Oilseed Crop Checkoff Proposed to Montana Growers

by Courtney Kibblewhite

Montana oilseed growers will soon receive a ballot in the mail proposing a 0.5% checkoff for canola, camelina, 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.

“Checkoff programs have a long history of improving and expanding markets for growers,” said MDA Director Mike Foster. “Montana’s oilseed production has grown significantly in recent years, and I share the committee’s excitement for establishing a state checkoff program to continue advancing the industry.”

The Montana 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.

Assessments are voluntary and collected at the first point of sale. Growers can request assessment refunds by submitting a written request to MDA. The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee is widely recognized for its checkoff program that generates close to $4 million annually. Checkoff dollars are invested in crop variety and breeding program research, domestic and international marketing, as well as education.

Ballots were sent to growers this week and are due back to MDA April 16, 2021. Any current producer of canola, camelina, flaxseed, mustard, soybeans, safflower, or sunflower, that did not receive a ballot can request one by phone at (406) 444-2402 or email at danielle.jones@mt.gov.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Montana oil crops added over $54 million in value to the U.S. economy in 2019, more than a 25% increase from 2018. Montana ranks second in the nation for production of canola, flaxseed, and safflower.


MDA – 2021

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