Farmers will have a chance to vote on whether to continue a longstanding program that supports agricultural research, after the N.C. Board of Agriculture gave its approval to the referendum Thursday.
In a meeting at the State Fairgrounds, the board voted 8-0 to approve the referendum for Nickels for Know-How, which provides funding for agricultural research. The N.C. Farm Bureau, N.C. State Grange and N.C. Agricultural Foundation had requested permission to conduct the referendum. Farmers will vote later this year on whether to continue assessing themselves 15 cents per ton of commercial feed and fertilizer they purchase.
The board also approved a referendum on continuing a half-percent assessment on sales of canola for six years. The assessment supports research and development efforts for the crop. The N.C. Small Grain Growers Association had sought approval of the referendum.
In other action, the board approved a request by Sanderson Farms for an exemption from the state inspection fee on animal feed. State law requires manufacturers of animal feed to register their products with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and pay a fee of 12 cents per ton. The law allows exemption from the fee for companies that manufacture feed for use by their contract growers. Sanderson Farms manufactures feed for growers who raise poultry for the company.