USDA Sets Referendum Dates for Softwood Lumber Research and Promotion Program

February 12, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that, as required by statute, it will conduct a referendum for eligible U.S. manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber to vote on whether to continue the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order. The referendum will be held from April 17 through May 14, 2018.

The research and promotion program will continue if it is favored by a majority of domestic manufacturers and importers voting in the referendum, who also represent a majority of the volume of softwood lumber represented in the referendum.

To vote in the referendum, manufacturers and importers must:

  • have domestically manufactured and shipped or imported 15 million board feet or more of softwood lumber from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017;
  • have been subject to assessments during that period; and
  • currently be subject to assessment under the program.

AMS will conduct the referendum by mail. AMS staff will mail ballots and voting instructions to all known eligible manufacturers and importers before the voting period. Any eligible domestic manufacturer or importer who does not receive a ballot by April 24, 2018, should contact referendum agent Maureen Pello at (503) 632-8848 or (202) 720-9915, or email Completed ballots must be received by the referendum agent by 4:30 p.m. ET, May 14, 2018.

More information about referendum procedures is in Subpart B of the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order.

The notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 12, 2018.

For more information about the board, visit the Softwood Lumber Board page on the AMS website, or contact Maureen Pello, or mail your request to Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW. Room 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC  20250-0244.

The softwood lumber program is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. The program was developed to strengthen the position of softwood lumber in the marketplace, maintain and expand markets for softwood lumber, and develop new uses for softwood lumber within the United States.