The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will conduct another referendum among South Texas onion producers to determine their level of support for continuing their federal marketing order.
Results of a referendum USDA conducted with producers in 2020 failed to reach the level of support among voting producers for continuing the marketing order. However, feedback received during the public comment period of the proposed termination of the program demonstrated support for keeping the order. To assess the true level of producer support for the program, the Secretary of Agriculture has determined that a second referendum is appropriate.
The marketing order requires that a continuance referendum be held every six years. USDA would consider continuing the marketing order if two-thirds of the growers, or growers representing two-thirds of the volume of Texas onions in the referendum, vote in favor of continuance.
The dates of the new voting period will be published in an upcoming issue of the Federal Register. USDA will also notify producers of the dates and publish them on the Agricultural Marketing Service website.
Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. AMS provides oversight to 28 fruit vegetable and specialty crops marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.