Grain Referendum Voting Begins This Week (12/5/2016)
The Texas Grain Producers Indemnity Board (TGPIB) is holding a referendum of eligible Texas producers of corn, sorghum, soybeans and/or wheat, including grain which is sold for seed, to decide if a refundable assessment should be collected. The assessment will be 0.2 percent of the final sale price of grain. TGPIB will set the assessment rate each year.
If the referendum is approved, collection of the assessment at the set rate will begin on Feb. 1, 2017, and continue until such time as TGPIB notifies grain buyers to cease collection. Each grain buyer or grain elevator, including a purchaser, warehouseman, processor or commercial handler who buys grain from or stores unsold grain for a producer, shall collect the assessment by deducting the applicable percentage from the final sales price of the grain or from any funds advanced for that purpose. Claims can be made by producers who suffer losses as a result of the financial failure of a grain buyer.
Only a producer who has sold grain in the 36 months preceding Dec. 9, 2016 is eligible to vote in the referendum. Eligible grain producers are individuals, including the owner of a farm on which grain is produced or the owner’s tenant or sharecropper, or legal entities engaged in the business of producing grain or causing grain to be produced for commercial purposes. Each person or legal entity is entitled to one vote, regardless of how many participants are involved in the entity.
The referendum will be conducted by mail balloting from Dec. 5 – 9, 2016. Eligible producers may cast a ballot at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension county offices during regular business hours. If you are unable to access an AgriLife Extension Office, a ballot may be requested from TDA by calling (800) 835-5832. In order to be valid, all ballots cast must be mailed to TDA and must be postmarked no later than Dec. 9, 2016. Ballots will be counted at TDA headquarters by department staff, and the Commissioner of Agriculture will certify results.
The nine-member TGPIB is appointed by Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), and includes a representative from the Corn Producers Association of Texas, Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Grain and Feed Association, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Association, Texas Soybean Association and Texas Wheat Producers Association, as well as a member with expertise in production agriculture financing and a representative with the non-warehouse grain buying industry.