Soybean Checkoff Refund Program Ends On Oct. 1
Soon, growers will not get refunds of money collected in the soybean checkoff program, due to the results of a recent producers' poll.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that refunds will be discontinued on soybeans sold on or after Oct. 1. States will have grace periods during which a producer can file a claim.
In Ohio and Indiana, producers will have 90 days after Oct. 1 to apply for a refund of money collected on soybeans sold prior to that date. This gives them until the end of the year to ask for their money back. However, total refunds are limited to 10 percent of all collections per state, so producers may get a partial, pro-rated refund depending on the number of requests.
A nationwide poll was held on July 26 to see if producers wanted a referendum to decide the fate of refunds. Only 12.8 percent of the nation's 381,000 soybean producers participated -- far short of the 20 percent needed to trigger a referendum. Nationally, 48,782 producers participated in the poll, according to USDA. A total of 76,200 producers would have had to participate to trigger the referendum.
Ohio's polling drew 3,599 producers; Indiana drew 5,495. Nationally, Illinois had top participation with 14,531 producers, followed by Iowa, 12,134 producers. Indiana was third in participation and Ohio, fourth.
The program collects one-half of one percent (0.005 percent) from the net marketing price of soybeans for soybean production and product research, and market expansion. The total amount, minus refunds, is divided equally between the soybean board of the state where it was collected and the national United Soybean Board.
The Ohio Soybean Council averages $4.5 million in collections annually, while the Indiana Soybean Development Council collected $5.4 million in the past fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Nationally, the program collected $58.3 million in the last fiscal year.