Background

The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service will hold separate referendums this year to determine whether eligible importers and domestic manufacturers of highbush blueberries and softwood lumber favor the continuation of the research and promotion orders on those goods. The blueberry order currently imposes an assessment of $18 per ton and the softwood lumber order imposes an assessment of $0.35/thousand board feet. Each order will be continued if favored by a majority of the voting importers and producers that also represent a majority of the volume of covered goods represented in each referendum.

The blueberry referendum will be conducted July 5-28 among importers and producers that imported or produced 2,000 pounds or more of highbush blueberries during the period Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2015, paid assessments during that period, and are currently importers or producers of highbush blueberries subject to assessment.

The softwood lumber referendum will be conducted Aug. 1-25 among importers and manufacturers that have imported or manufactured and shipped 15 million board feet or more of softwood lumber during the period Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2015, paid assessments during that period, and are currently importers or domestic manufacturers subject to assessment.

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