Pecan growers vote to keep the FMO, USDA announces
In a referendum, 63 percent of pecan producers voting, who represented 71 percent of the volume of pecans produced by those voting, were in favor of continuing the program.
For the USDA to consider continue the marketing order least two-thirds of the growers voting in the referendum—by number or volume—had to vote in favor of continuance. The marketing order requires a continuance referendum be held every five years.
The referendum began on June 7 with eligible pecan growers across the Pecan Belt receiving ballots through the mail. The USDA extended the voting period until July 23 in order to give more time for producers to receive ballots. To be eligible to vote, growers must have produced a minimum average of 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans over the four years from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2020, or must own a minimum of 30 pecan acres in the production area of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
The FMO regulates the handling of pecans produced in the United States. Through this order and with oversight from the USDA, the American Pecan Council was founded in 2016 and tasked with building consumer demand, developing markets, establishing industry standards, and promoting pecans. Interested parties may find more information about the marketing order online here, through the AMS Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage, or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.