With anticipated higher retail beef prices on the horizon, prompted by shorter supplies and higher input costs for producers resulting from drought and related feed and forage shortages, the need for better marketing strategies will become increasingly important to make certain demand for beef products remain strong among consumers.
One way to increase marketing resources is through an additional state-level beef checkoff program in Texas.
Texas beef producers will have a chance to weigh-in and vote the first week of June on a proposed maximum assessment of $1 per head of cattle in addition to the current National Beef Checkoff, collected at each transfer of ownership. The last day for cattle producers in Texas to vote will be June 6, 2014.
For the latest on southwest agriculture, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.
The Texas Beef Checkoff assessment will be used for promotion, marketing, research and educational efforts regarding beef and beef products in Texas. The Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas (BPRCT) will set the assessment rate each year, not to exceed the maximum assessment rate of $1.
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has been promoting the referendum since June last year on the establishment of a refundable assessment on cattle sales or ownership transfer in Texas. TDA says the proposed new assessment was requested by the Texas cattle industry and is in conformance to TDA rules and the Texas Agriculture Code.
If approved, collection of the assessment will begin October 1, 2014, and will continue until the BPRCT notifies cattle collection points to cease collection. Each collection point that makes payment to a producer for cattle purchased shall collect the assessment by deducting the applicable assessment from the final amount paid to the producer. No later than the 15th day of each month, the collection point shall remit the amount collected during the previous month to the BPRCT, along with a completed form prescribed by the BPRCT reflecting the amount.
TDA says any individual or legal business entity who owned cattle any time in Texas from June 6, 2013, to June 6, 2014, is considered a cattle producer and is eligible to vote. An individual or legal business entity shall not be considered a producer, referred to as a non-producer, if the person's only share in the proceeds of a sale of cattle or beef is a sales commission, handling fee, or other service fee; or the person either acquired ownership of cattle to facilitate the transfer of ownership of such cattle from the seller to a third party, or resold the cattle no later than ten days from the date on which the person acquired ownership.
The individual or entity must also certify that the requirements of these provisions have been satisfied. Also, if an eligible producer is younger than 16 years of age, the ballot must be co-signed by a parent or guardian in order to be valid.
The referendum is being staged by physical ballots, available at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county offices from June 2, 2014 through June 6, 2014. Eligible producers may vote during each office’s regular business hours.
If an eligible producer is unable to access a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county office, a ballot may be requested from TDA no earlier than May 19, 2014 and no later than June 2, 2014, to ensure receipt prior to the postmark deadline. All ballots must be cast or postmarked no later than June 6, 2014, in order to be considered.
For more information about the program or voting-balloting procedures, contact the nearest Texas AgriLife Extension Service county office.