Georgia’s peanut growers have rejected a proposal to increase the annual Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) assessment by $1.
The balloting was held March 15 through April 15. Ballots were certified and counted by Allen Pritchett & Bassett Accounting Firm in Tifton, Ga., May 5.
A total of 1,124 ballots were counted with 56.2 percent voting in favor of the increase.
According to Georgia law, the Georgia Peanut Commission needs at least 25 percent of the state’s peanut farmers to vote with 66.67 percent majority, so the referendum failed.
“We are disappointed we only received four ballots over the 25 percent needed to count the ballots,” says Don Koehler, GPC executive director. “We had 75 percent of the growers that did not vote.”
The proposed increase from $2 to $3 per ton of peanuts would have helped peanut farmers through additional funding opportunities for peanut research.
“We appreciate all the support we received” says Armond Morris, GPC chairman. “However, we are disappointed that this rejection will hamper future opportunities to expand peanut research, which is one core focus of the commission.”
Research is a cornerstone program of the commission and one in which GPC funds approximately $254,000 annually. This year with the proposed reduction in acreage, cuts will have to be made.
Although the Georgia Peanut Commission will proceed with some promotion, research and education programs, farmers can expect operations and programs to be cut.