Upcoming Tobacco & Peanut Referendums

— Written By and last updated by Patricia Burch

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service has assisted with conducting many referendums over the years. Referendums are also often referenced as “assessment programs” and/or “check-offs”. This year is the flue-cured tobacco and peanut producers turn to have one.

The North Carolina Tobacco Research Check Off Referendum is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Voting locations will be held at any N.C. Cooperative Extension Center during normal business hours. In order to vote, you must be a farmer of flue-cured tobacco who engaged in the production process during the 2018 crop season and who shares directly in the risk of production or in the proceeds of the sale of flue-cured tobacco grown in NC.

If the referendum passes, then this will allow the continuation of an assessment not to exceed 1/5 of one cent per pound for the growers’ export promotion programs. Tobacco Associations has a 6 component focus regarding export promotion of US flue-cured tobacco. These are Inform, Educate, Train, Demonstrate, Assist, and Service. The funds collected are used for research and educational projects throughout the next three marketing years.

The Peanut Referendum will take place on, Friday, February 1, 2019, at any N.C. Cooperative Extension Center during normal business hours where their principle farming operations are located.

Producers first voted in 1953 to support the activities of the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association and have voted in favor of during the past 12 Peanut Referendums.

Peanut growers in North Carolina vote in a referendum every six years in efforts to decide to continue assessing themselves $3.00 per ton for the purpose of carrying out promotion, education, research, and legislative activities. This referendum will cover crop years 2019 through 2024.

In addition to this year’s flue-cured tobacco and peanut referendums, other agricultural entities such as corn (1.25 cents per bushel), cotton ($1 per bale), cattle ($1.00 per head), swine (pay $0.40 per $100 of value when pigs are sold and when pigs or pork products are brought into the United States), and horses (5 cent per bag of feed purchased) also offer referendums during there respective time frames.

Assessment programs are very important to the agricultural industry in terms of providing education, promotion, and research for the industry.