SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois corn farmers overwhelmingly have approved an increase in the check-off rate they pay when marketing their grain.
By a vote of 1,137 to 317, they passed a referendum March 28 to raise the rate by 1/4 cent per bushel. The referendum result was announced today after the Illinois Department of Agriculture completed its review of the ballots and certified the statewide vote total.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) requested the referendum. The measure won approval in 71 of Illinois’ 102 counties and was supported on 78 percent of the ballots cast. That means effective Oct. 1, 2012, the current 3/8 cent check-off rate will increase to 5/8 of a cent per bushel. If they choose, however, corn farmers still have the right to receive a full refund.
The ICMB, a volunteer board of corn farmers elected by their peers, administers the check-off fund. Members invest the proceeds in market development, research, education and promotion programs designed to enhance the profitability of Illinois corn farmers.