

The soybean checkoff program is administered by a 73-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.

More information about the board is available on the United Soybean Board page and on the board’s website, unitedsoybean.org. You may also contact Kenneth R. Payne by phone at (202) 720-1118 or by postal mail at:

Research and Promotion Division
Livestock and Poultry Program
AMS, USDA
STOP 0251 - Room 2608-S
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0251

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender