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Michigan corn producers turn down program amendments

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For immediate release: April 29, 2016 Program contact: Deb Merrill, 517-284-5730

Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

LANSING – On April 29, 2016 The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced today that Michigan's corn producers have voted down a proposed increase to the assessment they pay to support activities for the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan.

The proposed amendments would have increased the assessment rate on Michigan grown corn from one cent per bushel to one and one half cents per bushel; required seed corn to be included in the assessment process; and included revisions to the nominations process and grammatical updates.

Under the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act (Public Act 232 of 1965) when a sufficient number of producers request changes to a marketing program, the MDARD Director conducts a hearing.  If there is enough support, the department conducts the election so growers of the commodity can decide on whether to move forward.

Michigan corn producers turned down the proposed assessment increase to the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan in a referendum held in February, 2016.

In the referendum, 1,861 ballots were received. Of the 1,861 ballots received, 177 were disqualified because the ballots were incomplete or were postmarked after the deadline. Of the valid 1,684 referendum ballots, 697 producers voted yes (41 percent) representing 37,476,520.154 bushels of corn (42 percent) and 987 producers voted no (59 percent) representing 52,592,675.238 bushels of corn (58 percent).

The assessment remains at $0.01 per bushel of Michigan corn as provided in the program last supported by growers in the 2013 referendum.

For the amendment to pass, more than 50 percent of the producer votes cast, representing more than 50 percent of the total number of bushels represented on the cast ballots, must approve it.  


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