The Georgia Peanut Commission is urging all growers to vote in the mail ballot referendum on increasing the assessment by $1 per ton.

The commission also encourages growers who did not receive a ballot for the assessment increase referendum to contact GPC. Peanut farmers have until Friday, April 15, to vote and return their ballots. The assessment funds programs of the commodity commission including promotion, research, education and communication.

The commission's board of directors decided to hold the referendum after holding a public hearing in Tifton on Feb. 9, regarding the proposal to increase the assessment from $2 to $3 per ton. The commission assessment has not been increased since 1980 when Georgia peanut producers voted to increase it from $1 per ton to $2 per ton.

“I strongly urge all peanut growers to return their ballot by voting yes to ensure a strong future for the peanut industry in Georgia,” Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission, said. “We, as peanut farmers, need to fund more research to stay on the cutting edge of peanut production, especially during the recent budget cuts on the state and national level.”

The Georgia Peanut Commission mailed ballots to all Georgia peanut producers on record the week of March 15 with voting instructions. Anyone who is a peanut grower and has not received a ballot can contact the Georgia Peanut Commission at 229-386-3470. For the referendum to pass, at least 25 percent of all producers on record must submit a ballot and at least 66 and 2/3 percent of the ballots cast must be favorable.

For additional information on the programs of the Georgia Peanut Commission visit www.gapeanuts.com.

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