Illinois Corn Farmers Approve Increased Checkoff Investment
Illinois corn farmers voted in favor of increasing the corn checkoff rate established in the Illinois Corn Marketing Act in a vote held March 29, 2022, according to Illinois Department of Agriculture.
The referendum, which passed in an 88%-12% vote of all farmers subject to the act, will result in the current 5/8 cent corn checkoff rate increasing to 7/8 of a cent-per-bushel. The program will retain the right to refund and the new rate will take effect October 1, 2022.
“We understand that it is important that we continue to invest these checkoff dollars with integrity to achieve the goals and meet the needs of corn farmers in Illinois,” said Mark Wilson, ICMB Chairman.
ICMB is governed by a volunteer board of corn farmers elected by their peers. These farmers invest the checkoff funds. The increase in funds will be used to:
- Educate the public and government officials on the need for improved waterways infrastructure to compete in a global marketplace.
- We have successfully secured funding for modernization of Lock #25 on the Mississippi River. There are six additional locks on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers that must be modernized to achieve long term competitive benefits for Illinois farmers.
- Position corn farmers to increase relevance among non-farmers and prevent regulations on agriculture by engaging with the public and officials.
- Grow the domestic fuel ethanol market and combat the influence of electric vehicles, and research alternative markets for ethanol, like sustainable aviation fuel, and other new uses, such as corn-based plastics.
- Build diverse export opportunities in established and emerging markets for corn, ethanol, DDGS, red meat, and poultry.
“These focus areas were determined after much thought and analysis,” adds Wilson. “We surveyed corn farmers and considered the input provided by the members of the IL Corn Growers Association. We feel a sense of obligation and duty to be sure that corn checkoff dollars are wisely invested to enhance the profitability of corn farmers in Illinois.”
“It’s encouraging to see that the farmers in Illinois have shown they see the value of the check off and the hard work of IL Corn committing to a stronger voice for ag for the future,” comments Martin Marr, Illinois Corn Growers Association President.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Act was established by farmers in 1982 as a means to fund corn market development, research, promotion and education efforts. The last rate increase went into effect on October 1, 2012.
Don't want to read the story? Listen to Mark Wilson talk about the future investments here: