REFERENDUM TO INCREASE THE CORN CHECKOFF TO BE HELD JULY 10
May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson
DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board today (Wednesday) announced plans to conduct a referendum on July 10, 2012 to increase the corn checkoff by ¼ cent per bushel. The checkoff is currently ¾ of a cent per bushel and if the increase is approved would be 1 cent per bushel. Any producer who raised and marketed at least 250 bushels of corn from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011 is eligible to vote at any county extension office in the crop reporting district where they live from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 10. Growers who wish to vote by absentee ballot may do so by contacting the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Producers may call 515-281-5321, email cornvote@IowaAgriculture.gov or visit the Henry Wallace Building, 502 E 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319 to solicit an Absentee Ballot Request Form. The Absentee Ballot Request Form must be signed and returned to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The producer will then be mailed an Absentee Ballot. Absentee Ballot Request Forms must be postmarked by June 27, 2012 and Absentee Ballots must be postmarked by July 10, 2012.
The corn checkoff was last increased in 2008 to the current rate of ¾ cent per bushel marketed. The checkoff is collected on corn that enters commercial channels but not on grain used on-farm. Producers are able to request a refund of their checkoff contribution and that will not be affected by the vote. The Iowa Corn Checkoff was established by producer referendum in 1977. The Iowa Corn Promotion Board, made up of farmers elected by their peers, invests checkoff dollars for research, education, promotion, and market development. The maximum checkoff allowed under Iowa code is 1 cent per bushel.