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Corn farmers vote to increase corn marketing checkoff

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[April 14, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois corn farmers have overwhelmingly approved an increase in the checkoff 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 one-fourth cent per bushel. The outcome of the referendum was announced this week after the Illinois Department of Agriculture completed its review of the ballots and certified the statewide vote total.

The Illinois Corn Marketing Board 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 the current three-eighths-cent checkoff rate will increase to five-eighths of a cent per bushel, effective Oct. 1. 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 checkoff fund. Members invest the proceeds in market development, research, education and promotion programs designed to enhance the profitability of Illinois corn farmers.

[Text from Illinois Department of Agriculture file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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