Montana oilseed growers will soon receive a ballot in the mail proposing a 1% checkoff for canola, flaxseed, mustard, safflower, soybeans, and sunflower crops. If passed, the Montana Oilseed Advisory Committee will advise the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) on how to invest the funds for research, market development, and education.
“The continued growth of oilseed production in Montana is a testament to the industry’s immense potential,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “We have seen how investments made through other checkoff programs, like pulse and wheat and barley, have successfully given Montana growers a competitive edge. I’m glad to see our oilseed producers are eager to advance their industry through research, market development, and education as well.”
The MT Oilseed Advisory Committee was formed after MDA received a verified petition from 25 growers, and those present at listening sessions held thereafter unanimously expressed their support for proceeding with the formation of the committee. The committee held its first meeting in June 2020 and received considerable input from other growers and stakeholders before deciding to propose a 1% assessment. Assessments are collected at the first point of sale and are voluntary. Growers may obtain an assessment refund by submitting a written request to MDA.
Ballots were sent to growers this week and are due back to MDA by December 31, 2020. Any current producer of canola, flaxseed, mustard, soybeans, safflower, or sunflower, that did not receive a ballot can contact MDA to request one by phone at (406) 444-2402 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canola production was forecast at a record high 217 million pounds for 2020, an increase of 9% from 2019, according to the most recent Agricultural Yield Survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. In 2018, Montana ranked second in the nation for production of canola, flaxseed, and safflower. Oilseed crop production in Montana is expected to continue to increase.
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit www.agr.mt.gov.