WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a referendum June 7 – 28, 2021, for pecan growers to vote on whether to continue their federal marketing order.
The marketing order authorizes the American Pecan Council to conduct crop and market data collection, domestic research and promotion campaigns, and efforts to regulate grade, size, quality, pack and container requirements under USDA’s oversight. USDA conducts continuance referenda every five years to determine growers’ level of support for the program.
To be eligible to vote, growers must have produced a minimum average of 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans over the four years from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2020, or must own a minimum of 30 pecan acres in the production area of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. USDA will consider continuing the marketing order if at least two-thirds of the growers voting, by number or volume, vote in favor of continuance.
Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2021.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will mail ballots and voting instructions to all growers of record. Eligible growers who do not receive a ballot by June 7, 2021, should contact Abigail Campos at Abigail.Campos@usda.gov or (863) 324-2145. Requests for a ballot may also be faxed to (863) 291-8614 or mailed to USDA, AMS, 1124 First Street South, Winter Haven, FL 33880.
More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of pecans grown in 15 states is available on the AMS 986 American Pecan Council webpage, the Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.
Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. AMS provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
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